Stillness: the Natural State

The world is continually searching for stillness, for quiet; to feel good and happy and contented. The paradox in all this searching is that the stillness and good feelings that we strive toward is the most natural state in the world.

Let’s look at it like this: we all experience moments of stillness that simply come upon us, these moments arise spontaneously and invariably seem random; moments such as having the leisure to observe somebody undertaking an activity or task that requires deep concentration. We watch and pick up on the good feeling of neutrality.

Another example would be when we are involved in a hobby or task ourselves where we are fully absorbed. Because our thinking is focused on only one thing to the exclusion of all others, we can think of nothing else, time seems to stop and there is an endless peaceful flow to our feeling state.

Nature is another good example where we can simply relax into a good feeling state simply by observing a beautiful sunset, or a rainbow or some beautiful scenery that captures us in what Wordsworth called ‘spots of time.’

What is fascinating about all of these examples is the fact that none of them require any effort on our part at all! There is a big clue here to how and why stillness is our natural state. It is one of the greatest paradoxes of the life that to achieve the state of stillness we think we need to make effort, practice something, and do something – all of which is the antitheses to the state of stillness itself. In other words all we really need to do is to relax.

Some may say that to relax is ‘easier said than done’, and therein lies another clue: we ‘think’ we need to do something. However, ‘to relax’ is not an act or an accomplishment of something, but more a returning effortlessly into the emotional state of neutrality and natural good feelings. And by neutrality I mean seeing the world and others through the eyes of love and compassion rather than from the perspective of personal judgement.

When we start to see this from within, from our personal experience, one of the greatest mysteries of life is uncovered – that all the stillness we desire lies within of each and every one of us. It requires no effort to achieve, simply a recognition on our part that it is our personal thinking that fills up the space in which we usually enjoy stillness of our lives. Thus, if we wish to enjoy more peace, stillness, love and understanding in our lives we need only let go back into it, because the natural state is one of joy.

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