Introduction to the Blue State of Stillness

2. Pause movement, remain, still, and rest

Option 1: Shorter Silences

Option 2: Longer Silences

Welcome back.

In the previous practice you established the sense of safety necessary to practice stillness. In this practice you learn to initiate the practice of stillness. To do this, you settle into a comfortable posture, keep your body still, and, for a designated period, invite yourself to rest.

Pausing movement

Suspending movement is the first step in the practice of stillness. Initially, you’re guided to pause the movements of your arms, legs, and mouth— anchoring yourself by keeping your legs still, detaching from physical tasks by stilling your hands, and stopping verbal communication by keeping your mouth at rest. This requires making a conscious and patient effort to keep your body still for a dedicated period of time.

Posture

The practice of stillness can be explored in sitting, standing, or lying positions, but sitting is recommended. This posture emphasizes restful stillness as an attentive state between sleep and movement. While lying down naturally draws sleep and standing invites movement, sitting establishes a balanced and stable position that combines restful stillness with attentiveness and heightened awareness.

Stillness is based on maintaining a comfortable posture; it does not mean becoming frozen or stiff. During the practice, feel free to make subtle postural adjustments to alleviate discomfort or enhance comfort. If you need to gently scratch an itch, go ahead; it won’t disrupt your practice of stillness.

Restlessness

Suspending movement, remaining still, and patiently resisting the urge to move is the first step of your stillness practice. Becoming restful during the practice of stillness is the second step.

When you begin practicing stillness, it is common to experience stress, excitation, and restlessness, that make it harder to remain still. These unsettling experiences, which may intensify when you start practicing stillness, are signs of chronic protective Sympathetic Mobilization.

During initial attempts at practicing stillness, you might experience an inner resistance when you frequently encounter the discomforts of protective Sympathetic Mobilization. Even just remaining still for a few minutes per day can seem like an impossibility. However, gently resisting the urge to move, and remaining still, despite inner restlessness and unease, is an important first step in the practice of stillness. Consider the importance of stillness and wellbeing, commit to this practice, and encourage yourself to persevere.

PROGRESS CHECKLIST

  • Can I pause the movement of my legs, arms, and mouth to initiate the practice of stillness?
  • Can I remain still and resist the urge to move for the entire duration of this practice?
  • Can I patiently and persistently invite myself to rest, despite any equally persistent feelings of unsettledness and restlessness?
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