Union of movement and stillness

Union of movement and stillness

Stillness and movement are part of a singular continuum. They are a dyad; like teacher and student, dancer and audience. Each half of the duet finds meaning only in relationship with the other.

For example, in the practice of seated meditation, we keep the body relatively still. This means we don’t intentionally move the limbs, adjust our posture, or control our breathing once we’re settled. However, inside of this relative stillness, there are many layers of movement.

The diaphragm lifts up and presses down. Breath moves in and out. The heart goes on beating its rhythm. Blood moves through veins and capillaries.

In seated meditation the ideais to allow the inborn rhythms of movement to happen naturally by releasing tension and softening into a dynamic sense of stillness. We might say that it is the practice of entering stillness that allows us to begin to notice -- and more deeply experience -- the subtle expressions of movement.

On the other hand, through the practice of mindful movement (yoga, qigong, dance, etc.), we come to discover a sense of stillness within motion. It is through the open quality of awareness that we are able to have this recognition. When body, breath, and mind are coordinated in a moment of mindful movement, there is a feeling of no-time. It seems that the world stops, and in that pause, everything comes into high definition focus. The body moves while something else remains totally motion-less.


There is something almost eternal about moments like this.

Movement and stillness are always in union, like silence and sound, sky and clouds.

Everything we do in our practice is to re-discover this innate union, to become familiar with the feeling of abiding in the natural state of non-separation.