The Power of Stillness

““Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity” ― Lao Tzu

Blessings everyone!  It has certainly been an epic 10 days since we last connected.  A wonderful friend and I spent 6 days at the Manwke Bush Camp and the Moremi Game Preserve.  A few pictures below to see the lodge which was quite spectacular.  Oddly enough, we saw some beautiful antelope, tons of giraffe, and few zebra – but not one predator, which means, no lions, leopards, cheetah, hyena or jackals.  A few birds of prey but that was it.  All in all, a very memorable experience.  My friend got a proposal from a Botswanan man -- including the dowery of many cows.  She respectfully declined the proposal!  We are back home in Hoedspruit where to my delight, we have a new member of our animal family.  A newborn Nyala who I am naming Jabori which means one who brings comfort.   It will be a few months before we know if it is a boy or a girl. The first sign will be some tiny horns or the lack of tiny horns, The girls grow up to look like their mamas and the boys grown up to look like their daddy’s.   

My spiritual awareness from the recent trip had to do with stillness and how little we know about it, and how seldom we experience it.  This includes both outer stillness and inner stillness. If we are to have a real and true experience of the natural world, stillness (which includes patience) is required.  In some ways, the safari experience is the antithesis of what is really needed. The land rovers go barreling through the African bush. The vehicles are large, loud, and smelly.  Most animals, except for the cats and elephants, run away as fast as they can. To really see the large and small creatures of the earth, it works best to stop the vehicle and simply sit there for some period of time so that everyone feels safe enough to reveal their sacred faces.  It takes a very seasoned, skillful, and soulful safari guide to provide that experience to the guests.   We were NOT fortunate enough to have that person guiding us in Botswana – so probably missed the possibility of sacred observation in most cases.

I suggest that this practice of patience and stillness applies to each of us right where we are – at home, at work, or on vacation.  If we just barrel through life, externally making noise and movement, we will miss the sacred nuances of life.  We will miss that which is precious in our everyday experience.   I share one of my favorite short writings on the subject.

A Circle of Trust
By Parker Palmer

A circle of trust is a group of people who know how to sit “quietly in the woods” with each other and wait for the shy soul to show up. The relationships in such a group are not pushy but patient, they are not confrontational but compassionate; they are filled not with expectations and demands but with abiding faith in the reality of the inner teacher and each person’s capacity to learn from it.  The poet Rumi captures the essence of this way of being together: “A circle of lovely, quiet people becomes a ring on my finger.”  What do we trust in a circle of trust?  We trust the soul, its reality and power, its self-sufficiency, its capacity to speak truth, its ability to help us listen and respond to what we hear.  We trust each other to have the intention, discipline, and goodwill to create a space that is safe enough to welcome the soul.  We trust the principles and practice that create such a space and safeguard the relationships within it, aware that the pull of conventional culture is persistent and can easily tug us toward behaviors that will scare the shy soul away. We trust that welcoming the soul with “no change agenda” in mind can have transforming outcomes for individuals and institutions.

“Being still does not mean don't move. It means move in peace.” ― E'yen A. Gardner

This coming Saturday morning, I am look forward to continuing the teachings of the Four Kingdoms of Consciousness which is the conscious and soulful journey from Victim Consciousness to Unity Consciousness – which hopefully every human being will eventually make for themselves.  Not only does it ensure a more authentic personal life, it also is a requirement for a much healthier and happier planet for all people, animals and the earth herself.  We will do a brief refresher of the session on April 30th, and this week begin to explore forgiveness of yourself and others from the perspective of the Conditioned Self -- and releasing the effects of the past and the story that we tell about it.  This is transformative work and hope you are able to join me.

Love, Denise

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"Civilized people have lost the aptitude of stillness, and must take lessons in silence from the wild before they are accepted by it.” ― Isak Dinesen, quote from Out of Africa

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