Imagine a spinning top. Stillness is like a perfectly spinning top, spinning so fast it appears motionless. It appears this way not because it isn’t moving, but because it’s spinning at full speed.
Stillness is not the absence of energy, life, or movement. Stillness is dynamic. It is unconflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, skill in action. It can be experienced whenever there is total, uninhibited, unconflicted participation in the moment you are in–when you are wholeheartedly present with whatever you are doing.
For most of us, however, most of the time, our lives do not resemble a perfectly centered top, spinning so fast it appears motionless. Our lives are more like a top in a somewhat wild, erratic, and chaotic spin. We know we’re alive because at least we’re still spinning, but we are not quite perfectly centered, and we are not spinning anywhere near full speed. We don’t have as much energy as we’d like, we are not experiencing as much aliveness as we might, not are we experiencing the peace of stillness or the joy of being.
-Erich Schiffmann, Yoga, the Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness