Categories : Poetry

 

BLESSED STILLNESS

We dash about, go near and far,
In train and plane and in our car.
The world goes by in miles per hour.
No time to stop and smell a flower.
But wait a moment and take this test
And have a day of peace and rest.
So take a day, or maybe two,
With no place to go and nothing to do.
Explore for treasure, a newfound wealth,
Of peace and ease and better health.
For this notion’s good for any illness.
Its Peace and Ease and Blessed Stillness.

Taken from the article
THE HEALING WAY
UNDERSTANDING PERSONAL EVOLUTION AND THE HEALING PROCESS

By Allan Saltzman

LEARNING STILLNESS AND REST

 

Perhaps the most insidious and potentially dangerous aspect of the stress response for modern people is the condition of physiological arousal it creates. Because powerful adrenal hormones increase their presence in the blood, the individual becomes charged with energy. This may be the energy that can build a civilization and sustain economic progress and technical achievement, but it can also be the energy that drives us into perpetual restlessness, arousal, and then exhaustion.

Recognizing our excessive level of arousal may be the most difficult step to take on the healing way. The tumult, noise and restless activity that characterizes so much of our lives is usually taken for granted. Lives filled with compulsive running, doing, and going turn out to be empty lives. In a constant state of being ‘out after’ something, we lose the capacity for inner peace and stillness that is food for the soul and balm for the body. Right alongside the functioning of the sympathetic nervous system (the part of our autonomic nervous system that creates the stress response in all of us) exists another rather distinct structure of nervous tissue that is also considered part of our autonomic nervous system.

This structure is called the parasympathetic or the system that opposes the action of the sympathetic nerves. Here is the gift of peace and rest at the nerve endings of the parasympathetic. The parasympathetic is as ancient in its action and intent as the sympathetic, and yet we do not seem to hear from it often and many of us are strangers to its ways. It is as natural to rest and relax as it is to become stressed. To know both in our lives is to know about a balanced way of life, but because the sympathetic nervous system usually takes command at the level of our autonomic (and usually quite subconscious) functioning, rest, relaxation and a capacity for peace and ease are all but lost. It may take a strong conscious decision to begin to limit arousal. The currents that drive us into perpetual activity and desire are very strong indeed and are reinforced by the culture. These are the currents that often keep us working hard and make us all producers and consumers.

To find oneself drained of the desire to move, to accomplish, to go out and buy something is usually considered being in a state of depression, but there is a kind of stillness and rest that is filled with a peace, ease, and pleasure. It is this stillness in the rest and relaxation response, as it ripens and overtakes us, that is fundamental to any healing process.

Muscles can relax and soften when we enjoy stillness and rest. A sense of heaviness comes over us and we feel most comfortable being still. All our desires and our emotional storms seem to move far away and assume much less importance for a while. With the heaviness of limb and stillness of body, a warmth or sense of release may be felt radiating from the inner centers of the body. As relaxation progresses and deepens, the nerve centers (plexus) inside the pelvis, abdomen, and heart relax and a sense of warmth or energy release becomes apparent.

With this sense of opening, release, and warmth permeating through internal centers of the body, a spiritual crossroads is reached. As the qualities of stillness and rest permeate into the very substance of our internal organs, our consciousness begins to find itself afloat on an ocean of peace and beauty. We are filled with warmth and a sense of peace and light. We are free, whole, and touched by God.