Ways into stilness

Stilling down

Mentally – If thoughts crowd your mind, notice them but do not engage with them.

Physically – Relax your shoulders, tighten and then relax the muscles in your face, around your eyes, in your body, your arms and legs. Take some slow deep breaths inhaling and then slowly exhaling, aware of the breath as it passes through you. If you are out walking attempt to walk slowly.

Using your five senses

Observation – By using our senses with awareness, we slow ourselves down and appreciate more what is around us.

Use all your five senses as you sit or walk – sight, touch, hear, smell, even taste if possible. Be aware of the light, the warmth of the sun, the touch of the air, the colours, clouds, light and shade.

Begin to notice patterns and shapes in nature.
You might like to choose one thing upon which to focus. Be with a sense of thankfulness.

Seeing – Focus on an object, perhaps a leaf or flower – observe the minute detail. Notice shades of colour. Observe the different textures of bark on trees, leaves, plants, stones, walls.

Touch and feel – Pick up stones and weigh them in the palm of your hand, touch the earth and see how it feels to you.

Listen – to the sound of water, birds, insects, far-off sounds, nearer sounds, your own breathing. Close your eyes and focus on the sounds closest to you. Notice any absence of sound!

Smelling – Notice the different scents around you, the fragrance of flowers, herbs, earth and water – are they fragrant or pungent?