What happens when you become completely still?
Seemingly, “you” stop making noise. Stillness yields silence. Yet, even once you’ve achieved as much stillness as you’re able, you begin to notice that your stillness and silence does not equate to stillness and silence in the universe, or even in the physical body.
As you practice stillness and silence to the best of your ability, you may nevertheless hear the tummy rumble or even the heart beat. We can try as best we can to achieve complete stillness and silence, but the greater intelligence that is at work within us and beyond us is always moving, creating, and generating all sorts of sounds.
Try as you might to make the body completely still, and it still moves. Air moves in and out of the lungs, blood bumps all throughout the body delivering abundances of goodness to keep the cells of the body flourishing, food moves along the digestive journey, and – sure enough – if you still for long enough, perhaps a day or an hour if you’re a man, you might notice hair growth on the face. Or, sit for a few days, (no food no problems. Real talk though, physiological rest can be wonderful ;-)) you’ll notice the face growing thinner. The body is constantly changing, cells constantly moving, making an abundance of cells, whether we will or not, whether we want it to happen or not.
Even with full effort, our attempts at stillness are nothing compared to the always-moving intelligence of the body that is a microcosm of the universe. Everything’s always moving, and with all movement comes sound. There is always sound. Always movement.
Practicing “being still” is the perfect opportunity to become aware of something so much greater than our small selves. We can open our awareness up to the vast intelligence that flows so freely and effortlessly all around us.
As I sat in meditation this morning, “Be still and know that I am God,” popped to mind towards the very end of the hour long sit. As the body was physically still and sought stillness of mind, the awareness turned to listening. Sounds. Everywhere! And I realized that the omnipresence of sound can serve as a reminder for the omnipresence of God. When we are still, we stop and give ourselves the opportunity to deeply listen. With deep listening, we can hear God.