December 2017 - Be still!

Be still!


Imagine two people.

The first has an agitation behind their eyes that you can see, even if they can't. They struggle to be still, and the tension in their shoulders, hunched and tight, is visible. When you hear them talk their thoughts are scattered and wandering, and their mind never rests on one thing. If you could hear their brain cells work, it would sound like static. And when they talk to you, one is never quite sure that they are in the room or whether the majority of their attention is distributed across a series of other thoughts, ideas, worries and people. Perhaps they are like this all the time – even happy in their own way – but never quite 'in the room'.

The second person is fully present. Calm and still, they inhabit their own bodies with a fullness and reality that makes them immediate. Quiet and attentive, they don't give off any great psychological noise, but rather they can take on and absorb the shaking of the world around them. You know when you are in their presence because they are completely with you, composed and at home.

We are bodily people, contained within our skin, but many people sit uncomfortably in them. Often our thoughts and emotions are some distance away from where we are physically – our heads 'are all over the place'. In short, we frequently live far from our home, but one can quickly recognise those who are at home in their bodies and comfortable with themselves, and those who are not.

The gospel stories are fascinating, and paint a picture of the man Jesus as someone who is always fully present in the moment. Whether in a boat, sleeping in a storm, or having his feet washed by the tears and dried with the hair of a young woman, his world is not rocked. We are consistently given the impression of a man who lives in his own centre and who is no stranger to his inner life.

For many, meditation is not some esoteric art form, but the simple practice of being at home in one's own body and mind, alive and alert to emotions and sensations. It is not an exercise in mindlessness or dissociation, but of being fully present and aware.

If we overstretch and lean too far out from our centre, we become unstable and liable to topple. If we practice trying to live close to the heart that is our home, then we become centred and balanced, and there is less that can disturb our equilibrium.

Don't be a stranger to yourself. Attend to your interior life, and the world around you will begin to take on a different, kinder sound. And then, when your own storms come, perhaps you too will be able roll over and fall back to sleep.

Nick Bird

your Rector

Letters from the Rev
Webpage icon April 2018 - Paradigm Shift
Webpage icon August 2017 - Carrying the hot rock of resentment
Webpage icon August 2018 - Finding the Gift
Webpage icon February 2018 - Who is welcome in church?
Webpage icon January 2018 - Starting Over
Webpage icon July 2018 - Who has the power?
Webpage icon June 2018 - The story of a peasant and a horse...
Webpage icon March 2018 - Things the Bible doesn't say (but you thought it did)
Webpage icon May 2018 - That Space
Webpage icon November 2017 - Seven Sacred Spaces
Webpage icon October 2017 - Free Together!
Webpage icon October 2018 - Gay is OK
Webpage icon September 2017 - Open your eyes and live!
Webpage icon September 2018 - Time