Stillness by Deepa Awal

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As I look at the galaxy, the stars are still, sitting in the void in distinct relationship to one another. And Science tells us, they are constantly in movement: in relational movement to their counterparts, the galaxy as a whole and inner movement of chemicals and gases that are always morphing and changing without volition.

And so it is with us.

The body is constantly changing, transforming. There is movement within and without, with volition and without volition. There is movement of growth and change in the body, emotions, and mind.

And yet, ‘I’ (as awareness) can feel a quality of stillness when I pause, pay attention to my body, emotions and mind and allow myself to ‘feel’ the stillness. When my body is still, I can be ‘still’ in the constant movement that surrounds me. 

And I can feel a resonating stillness in the environment around me—a stillness that echoes the stillness of my body.

If I extend my sensing without judgment or thought, I sense the potentiality of infinite possibilities in this stillness. In this moment of stillness, we allow the manifestation of infinite possibilities arising from our soul’s yearnings. What will arise is not known to us. So giving ourselves permission to pause and listen without interference is a powerful act of creation: it is giving form to our deepest longings.

Practice: This practice can be done standing or sitting, with your eyes closed or open. It is a practice that can be helpful even when in action and if diligently practiced every day, will bring presence and creativity to your thoughts and actions.

  • Take a moment to take a breath or two or three. Notice if the breath is shallow or deep—without judgment or intervention. The practice here is just noticing.
  • Bring awareness to the body especially the sensations in the body. Thinking about the body is different from bringing awareness to the body. The latter brings the mind to the body and the mind and body become one—all your attention is gathered in the sensations in the body. Notice the tension in any part, the structure of your body, the temperature – areas that are heat or cold, and the heart beat. Again, the practice here is just noticing—no judgment or evaluation of good or bad is necessary.
  • Bring your awareness to the stillness you are generating when you sincerely observe your body. The body is still within all the movement that is happening involuntary—your digestive functions, heartbeat, breath and so on.
  • ‘Be’ with this stillness for a few moments—as long as you are able or willing.
  • Practice the above for a few days and when you are ready, extend your attention to the stillness within you and around you. There is stillness in the environment that surrounds you—a stillness that resonates with the stillness of your body.
  • Notice what qualities arise in this awareness—qualities of peace, stability, feeling grounded—whatever arises, notice without judgment or evaluation.

We hope you will enjoy this practice and it will bring joy and fulfillment to your lives!

Articles by: Deepa Awal

Dr. Deepa Awal is an educator and coach with her own practice specializing in discerning the fundamental ways in which our ‘way of being’ supports or hinders our dreams and goals. What began as an interest in Vedanta and personal growth has grown into what is now her contribution in the world - transformational work with individuals and groups. Starting her career in the corporate world with developing executives, Deepa now has her own practice specializing in coaching women and leaders with cross cultural backgrounds. Her personal experience as an immigrant from India informs her coaching with
cross-cultural coaching clients. She speaks fluent English and Hindi, lives in Philadelphia and has two adult daughters. She teaches meditation practices, yoga, centering skills and coaches graduate students at Universities to develop leadership skills and build self-confidence. As an educator, she instructs and mentors professionals who desire to develop coaching skills both at Fielding University (Faculty) and Newfield Network (Program Coach).
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