Close your eyes and think of stillness. Go ahead, do it now. What images flashed in front of your closed eyes? Did you see mountains? Tall trees? Deep lakes? There are so many beautiful images associated with stillness. Stillness is something we seek. In the mad rush of our urban lives, it is something we long for.
Mindfulness, which has become a trendy term today, is an ancient concept. It is the idea of seeking stillness, being one with the world around you. If we can’t escape into the stillness of nature (and surely we cannot get away from our day to day lives to do it anything like often enough), at least we can practice mindfulness. Sit still, close your eyes, be present.
But what happens when your life is too still? What happens if you are alone all day within the four walls of your home? The stillness within those walls surrounds you. It wraps around you, like a fog. It creeps into your ears and nose. Slowly, the unasked for stillness suffocates you. And what if you cannot move? Lying still in bed, day after day, surrounded by stillness. At that point, stillness starts sounding like an alias for death.
Ultimately, the answer is one that my mother has been giving me for years. Moderation in everything. We need activity to be alive. We need stillness to be grounded.