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  • Writer's pictureHannah Marsh

Steadiness and Ease

I invite you to take a moment to pause. Setting aside what you’re doing, or planning to do. Trusting, for this one moment, there's nothing that needs to be done. There’s nowhere to go, and nothing to become.


As you release what isn’t needed, what was in the background of awareness may come forward. You might notice what’s around you: the quality of light, or subtle sounds, or silence. You might sense the body: its position in space, areas of lightness or heaviness, tension or ease, stillness or movement. You might notice sensations of the breath, the inhale and exhale, ever-rising and falling like the tides.


Often, in our mindfulness practice, we're curious about the newness of this moment - with a beginner's mind, we see how everything changes, moment to moment. Yet, amidst the change, we might also sense a steadiness and familiarity.


In the silent retreat I recently attended,* the focus was lightly placed on this steadiness: the rhythm of the breath, the familiarity of each footstep, the space of silence around the sounds. When we connect to this steadiness there may be a sense of comfort, an easing of the (often, highly strung) nervous system. From this place of ease, I've found there's more space for clearer seeing. The mind's busy stories quiet down, and I can open more fully to this moment. From this openness, insight and creativity may naturally emerge.


In our next Mindfulness & Creativity session, I'd love to explore this together, encouraging steadiness and ease in our mindfulness practices. We'll connect not only to the newness, but also the familiarity of this moment. We'll invite states of mind to support ease, such as friendliness and loving-kindness. We'll get curious about how we can intentionally cultivate ease and equanimity amidst all the stresses of daily life - and how this might change how we approach creativity.


I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Hannah


* The 5-day samatha retreat was beautifully led by Kristina Baré and Tempel Smith, and seamlessly organized by the Calgary Insight Meditation Society.

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