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This is a view I've seen 1795 times, give or take. The sun coming up over the reservoir, the water reflecting a brilliant glare.

 

The picture doesn't quite capture it, but most of the time it is a BLINDING sight, and I steal only a brief glance through squinted eyes, and then divert my gaze, continuing my hike, and my THOUGHTS.

 

 

 

 

But I've started a stillness practice.

 

Nearly every cell in my body, or really my mind, says no to stillness. After all, it's unproductive. And in this culture, productivity IS identity. Moreover, the research shows that inactivity kills us.

 

But there is a deep, deep part of me that CRAVES not only quiet, but stillness.

 

And so I'm trying out a practice of stillness, different from my thoroughly unambitious, yet utterly consistent, three-minute meditation practice.

 

For meditation my focus is quieting the mind. For stillness, the focus is relishing that mode of being and opening my perception. 

 

And this week, for the very first time in 12 years, I sat down before that very view of the sun rising over the reservoir to be still.

 

And for the first time IN MY LIFE, a life lived looking at water DAILY, I looked and actually SAW the light on the water.

 

 

 

 

And what I discovered was that it was no longer a mass of glaring light, but a billion, little luminescent sprites twinkling and dancing on the water.  

 

And I think my mouth dropped open at the surprise of the discovery.

 

I'm sure I smiled as wonder washed through me.

 

It was the thrill of discovery. And surprise. The effect of a beginner's mind. And the charge of twinkly lights.

 

And it all arose from stillness.

 


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