We have found a booklet that can support finding pause and stillness in your day. From the introduction by the author, Ajahn Sucitto: “This booklet offers some means to find clarity and calm within a few minutes. They can be put into practice in a range of non-specialized situations – in the time it would take you to drink a cup of tea. If you live a busy life, this guide may help you come out of the momentum of the day and give you more time. These suggestions may also offer you a way to meditate – but that’s up to you and another guide.”
You can download the booklet in full online; here we have picked the first activity and commentary for you to try out today. The author warns the reader that the text is condensed from years of practice as a buddhist monk; his intent is to offer tiny steps into stillness and as such much explanation has been left out: the text, he warns, is ” like a bag of dehydrated peas or mountain food. Add your own water and wait!”
Today, just ‘pause and ask’. The recommended time is 10 seconds to 1 minute. Can you spare that time? Here is the exercise:
“This is a very portable exercise; it’s brief and you can do it just about anywhere, standing up or sitting down. […] Stop doing and talking – and as that shift happens, relax. […] As you relax, pay attention to the feeling of your body. Widen the ‘lens’ of your attention over this sense of being embodied, here. Focus as if you’re listening. […] The next step is to ask the question: ‘What‘s happening for me now?’ You’ll probably find a that a train of thoughts arises in your mind, if so, sum up that train in one word – like ‘busy’ or ‘eager’ or ‘irritable’. If, instead of a thought, you experience an emotion or mood, then give it a word that fits. […] The point right now is that the inquiry shifts attention into conscious space or ‘awareness’. “
The booklet is short, precise, with simple illustrations such as the one above and has a wealth of simple portable exercises to access the still point. We hope you will download it and experiment with it over a number of days, not just today.