Stability in flux

Unlike the fleeting equinox, where light and darkness harmonize only twice a year, senior mindfulness instructor offers a brief practice to help intentionally nurture qualities of balance and stability in our everyday lives.

image of tree at the center of a field with sunset and stars out


Night and day. Summer and winter. Awake and asleep. The inbreath and the outbreath.

Nature’s symphony

The whole universe pulsates. Every biological creature is impacted by the gravitational pull of the earth, the sun and the moon. This flux of time and seasons is one of the boundless mysteries we live with, daily. Right now in the northeast, the earliest flowers have pushed up through the hard ground, regal in their dancing purple and white blooms, and the strong winds of March are a climactic version of spring cleaning: freshening the very air we breathe, scented with the heavy wetness of mud. The vernal pools are just starting in with the sound of peepers and tree frogs.

On top of this flux are the demands of work and home: meetings, deadlines, dentist appointments. And then there is the larger world with the news, politics, despair, and tragedy. In the midst of the incessant and unrelenting, we long for a deep drink of quietude and rest. So we plan vacations and time off to unruffle our nervous systems and remember a sense of space and play.

And these planned extended times of downtime are critical.

But there are also opportunities: daily, hourly, in this very moment, when balance, equanimity, a long drink at the well are right here, accessible and close.

A brief practice

Try it right now: Even if there is a to-do list that’s an arm long or a deadline you’re up against. Maybe especially if you’re facing time pressure or mental anxiety. It’s just for a brief moment.

Without changing your position, and continuing to read: Just stop. 

No really; I mean it: Stop. Stop moving.

Bring awareness to your body. Do you feel stable? If not, move slowly enough to do whatever you need to bring balance to your body. 

Feel your feet on the floor, your seat in the chair. Dare to sit back. To close your eyes, or rest them on the horizon – out there where things appear to be still. Let your shoulders rest, and your arms, your face. Feel the weight of your body as ballast, the steadying force for all that’s moving and changing… 

What sounds are here – coming and going? And the silence underneath them – can you hear that?

What other sensory experiences are here, in your world, at this moment?

Feel the pause that’s right here, as close as your breath – this one that’s coming or going.

You might consider silently repeating one or more of these phrases:

May I be balanced and peaceful

May I embrace change with stillness and calmness

May I deeply accept this moment as it is

As we rest in this space, we begin to catch glimpses of this stability amidst change. 

Awareness is capable of holding it all: What’s moving, all that’s pushing and pulling, even the mind in all its activity (it might still be quite active and that’s ok). With this practice, you’ve taken the reins back, even briefly. Each time we pause and reconnect, we strengthen our ability to be with change. 

Reconnecting opens us to the flux and the pause: the stillness in movement, the fleetingness of balance – as close as your breath or the sound of the wind, or the light that’s filtering in from the window. 

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