My son moves at a pace faster than the speed of sound. That is the ONLY explanation for why he only hears me the third time I say something.
Oh, my darlin’.
It is hard to be angry with such an exuberant, gregarious, hilarious primate. Somehow we still manage it.
Stillness is not easy for the five year old.
Stillness is not easy for his mother, either. Neither in body nor in mind.
Last Lent, I wrote about my monkey mind…
It jumps from one idea to the next. Knocks things over. This is true if I’m reading. Writing. Teaching. Walking. Eating… You get the picture…the fragmented, sparkly, frenetic picture.
Yoga, I wrote, was one of the only things that could calm my rushing psyche. The faster the flow of my body, the slower my mind becomes. When I began my practice, I gravitated to the hardest teachers. Barely keeping pace with my breath, dripping in sweat, my feet squeaking and slipping, this was the soggy path to my Zen moments. I would catch glimpses of silence and stillness in my mind before they slipped away around a corner of my frontal cortex.
Lately, though, I find I don’t have to chase down stillness. It has begun to come to me.
This week my friend Libbie invited me down to Annapolis to meet and practice with her favorite Yoga instructor. Tina.
Her class was without heat. Without sweat. Without mirrors. Without haste.
We began with seated meditation. We ended with seated meditation.
There was movement between, but all I remember, all I craved was the stillness.
Afterwards, I sat with her for a moment and marveled aloud how much I had reveled in the methodic, meditative slowness of the class. How did this happen? When did I change? How did I slip into someone at ease with silence and stillness?
“You’ve trained your mind,” she said.
When did that happen?!
Be still my heart.
Be still and know.
Peace. Be still.
In stillness we hear.
In stillness we’re here.
Sleep tight, little monkey.