Recently, two stillness messages came to my attention. A yoga instructor began our resting Shavasana stage, near the end of the session, by saying, “Drop into the stillness. That stillness that resides behind the thoughts clouding your awareness.” Secondly, this excellent blog post from Uplift named “An Indigenous Approach to Healing Trauma” appeared in a Facebook feed.
The yoga instructor’s guidance reminds me of going deeper during my quiet times, whether I need a rejuvenating session or am attempting to resolve a conflict. From the Uplift article, I learned the term “dadirri”, a patient and contemplative type of listening. Often asking too many questions clouds my awareness. Therefore, I find the dadirri form of listening fascinating and useful.
With “drop into the stillness” and “dadirri” in mind during a quiet time at home recently, here is what I wrote about my experience.
In the distance, someone is mowing the lawn. The garbage truck’s air brakes pshhhtt on approach to the overflowing dumpster. Car doors slam as the neighbors unload their groceries. The lilac-like fragrance from the flowering crepe myrtle disturbed by the blue jay shrieking its annoyance. The crows caw-caw along their flight path to and fro collecting cumquats for their hungry chicks. The refrigerator snaps and pops, expanding and contracting and meeting demand. Then I hear the clock tick, and later, despite their silence, I know the eagles are circling.
Ah, now am I ready to drop into the stillness? Stop asking questions! Oops, but don't judge either. Accept. Observe. Go deeper. Into that place behind the stillness. Into the space between the clock ticks. That pause is as integral as the click itself. One is nothing without the other. The space between musical notes as Claude Debussy instructed. The pregnant pause is life. Continuity. Growth. Here there is only the white noise of blood pumping in my ears. Let the white space BE the content for a change. A white space of nothingness, void of everything but my thirst to hold you again. Eyes chronically dry from too many tears shed fill with healing moisture. Another deep breath and then, there you are and there I am. Hello.
That session spoke to me about connections that come in many forms. Being alone for introverts, like me, is essential to recharging our batteries. Even when purposely seeking the stillness, thinking I'll get "away from it all", connection happens. Connection glues us together individually and collectively, and that's alright with me.
I am sometimes apprehensive of going to mysterious places in my mind that feel outside this realm. And often I tire of the seeking. Seeking understanding and acceptance. The message of dadirri is teaching me to give the seeking a break. Just wait for it and instead make room for patient listening in my mindfulness toolbox.
How about you? Do you have a favorite mindfulness strategy or practice? Does stillness work for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments.