This morning’s stillness

When we go within ourselves no-one else can see what’s happening there. If we want to know what someone else’s inner experience is like then we have to rely on their reports.

Meditation is a particular kind of ‘going within’, and while there are lots of sets of instructions and guidance on how to meditate, reports of actual experiences are less common.

In case it is useful to you, here’s a report from me – this morning’s meditation report:

I sat outside in the early morning, wrapped up in blankets to keep warm. This morning was a very cloudy, grey English morning.

I was aware of noises and activity around me: the birds fluttering, the cool of the breeze on my cheeks, noises from the farm across the fields.

As I went inward, I was aware of various activities within – memories of childhood, plans for the day, mild political ranting, echoes of things said yesterday, a dream from last night.

After a tricky and confused period of negotiating my way past these by returning to my awareness of my body and my breathing, I gradually came to a sense of stillness. This was both a little familiar, and a little fresh, unusual. The stillness was tentative, and easily disturbed. I noticed that tiny shifts in my awareness could stimulate little surges in feeling which would knock me off balance.

It’s often my practice in meditation to allow words to arise in the process and shape themselves, with some help from me, into a poem. When the poem is formed as a whole in my mind, I write it down.

This morning these words formed themselves into this poem about this morning’s stillness. Here it is for you now, very fresh!

I hope your own meditation enables you to find your own version of this morning’s stillness.

This morning’s stillness

Sitting in the world this morning
the world flutters around me
in bird wings and breezes and nodding flowers

while, within me, I descend past
the flutterings of my mind
to find a level of stillness

that is not the stillness
of a table or a bowl of fruit

but the stillness of a vortex
the stillness of a gyroscope
the stillness of constant flux
finding a pattern and holding it

for a while until it collapses,
until I collapse,
back into flux,

and then, descending past the flux,
I find that pattern of stillness
reforming itself
again and again.

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