Cool Quote of the Day: Moving into stillness

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

Advertisements

Cool Quote of the Day

Before being in jail, it was hard for me to understand what Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi meant when they said that prisons are the temples of freedom. It’s clear that they can do many things to your body and try to oppress you and use psychological violence. But there’s something so strong inside each of us, the human spirit, that they can not reach. They can put you in shackles and cold cement cells, and feed you horrible food, and put you in solitary confinement, but there’s no way that they can reach the human spirit. That was powerful—to find once again that that part is sacred.

– Pancho Ramos-Stierle, who was arrested while meditating during the police raid on Occupy Oakland on Nov. 14, 2011

Cool Quote of the Day

Action in the world is not an externally imposed duty or simply a preliminary stage on the path to greater awareness but is in itself a valid spiritual path and an expression of interdependence, freedom, and awakening.

Michael Stone, Yoga for a World Out of Balance

(Image by Rezaul.Haque)

Meditation is the reply to a call from within

photo by Athanassios Strantzalos

At its core, meditation is a blossoming of spirit – an individual reply to a call from within. Unlike the more familiar ways in which we normally think and act, meditation asks us to take a seat and quiet ourselves. Then it whispers to us about how to be creative in life, about what is true and not true, about how to heal and how to mourn, and about the joys that come from simply being, rather than wanting and trying. All this amounts to a welling up of spirit that permeates both heart and mind.

~ Rolf Sovik, Moving Inward: The Journey to Meditation

Unafraid of insecurity

Photo by Tidewater Muse

Rudolph Bahro writes, “When an old culture is dying, the new culture is created by those people who are not afraid to be insecure.”

I suppose some would question whether an old culture is dying now, but somehow it rings true for me that we’re in a time of major change, a major transition in the world, and many of us are rather nervous about where we’re headed.

You can think of insecurity as a moment in time that we experience over and over in our lives. when you feel insecurity, whether you’re feeling it in the middle of the night out of nowhere or whether it’s constant, there is a groundless and unformed quality to it.

You can think of the groundlessness and openness of insecurity as a chance that we’re given over and over to choose a fresh alternative. Things happen to us all the time that open up the space….It’s like the sky….And this is accessible to us all the time.

-Pema Chödrön, Practicing Peace in Times of War

______

Related article

The Path of the Cool Hero

The Path of the Cool Hero

“On the journey of the warrior-bodhisattva, the path goes down, not up, as if the mountain pointed toward the earth instead of the sky. Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures, we move toward turbulence and doubt however we can. We explore the reality and unpredictability of insecurity and pain, and we try not to push it away. If it takes years, if it takes lifetimes, we let it be as it is. At our own pace, without speed or aggression, we move down and down and down. With us move millions of others, companions in awakening from fear.”

– Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty

_____

Related Article

Unafraid of insecurity

Cool Heroes of the Day: Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship at Freedom Plaza

On Saturday, December 3, Buddhist Peace Fellowship invited its worldwide membership to partake in Nine Minutes of Silence at precisely 3pm at Occupy sites.

Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship gathered at OccupyDC at Freedom Plaza for the meditation.

A Dedication set the intention:

Through [practicing, praying, meditating, resting in silence] together we offer our personal transformation as a means for social transformation, and through social engagement we offer our open hearts, and our energy, to others.

[Full Dedication here.]

Buddhist Peace Fellowship also released a statement explaining why it supports the Occupy Movement. “Occupying the Present Moment” cites interconnectedness, the suffering which inequality causes, nonviolent tactics, and solidarity with “the 100%.”