10-Week Pause: Session 7 – Stillness

Distress is a form of energy that is draining, leading you down the path of driven-doing, exhaustion, also possibly avoidance and suppression to keep it together, and disengaging from life. 

Stillness is a helpful practice of giving space between our being and that energy, not needing to expend more energy to counter it, thus reducing its grip over us.

Practicing Session 6 beforehand is a helpful foundation for this practice.


Session 7, Stillness is about cultivating steadiness instead of reacting to every distraction and distress. 

Finding a quiet and private place for this sitting practice.

Finding a position that feels comfortable for you.

Either sitting on a cushion, mat or on a chair.

Sitting with the back as upright as possible.

Hands resting on the knees or in your lap.


Letting the eyes to close.

Or softening the gaze to see a few feet in front of you.

Or keeping the eyes open, perhaps fixed on one spot that is pleasant. 


Taking a deep breath, inhaling through the nostrils, exhaling out through them.

One more time.

Taking a deep breath in, pausing, then exhaling.


Now breathing normally, breathing in, pausing, breathing out.


While keeping breathing in awareness, guiding the mind to acknowledging the body.

Bringing awareness to the sensations in the body.

The feeling in the chest area, around the heart and lungs.

The movements in the belly as you are breathing. 

Sensing the weight of the body, the pull of gravity.

The contact of the bum on the seat.

The sensations in the feet – tingling, warmth, coolness.

The contact of the feet on the floor.


While keeping the breath and body in awareness, tuning in to sound or sounds around you. 

Just hearing them come and go.

Not needing to analyze them.

Just tuning to them like a passing phenomena.

If the mind is starting to get caught up with ideas about what you’re hearing, just bringing the attention back to sounds.

If it’s only silence that you’re hearing, then just hearing the quality of silence as it is.


At any point, It is natural for the mind to start getting busy.

Maybe the mind is experiencing an avalanche of thoughts, images, non-stop, random, fast.

Taking a moment, acknowledging what is happening in the mind.

Treating thoughts like sounds coming, going.

Gently guiding the attention back to feeling the breathing and the weight of the body on the seat.

Bringing the mind back to the body for every single line of thought that comes through. 

Not needing to analyze why these thoughts are here.

As best as you can, remaining still even if the mind is urgently calling you to do something. 

This is an act of letting go of the power thoughts have over us.

As thoughts are just thoughts. 

Not our truths. Not our identity. Not tangible.

As best as you can remaining still, letting the energy pass.

No further action needed.


Feelings may come along with thoughts.

Perhaps a wave of emotions.

Emotions of panic, anxiety, sadness, a sense of emptiness.

Sensations of heaviness, pain.

Taking a breath, acknowledging these feelings with gentleness and care.

As best as you can, bringing awareness to feelings that are arising, giving them space, without needing to judge them.

Treating emotions like sounds, coming, going.

Without needing to analyze why they are here.

As best as you can, remaining still, letting the wave energy come and go.

No further action needed.


If there is any particular part of the body that is experiencing strong sensations.

Perhaps acute pain, a throbbing one or tightness, or a blocked feeling.

To the best you can, taking a moment, bringing kind awareness to the sensation.

Taking a gentle deep breath, breathing in, breathing out into the spot of sensation.

Softening it with care.

Unlocking it.


Taking another gentle deep breath, breathing in, breathing out into the sensation.

Filling it with warmth and kindness.

Remaining as still as you can. 


Now, taking a breath in.

Then just sitting here in stillness while letting whatever that is arising be as they are.

No further action needed. 


Here is a poem by Octavio Paz, “Between going and staying the day wavers”.

Between going and staying the day wavers, 

in love with its own transparency.

The circular afternoon is now a bay 

where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive, 

all is near and can’t be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass, 

rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats 

the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall 

into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye, 

watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters.


I stay and go: I am a pause.

A poem by Octavio Paz, “Between going and staying the day wavers”.


Practicing this meditation every day would help cultivate resilience and strengthen the capacity to deal with distress.

I would also encourage you to practice Session 1 to 6 as well to strengthen the foundation of mindfulness.

Thank you and see you next week.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Motoki Tonn, Unsplash

Session 6 available at https://kindermind.center/2023/05/03/3781/

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