The Presence of Stillness
by April Bender
Since the passing of my beloved grandmother this past fall, I've had many opportunities to further explore the vast nature of Stillness. Subtle and mysterious, unfolding and enfolding, centering and spacious, encircling and spiraling away. . .choosing to dance with the presence of Stillness offers us passage through the many gates of inner and outer awareness.
In order to explore these distinctions, let us consider the nature of Stillness in a bit more detail:
Subtle and Mysterious
It is easy to confuse silence or a state of quiet with Stillness because Stillness also exists at many other subtle experiential levels and is not something we can physically touch or scientifically quantify. In considering Stillness as an active presence we have to move beyond the initial state or experience of quiet and let ourselves sink more deeply down into the greater experience and mystery of Stillness. It is here, at this deeper level of awareness, that one begins to sense Stillness as an active, even collaborative subtle presence.
Once acknowledged and consciously worked with, this presence can begin to open the way, expand your inner field of vision, and allow doors and worlds that were previously closed off to you to become accessible. Stillness then becomes the vehicle, the container, as well as the network of subtle circuitry that your awareness travels on and within.
Unfolding and Enfolding
Stillness both unfolds, leading one onward to more expansive vistas of awareness, as well as enfolds one within its field/state/embrace. So there is both the experience of greater clarity, movement or unfoldment as well as the feeling of being held or contained in a state of grace/peace and/or no-time/space while moving. It is this seeming paradox that adds to the mysterious nature of Stillness.
The conscious presence of Stillness partners with our consciousness - it is an act of co-creation. We set the intention in motion, while Stillness carries us there - if we can remain focused in her presence. And this of course, takes focus, surrender, and practice.
Centering and Spacious
Stillness is also by its very nature centering and spacious. When one first enters into the presence of Stillness, they find themselves squarely at their own inner center or core. It is from this center, that one travels through and within Stillness, to adjoining rooms, worlds and/or elevated ways of perceiving.
Stillness is unlimited in its presence and unfoldment - it is only one's consciousness that either allows or blocks passage. Therefore Stillness is spacious, and can become ever larger or more expansive as one's awareness and ability to focus intention grows.
Encircling and Spiraling Away
Stillness holds and moves one by way of encirclement. It holds and centers us in successive encircling waves or ripples, almost imperceptive so subtle is this movement/pulse/vibration. This provides one the sense of being held and supported, even at peace when in the presence or body of Stillness. As many of you know, the "hum" of Stillness is sublime indeed.
While the inner movement of Stillness is one of encirclement, the outward movement or unfoldment is that of a spiraling out or away. And this is how the body of Stillness expands outwards, carrying one along to new thresholds of inner discovery.
There are many ways and many names in which we may come to know this gentle divine presence. Some of us may even come to sense it as feminine or masculine in quality. In applying an animistic lens to such things, such as our ancestors did, one begins to establish a much deeper relationship and connection with various conscious aspects of Self and Universe as well as work more consciously and collaboratively with them for the healing, upliftment, and unification of All.
The above descriptions are by no means exhaustive of the qualities which make up the nature of Stillness - they are simply the qualities that I have experienced so far on my journey. I encourage all to continue to explore various aspects and qualities of Stillness, because as I have realized and the master's have said, "Stillness is key." Let us all take advantage of this most precious ever-giving gift.
Source: April's Airings
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