Concentrated Stillness — A Path to Healing

"Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness." Meister Eckhart

I woke up a few mornings ago with the whirlies.  Technically, it’s called, Meniere’s disease, which is an inner ear disorder that affects balance and/or hearing.  Here’s how this dis-ease manifests itself in me; I feel as I’ve been living on a small boat adrift at sea for months on end. Even though I’ve been given permission to come ashore, my sea legs carry me like a drunken sailor and the horizon becomes one big teeter totter, moving up and down, to and fro.  My stomach goes on the fritz, the wiring in my brain gets tangled, and I become terribly, terribly tired.  My ‘To Do’ list is replaced with a ‘Can’t  Do’ List.   I can’t: read, write, cook, practice my healing arts, do yoga, ride my horse, drive, care for my family or friends, tend to my animals, take a walk in nature — can’t really participate much in the doingness of my life.  With no fuel in the tank, no wind in the sails, unmoored, and shipwrecked on an isolated island called, the Duxiana, I sip peppermint tea and water, peck at Basmati rice, and rest.

Concentrated stillness. I read those words in a book by Sue Monk Kidd.  She writes that stillness can be the prayer that transforms us. Maybe the whirlies show up to get me to stop spinning like a top, and become motionless; to stop doing and start being.  With nowhere to go, with no place to be – where can I go but within? Inside myself I come face to face with my anxiety, I greet my restlessness and I give sadness a hug.  I reacquaint myself with judgment whose vitriolic voice chides me for taking time ‘off.’  I let these feelings flow through me, and work diligently on NOT beating myself up; I see that medieval club I’ve used for most of my life, sitting there, calling me, but I ignore it’s song.  Okay, maybe I do pick it up, but thank God for the whirlies, (did I just say that?)  I don’t have the strength it takes to lift that weighty stick and start pummeling myself. I resolve to remain in concentrated stillness; to just wait in the moment and do nothing.  Zilch, zip, nada, this is my morning mantra.

Three days later, I awake with great care and open my eyes.  My dog Eli, lifts his head and stares at me.  The room is still, I smile at him, he wags his smile back with his tail.  I get up and I walk a straight path to the bathroom.  I Am back on terra firma and it feels wonderful!

Mid day I meditate on my beloved porch and ponder the teachings bestowed upon me as I navigated the turbulent sea of the whirlies.  This is what has been brought to my awareness:  Perhaps our greatest healing manifests itself in stillness.  Perhaps in stillness we can truly touch our heart and spirit with a hushed reverence.  Perhaps there we can hear the voice of intuition whispering to us that which is true, necessary and healing.  Perhaps in stillness we reawaken to our Divine strength and wisdom.  Perhaps.

So, it is back to life I go.  Back to the doing of life, but even in this world where achievement rules supreme, where drive thru experiences take too long and instant manifestation is a spiritual practice, I will rest.  And do you know why?   Because “In six days God made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day rested and was refreshed.”  And if it’s good enough for God, it’s good enough for me.

14 thoughts on “Concentrated Stillness — A Path to Healing

  1. An excellent post about the necessity of rest. Most people seem to feel it’s optional – it isn’t. Either we choose to do the right thing, or we get depleted and sick, sooner or later. I for one sometimes have to be hit over the head with a mallet before I will stop to rest, but am learning as you are, that if something was good enough for God, then it’s good enough and even more necessary for me.

    • Dear Elizabeth,
      I hereby invite you to place your mallet next to my medieval club. We don’t need them anymore! When you find yourself about to pick up the mallet, stop and smell the roses, and if you’re lucky, she might even let you pluck one! Glad you liked the post, it’s great to hear from you. Love, Brauna

  2. I slowed down to read this piece. It’s funny= I love “To Do” being replaced by “Can’t Do” list and Thank G-d for the whirlies – did I just say that? It’s reflective and honest. I related to the not beating myself up & loved your visual of a medieval club. I think you are correct that our greatest healing manifests in stillness. Absolutely love your ending. Brilliant. Thank you for this slice of life.

  3. Magnificent! I’ve posted on MJ-Upbeat news. You’re very talented and I enjoy everything you write. Keep up the awesome work! Love, Bonnie

  4. Hannah shared this with me, I think because she has some insight to my soul’s need. Wow, I so relate to you! I have had repeated bouts of illness for the past few months, and I know it completely relates to my state of overwhelm. I think Spirit is communicating through my body also. There has to be rest, stillness, concentrated stillness. As I sit here, contemplating this, the thought comes to my mind to take a walking meditation in this beautiful weather, unplugged from all the demands of work and home. I can do this.

  5. Isn’t it curious how late we come to realize how futile and hurting it is to beat oneself up and how, in illness, we can go within and find peace and resolution. “Il faut d’abord durer.”

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