Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stillness Exercise

Stillness Exercise

Inspired by the Jimmy Buffet song, "Little Miss Magic" quoted in the post above.

Constantly amazed by
the blades of the fan on the ceiling....
You will need a ceiling fan.  If you do not have one, other possible things you could use are a child's swing in the park or a pendant or pendulum on a string, necklace or chain.   Let me know of other possibilities you may come up with.

Turn the fan on and allow to come up to normal speed... then turn off the fan.   Watch the fan as it comes to a complete stop.  My suggestion is to lie down under the fan (like the view in the photograph in the post above) and watch it, but most importantly, be comfortable.  

Don't cheat and stop watching before the blades are still!
For swinging options:  If you are using either the pendant or pendulum, you will need to find a location where it can swing freely.  Pull the swing, pendant or pendulum back.  Find a place where you can watch it come to a complete stop. 

If all else fails, look at the photograph of the ceiling fan above.  Watch it for a full minute.
This entire exercise should only take 2 to 3 minutes max... depending on how fast your fan or swing is going.  

While it is slowing down, continue to watch, but also watch your mind.  Is it quiet?  Is it talking?  What is it saying?  There are no right or wrong answers.  The objective is to observe.  

If your mind is chatting away... what is it saying?  Is it complaining?  Is it saying things like...
I don't have time for this!
This is ridicules!
What a strange exercise!
This is peaceful!
Is it going over a mental to-do list as soon as those darn blades stop spinning?
Is it counting the time you are "wasting" doing nothing?
Is it enjoying the momentary break?
The possibilities are endless! 

My suggestion is to see if you can touch that place that Jimmy Buffet sings about, while watching his daughter, "Little Miss Magic."  See if you, too, can once again be "amazed by the blades of the fan on the ceiling!"  

Again, I want to stress that there are no right or wrong answers or outcomes.  This is an exercise designed first to help you become aware of what your mind is doing and second if your mind is chatty..... to become aware of what it is saying. 

If you are feeling especially introspective, you could follow up by asking yourself why your mind might be saying those things.  For example, if your mind tells you, "I don't have time for this!"  You could ask yourself why your mind is not willing to give you 3 minutes to do an exercise without also adding on some guilt!  Whatever the outcome, trust that it will be just right for you!

As always, I would love to hear your comments in the section below.
Keep it simple!


Liz said...

My brain went over its "to do" list, but interestingly, it was a DIFFERENT list than I'd had before. I thought of new things, different things. Very interesting! It's kind of what I used to get when I was at Mass, back when I still went to Mass. Now I'm in a different spiritual mode, kind of more spiritual but not religious. For those who are like me, I'm getting many insights from "Sun of God," by Gregory Sams, which talks about the Sun and its power, its strengths and its place in our world. There is no other book out there that takes a serious look at the most popular deity in the history of humanity. And so many lies continue to this day to deny a great truth once common knowledge, which is the true nature of our local star. You could call it a huge elephant in the room: what a cover up! I think others will gain from its insights.

Jackie said...

HI Penny, when I did your exercise I went into a trance. Kind of like when you go off and just stare but you are awake and when you or someone else snaps you out of it, you are not thinking of anything in particular. It feels "good" when I do this... my question is do you think this is meditation, presence, or just the ego letting go for a few moments?? Jackie