Dynamic Stillness

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The Breath of Life arises from profound Stillness. As practitioners deepen their relationship to client’s systems, over time, Stillness becomes a direct clinical perception and is found to lie at the heart of all clinical process. Because of the direct perception of Stillness in clinical work, there is a clear tradition of its appreciation in the cranial field.

Sutherland encouraged practitioners to sense the stillness at the heart of the Tide. Here he was not talking about a simple ceasing of tidal motion, but was pointing to a much deeper truth. Becker talked about the dynamic and alive stillness at the heart of all life. Following on from Becker’s insight, this implicate ground of emergence is commonly called the Dynamic Stillness in the cranial field.

This appreciation of stillness is seen in all of the great spiritual traditions. Commonly, the first stage of contemplative practice is to drop under the conditioned movement of the mind and to enter stillness. As this process deepens, the meditator or contemplative discovers that stillness is a ubiquitous ground of emergence for all of life and is a gateway to its deepest mysteries. Stillness deepens beyond the conceptual mind and its conditioned state to the roots of our human condition. In the Christian monasteries of the middle ages, inner stillness, a darkness of knowing, was an essential step towards unity with God. This understanding is also a keystone of the Buddhist tradition. In the Zen text, Chinul’s “Straightforward Explanation of the True Mind”, Chinul (1158-1210) states,

…the basic substance (essence) of the true mind transcends causality and pervades time. It is neither profane nor sacred; it has no oppositions. Like space itself, it is omnipresent; its subtle substance is stable and utterly peaceful; beyond all conceptual elaboration. It is unoriginated, imperishable, neither existent nor non-existent. It is unmoving, unstirring profoundly still and eternal. . . . Neither coming nor going, it pervades all time, neither inside nor outside, it permeates all space . . . all activities at all times are manifestations of the subtle function of true mind.
(Cleary, T, 1997 p. 8, Kensho, The Heart of Zen, Shambala Press)

This is perhaps the best description of Dynamic Stillness that I have ever encountered. In Zen teaching true mind is the heart of awareness itself. It is an omnipresent and vibrantly still ground from which our very being arises. It is profoundly still, yet dynamically present and all function arises from it. It permeates all space, and all activities and forms are manifestations of its subtle function and action. The Dynamic Stillness is an implicate realm of potential from which the Breath of Life arises. The power of the Breath of Life is rooted in this Stillness as it manifests Creative Intelligence throughout space and time. An awareness of Dynamic Stillness thus brings the practitioner to the center of things, the basic essence of life itself.