Stillness is the key to peace

Stillness is the key to peace

Making time for stillness gives you the ability to feel more centred, grounded and spacious in your life and is a way to create more peace in a world which desperately needs it. To cultivate stillness I regularly practice meditation and go on silent retreats.

Silence is the ultimate container to encourage stillness. Within the quiet everything is amplified and it becomes evident the greatest barrier to peace is the noise on the inside. The practice is simple, but not easy. Just sit patiently, relaxing and letting go of all thoughts without judgement. When the chatter of the mind eases, greater stillness and peace is simply there. There are even moments where the mind is completely quiet and you can rest deeply into the peace that we all yearn for.

It is through the practice of meditation I have come to understand that this peace, this inner stillness, is always there. It sits eternally beneath all the thinking, worrying, and planning, and it is within us all. We just need to make the time to stop long enough and give ourselves permission to take a break from the incessant thinking. It is there that true peace can be found. In those moments everything is perfect. There is nothing to be added and nothing needs to be taken away. The outside world has not changed, yet it has – completely.

It is a way that I, as just one person, can make a difference in the world. Simply by learning to be still and practising quieting the mind, no matter how much it throws at me. With time, everything slows and unfurls, and the once demanding sense of self with all its desires and aversions lets go. All the troubles that I relentlessly worry about, think through, scheme to change, agonise over – vanished into stillness. This does not mean that they have vanished when I come out of meditation, but my problems are diminished, shrunk down to the much smaller space they should take up.

To get to stillness the mind throws at me my suffering and struggles. I must hold these tenderly within myself. When you can tenderly meet your own longing, grief, addiction, jealousy, and selfishness, you come to understand it within others. It is these lost, unhealed, disconnected states which consume us and drive us to do things which create more suffering in the world. Our unhealed parts pit us against each other, and they pit us against ourselves. In sitting with yourself you learn to sit kindly and patiently with all of you. As you do so, those painful parts may quieten down too. You can breathe more deeply and let go into greater ease and stillness.

In the moments when we are content and nothing more is needed it is impossible to add to the problems of the external world. The times when we have a more settled, peaceful mind as we go about our daily interactions, we are less likely to be emotionally activated in our relationships. We stop adding suffering on top of our problems and we can take action in a grounded way.

Stillness is the key to peace. If you take time to remember to stop, breathe, quieten, and finally, still the mind – peace is there. Sometimes I am offered the most exquisite glimpses of something awe inspiring. When my mind stops, “I” cease to be. Yet it is far from nothingness. In the cessation of thinking, the “I” becomes EVERYTHING. I am the vast expanse where everything arises and falls away in a harmonious dance. Everything just IS, the very nature of perfection. THAT is the true power of stillness. Imagine the level of peace in the world we would tap into if we all felt that.

I’d love to hear about your own experience of stillness and how it has benefitted you in your own life. Please share in the comments below.

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