I have just read the most gorgeous little book called "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere" by a man called Pico Iyer. He's a travel writer who has been travelling for 40 years (started at 9 when he flew miles away to boarding school).
Just a lovely lovely book about stillness and how the destination of 'nowhere' is the most restorative place to visit. Not travelling. Just sitting still.
This; "You can go on vacation to Paris or Hawaii or New Orleans three months from now, and you'll have a tremendous time, I'm sure. but if you want to come back feeling new - alive and full of fresh hope and in love with the world - I think the place to visit may be nowhere."
He says wise beings through all the centuries know that this is a good idea. Sitting still and not doing anything. Going inwards. Resting your mind & thoughts. Stopping.
He's got a lot to say about technology and our busy busy lives...points out that while we've got more and more time saving devices we seem to never have enough time. That through the internet we can spend time with people all over the world but yet we seem to lose contact with ourselves.
"It's easy to feel as if we're standing two inches away from a huge canvas that's noisy and crowded and changing with every microsecond. It's only by stepping farther back and standing still that we can begin to see what that canvas (which is our life) really means, and to take in the larger picture."
He's got a Ted talk here but I really do recommend the book - it's gorgeous. He writes of monks and musicians and tech experts and poets - all who know about and practice the art of stillness.
Is stillness meditation? Yes it is. But the main thing I have gotten from this book - aside from a desire to read Emily Dickinson's poetry - is the feeling that meditation can simply be stillness.
Instead of me trying to concentrate on my breath or listening to a guided meditation.. just pausing and closing my eyes is enough. Making space inside my life. Taking a journey to nowhere.
"In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow."
"In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention."
"And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still."
Love, Mrs D xxx