Monday, January 16, 2012


+ updated on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 4:19pm EST.

+ As promised, more blogging!

+ In late February and early March, Mary and I will be visiting Rome and Assissi for a week after a conference in Paris.  Comments on Rome, Assissi and Paris are welcome.

+ I am working on a chapter on STILLNESS which will soon find its way to my STILLNESS web page.  Here is what I have so far (as of January 21, 2012 ... so look for updates to this post):

"Be still and know that I am God.”

"You do not need to do anything; you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even need to listen; just wait. You do not even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet." -- Franz Kafka

"Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself." -- Herman Hesse

“Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are.” ~ Erich Schiffmann.

When we learn how to be still, really still, then we can truly know and experience the pervasive Love which is everywhere at all times. It’s here right now, at this time. Let this amazing Love be unmasked. Let ecstasy reign.

Stillness is the path which leads to awakening and awareness. While it is OK to sleep on the journey, you do miss a lot. So let’s wake up and become aware through the magical practice of simply being still.

Being still simply gives us a point to become aware of the movement, the flow, the dance. We become still and appreciate movement. Life is impossible without movement. But in stillness we learn how to move better, how to respect the whole creation more fully, even how to control movement for useful purposes. Of course our control is always quite limited and elusive. We think we have things under control only to find out that nothing is going as planned. That's OK! God has everything under control and that's all that matters. God is mysterious, elusive and holy. We are intimately, intricately and infinitely connected to God and everything God has created and is creating. It's wonderful. It's real.

The importance of this practice cannot be over-emphasized. It is the foundation upon which all of the essential spiritual practices are built. It is both extremely easy and extremely difficult.

Since this practice is so important we will be staying here for a while and cover a lot of ground. It is life-giving ground. Let us thoroughly enjoy the ground here.


Breathe deeply.  Breathe fully
Be still. Be silent.
Be centered. Be grounded.
Lighten up. Loosen up.
Let go. Let God.
Celebrate. Enjoy.
Be glad all over!

Breathe! Breathe deeply! Breathe fully! We need to become completely aware of this life force within us. We need to be constantly grateful that we live, that we breathe, that we can enjoy the abundance of creation breath after breath after breath.


Yoga is a very powerful way to practice stillness. Doing Yoga, we learn to move our bodies in a rhythm connected to our breathing which promotes stillness. This is taught wisely and gently by the well known Yoga teacher, Erich Schiffman. In a great video -- Ali MacGraw - Yoga Mind & Body (2003) -- he guides us through the basic Yoga positions. In conjunction with this video, he wrote a book, Moving Into Stillness, which is illuminating, inspirational and comprehensive. You can find this book in print and it is free on the internet.

Yoga isn’t for everyone. There are other ways to enter the wonderful realm of stillness.


Meditation isn’t for everyone but most of us can benefit immensely if we find a way to establish some kind of mediation practice. If you want to begin this practice, I would suggest simply sitting in a relaxed and upright position, breathing deeply and fully, perhaps focusing on an object visually or listening to music or chants or your own sacred word or mantra.  There are many methods.  Explore on your own and see if one works for you.

Here are some of my favorite books for developing this practice:
HOW TO MEDITATE by Lawrence LeShan
THE SEEKER'S GUIDE by Elizabeth Lesser

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