Stillness – Douglas Harding

In appearance I’m moving about in Space Itself. In reality I’m that unmoving Space Itself. Walking across the room, I look down, and my head (no-head) is the infinite and empty Stillness in which those arms and legs are flailing. Driving my car, I look out, and my human body (no-body) is this same Stillness, in which the whole countryside is being shuffled like a giant’s pack of cards. Going out at night, I look up, and my Earth body (no-Earth-body) is the same Stillness in which those heavenly bodies are swinging and dancing. (No: I can find no head here to turn to and fro, to bob up and down!) Finally and most importantly, I “go blind” (shut my eyes, they say) and my Universe body (no-Universe-body) is the same infinite and empty Stillness, now revealing itself as the unmoving No-mind whose mental contents refuse to stay still for a moment. Besides confirming yet again one’s true Identity, this aspect of our submission to the Obvious—of our two-way looking, our meditation for all seasons—happens to take the rush out of “the rush of modern life”: or rather, out of the one who thinks he rushes. He never moved an inch. All his agitation is illusory. He neither needs nor can do anything to calm down—except stop overlooking the place where he is forever at rest, where the Peace that passes all understanding is so brilliantly self-evident. This yearned-for tranquility, which he imagined was always evading him, is discovered at this very centre, begging to be noticed!

-Douglas Harding

From On Having No Head, Inner Directions Publishing

We are left in Wonder – Jean Klein

Stillness does not mean a peaceful mind, for a peaceful mind is something and stillness in no-thing. The mind can be temporarily calm but this is not stillness. Once we have awakened to the stillness beyond the mind, the latter will cease to be agitated, it will be reduced to its function, that is to movement. Stillness is not in the slightest way affected by this movement. It is inaccurate to say that in stillness there is no longer mind-function. It is the nature of the mind to move although there may be spontaneous moments of non-movement when the mind is suspended in wonder, astonishment or admiration or any unexpected appearance that finds no reference to previous experience, or the moment after a desired object is obtained. Function and non-function belong to the mind but they appear and disappear in stillness which not a function.

Agitation is produced by desire, the desire of the individual me to bring an end to its isolation, its separation from its origin. In its distress it tries every imaginable means to create pleasure and security. It ultimately longs for joy. Though moments of pleasure and satisfaction are reflections of ultimate fulfillment they remain conditioned by time and space. They are temporary and there is always the fear that loneliness and emptiness will return.

Once the ego sees that it only seeks what it already knows, that its desires are conditioned and that its true desire is for permanent security and tranquility, it loses its dynamism to find itself in phenomenal things. Then what is behind the desire, the ego, the mind, is revealed. We are left in wonder and all dispersed activity dissolves in this wonderment.

– Jean Klein

From I Am, page 117

You can read more from Jean Klein here.

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