Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the Week of March 7, 2022

Into the Stillness 


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There is a place that we long for, a place where we can put down our burdens, all of them, where we are free, utterly at peace, and in the arms of compassion, even as we engage in our normal duties and activities. That place is within us, in the stillness behind and beneath all that we are and all that exists. This is the changeless, the deathless, the timeless. Remarkably, it is close by, right here in our very own core. Day and night, it is always with us, always has been and always will be, ever present and not in time. Our truth is here. Our reality is here: not on the surface, in the stillness.

In that place, we are our self, simply and directly, we are. The persona we present to the world and to ourselves is transparent here; it has no role and just drops away. What a relief to just be ourselves, to just be!

There are two types of measures of the inner stillness. One is quantitative: to what extent are we in contact with the stillness?

The other is qualitative: which kind and which level of stillness are we in touch with? There is the auditory silence behind and beneath sounds. There is the dark stillness of closed eyes. There is the mental silence behind and beneath thoughts. There is the emotional silence of calm beneath all other feelings. There is the physical stillness of the visceral reality of our body beneath all its sensations.

These kinds of stillness are each unique, yet they are all on the same level, that of the sensitive energy. Each one of them, however, can lead us into a deeper stillness. Every level of stillness can be characterized by its primary spiritual energy. Stillness is not merely an absence of movement or action; it is itself substantive with the fine materiality of its energy. We can abide in stillness and be supported by it.

Through the stillness of sensitivity, in any of its forms, we can open to the next level: the stillness of pure awareness, consciousness without content, the cognizant stillness. This too is substantive, with the substance of the conscious energy: the unbounded field of consciousness behind all inner and outer sensory impressions. And this cognizant stillness is itself a gateway to yet deeper levels of stillness, such as the formless behind all form.

Stillness has impacts beyond its particular energy: it allows higher will to come into us. In pure awareness, for example, there are no inner divisions: we are whole. And through that, our individuality, our real I, can enter, unifying all our many impulses and desires, our motives and agendas, under the one will that we are, the one will whose true roots are in the Sacred. This begins simply with bare attention and the will-to-be. In that stillness, we can just be, with no other agenda, nor any conflicting and competing impulses to hide our own reality from us. In the cognizant stillness we can say in truth "I am." In that stillness, we return to ourselves.

This inner work series, Into the Stillness, will explore the kinds and levels of stillness in a practical way. Knowing about stillness is good, but the set of practices that can enable us to open to stillness in our direct experience is what matters. That moves us toward our transformation. Descriptions of stillness may make it sound right and valuable but are useful only insofar as they help us find our way into the stillness ourselves. So this series will be aimed at the practice of stillness, at opening into the stillness.

    1. Behind Sensations
    2. Behind Emotions
    3. Behind Thoughts
    4. Behind Form

See Also: Stillness


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