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Finding solace in stillness...

Jennifer Oechsner

I spent part of my weekend at a meditation training at the Shambhala Center, it was wonderful. It was eye opening, challenging, emotional and at times tough to get through. I was forced to face some demons I didn't want to face. I looked my self judgement in the face and wanted to turn away, but I sat and I breathed. I felt my fears bubble to the surface and wanted to push them down and run, but I sat and I breathed. I told myself I was doing it all wrong, then I sat and I breathed. I'm not saying I found all the answers on how to stop the wandering mind and the patterns of self judgement that arise, but I found glimmers of peace and self compassion. As I sat and breathed and we shared our experiences as a group, the window to another way of living opened a crack. In stillness I was able to catch glimpses of how I can follow a new path; one that casts aside self judgement. I know how important it is to practice self compassion yet no matter how many times I tell this to friends and students, in truth, I have a hard time living this. I am ready to let the light in. I am ready to live this truth. I know I will falter. And I know that is ok. The monkey mind will keep swinging with fervor if I do not learn to train it. What is most important is that I keep trying, keep breathing, keep coming back to the practice. Can you strive to find solace in stillness?

If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

-Rainer Maria Rilke