Spend a moment being still /
“Study the patterns of transient existence.
The outcome of a game of chess isn't fixed.
A monk in the mountains needs to be free.
People in the dust grow old unaware.
Wind blows tea smoke over my bed.
The stream drops petals into a pond.
With thirty-six thousand days.
Why not spend a few being still?”
Stonehouse (1272–1352) was a Chinese Ch'an poet and hermit. He took his name from the Stonehouse cave which became his hermitage. He spent more than a few days being still.
We can learn so much from Stonehouse.
To sit still.
To be still, wherever we find ourselves.
We don’t have to be in a cave in the mountains, appealing as that may be.
It could simply be to be still for a few minutes each day, or each hour. Or to sit in silence for 30 minutes each morning. Or to Spend a whole day in stillness, stepping out of our usual routine. Just one hour can be a retreat. Retreats don’t have to be for a week, or even a day, nor with a group, or a teacher. A retreat can be a few moments, spent well. The act of being still can be enough.
To let go of routine.
To drop every thought arising.
To find that deep peace that lies within us.
All of this can be found in the act of stillness.
Sometimes, it takes illness to drive us to lie down, or sit, and take rest, and in that rest, we can begin to enjoy this peace. But why should we wait to be driven into stillness, when it lies within, simply waiting for our discovery?
Why should we always be rushing around, chasing from one thing to the next, our mind filled with thoughts of steps even further ahead of us. It is only in becoming still, that we will see what is right here, right now, under our noses.
In living from this stillness, we can live a life truly lived.
Retreat in your self, be still.
Does a mountain need to become still? Be a mountain of stillness.
Be still, and listen.
Originally published at: kashyapi.life
#zen #chan #silence #stillness
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