Thursday, February 26, 2015

Stillness practice in InterPlay and Life

Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose.

Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there
patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped
hands and you recognize and greet it.

Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of
-------Martha Postelwaite

 Soulprint Players rest after playing together

The four components of InterPlay are often described as “movement, story, song and stillness.” During a typical InterPlay class we move our bodies, share information about our lives, and play with our voices with simple songs or tones. But what about stillness?

This winter InterPlay Leader-in-Training and Buddhist nun, Sr. Jewel and I led an InterPlay session incorporating InterPlay and mindfulness. The invitation to be still was present throughout. We began and ended in stillness; we encouraged space between our words; we took lots of deep breaths. Participants noticed an increased depth in the information that they shared with each other.
Stillness is always an option in an InterPlay class, but we don’t always choose it. In walk, stop, and run, we can stop. In sharing our noticings we can honor the times when a few words suffice or times when we don’t need to speak at all. There are times when we need to talk, express, leap and make ourselves known! That is healthy and good!, but the counterpart to that is the silence. That is good too!

Sr. Jewel and I at the Atlanta Shambhala Center

I notice the depth stillness brings forth in my daily life. When I want to discern what next steps to take in my life or where simply to put my energy each day the practice of moving my body and then being still usually evokes the truer thing. My mind might spin around in “to-do’s” and “shoulds,” but when I can move my body and then rest a deeper truth appears. I move about my day with more grace.

I trust the stillness. Sometimes that’s found in taking a few deep breaths. Sometimes that means my body is dancing but my mind is still. Sometimes it’s silently sitting. On Friday, February 27th, Debra Hiers, and I will begin a regular "Fourth Friday" InterPlay session at the Atlanta Shambhala Center. Debra will lead a short sitting meditation and then we will play. Let's explore what emerges from the stillness together!