“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” -Confucius
How very true! Life is indeed simple, and it amazes me how complicated we make it- how we consciously choose to make it. We can come up with a dozen excuses for doing so, but they are just that… excuses.
So then what happens? Over the years, and as we grow in wisdom and insight, we start to pare down, we eliminate clutter, clear out the things that weigh us down as well as the people who drain our energy, we schedule priorities and guard our energies, and we find ourselves keeping things simple.
This holds true for our practices too. We don’t need 3 hours at the gym nor a schedule so packed with social activities that we are running around like a chicken without a head and without true quality time spent with those we love. We find ourselves pausing to breathe… really breathe. And I don’t mean shallow breathing, I mean revitalizing and grounding breaths. Above all, we crave perfect stillness, quiet, tranquility and the peace we feel inside when we allow ourselves to be still.
As I mentioned in a blog this time last year, December can really mess with people’s emotions and energies for a myriad of reasons. I’m sure you can make up your own list that will attest to it. Oftentimes, the end result this time of year is that we are left swirling, spiraling, depleted and perhaps even sad, frustrated or angry.
Last year’s blog, Hold the Vision… Trust the Process included a guided meditation that enhanced our sense of support and stability. I thought I would share yet another lovely guided meditation called Statue of Stillness. It truly is very grounding because it directs breath and awareness to the base of the body, helping to release tension from this area. It enhances a sense of of inner stability and slows down the breath and lengthens the exhalation.
Before getting started, you may want to light a candle, maybe clear your space, put your phone on airplane mode and maybe even burn some incense. Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair with your feet touching the floor.
If you would like, you can also add a hand gesture which is called a Mudra. For this particular meditation/Mudra, tuck your thumbs into the palms of your hands and curl your fingers loosely around the thumbs, forming soft fists with both hands. You can then rest the hands on to your thighs or your knees, with the palms facing down. Be sure to relax your shoulders… bring them up to your ears then back and down. You will feel your spine naturally aligned and sitting straight.
The other thing you can do is to have someone read this meditation to you, or you can voice record it so you can listen to your own voice. I just glance down at it, and sit with the vision and the feelings for however long I feel like it. After a few times and with practice, it comes rather naturally, or I practice my own version of it.
The benefit of this meditation, as with most forms of meditations, is that it activates our parasympathetic nervous system thereby initializing the relaxation response. Darlings, there’s nothing like a relaxed nervous system!!!
If you’re new to meditation, you WILL feel it’s benefits almost immediately. And remember, don’t stress yourself… just go with the flow. Nothing is perfect. No one is perfect. Don’t put added stress on yourself wondering if you’re “doing it right.” Be still and trust the process. Ready? Here goes:
- As you hold this Mudra, take several natural breaths to attune to all the feelings and sensations evoked by this gesture.
- Notice how your breath is gently directed downward, toward the base of your body, instilling a sense of stability and grounding.
- Take some time to sense the natural pause at the end of each exhaling breath, cultivating a space of silence in which your body and mind can deeply rest.
- For your next few breaths, attune to these pauses even more deeply, experiencing a sense of serenity that allows you to become completely still, like a statue softly breathing.
- As stillness and compasses each area of your body, you experience the absolute peace and harmony that is a reflection of your true being.
- Begin by taking several breaths to allow stillness to permeate your pelvis, legs and feet, creating a firm foundation for your statue of serenity.
- Now, allow your abdomen solar plexus, low and mid back to enter into stillness and completely relax.
- With your lower body still and serene, takes several breaths to sense your heart, lungs, chest and upper back merging with your statue of stillness.
- Serenity now fills your shoulders, arms and hands, all the way to your fingertips, integrating these areas into your statue of stillness.
- Finally, stillness permeates your neck and head, inviting all of your senses to naturally turn inward and gently rest.
- Now, take some time to sense your entire being as a statue of stillness.
- Affirm your essential stillness, repeating the following three times, aloud or silently: “In absolute stillness of being, I experience complete peace and serenity.”
- Now, slowly release the gesture, taking several breaths to rest an absolute stillness.
- When you are ready, open your eyes, returning slowly and gently, while remaining aligned with the stillness of your true being.