The Art of cultivating stillness

The Art of cultivating stillness

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In Asian and movement practices, stillness is not just the absence of movement, it is seen as a powerful presence that infuses movement with depth and significance.

An integral part of the movement

It is truly captivating when , Noh actor, bugaku dancers or Balinese dancers pause in their performances because the stillness they exhibit is an integral part of the movement itself.

This can be observed in Japanese Noh actors and Sufi dervishes who embody stillness as a source of power and grace.

Just like a lake that appears motionless on the surface but teems with life beneath, dancers in stillness possess an inner intensity and potential that is ready to be expressed.

This stillness is not stagnant but rather dynamic, on the verge of transformation.

Dancers strive to find stillness in their bodies, eliminating unnecessary movements and tuning into the subtle rhythms of breath and energy.

In the case of a dervish dancer, this point of stillness is crucial for the physics of their movement.

For a masked Noh dancer, this internal stillness serves as a foundation, allowing their movements to become clear and precise.

The transcendent experience of stillness

Despite not physically moving, the inner drama, meditation, and visualization continue uninterrupted.

In Noh, for example, when a character becomes overwhelmed by their spiritual burden, the dance comes to a halt, allowing the audience to immerse themselves in the character’s pulsating spiritual reality creating a profound impact on the surrounding .

In where and space are stretched and manipulated, the shared moments of silence and stillness transcend the individual art forms, a transcendent experience.

In film making, the transcendent experience of stillness is a powerful wielded by directors to evoke profound emotional and spiritual .

Cinematic moments of quietude, whether through deliberate pauses, lingering shots, or minimal movement, serve as portals into the inner worlds of characters, creating an immersive connection with the audience.

Stillness in Buddhist meditation

In , we learn to focus our on the constantly shifting and emotions, finding amidst inner chaos.

By paying deliberate attention to our thoughts, , and bodily sensations without judgment, non-judgmental awareness allows us to observe the of our experiences and fosters a sense of detachment from the incessant fluctuations of the mind.

Acknowledging and accepting these fleeting thoughts and emotions allows to develop a more profound understanding of our inner landscape and learn to respond to life’s challenges with .

Furthermore, meditation emphasizes the interconnectedness of all beings and the impermanence of the self.

The practice encourages a compassionate and empathetic attitude toward others, fostering a sense of universal and understanding.

Through meditation, practitioners cultivate a deep sense of empathy and for themselves and others, breaking down the barriers that separate individuals.

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