Alan and I have been working hard to get the Daily Stillness site up and running. We are launching tomorrow and we expect that there may be a few glitches as the site gets going. Help us make it better by telling us if anything is not working for you. Leave a comment.
Our intention is to offer daily reminders to attend to the rhythm of life through doing some kind of simple activity to help us pause.
Over time Stillness practice eases our fear of being alone with no distractions. The exercises will be about different things. We have created a set of categories that over time will cover different aspects of the ways in which we can connect with stillness daily:
- Art 4 stillness: Many of us have heard about the benefits of meditation, but sometimes find it hard to make the time for it in our day. Fewer of us know about the profound benefits of artistic expression. Creating art is a way to access a meditative state of mind and the profound healing it brings.
- Distraction Busting: Practices in this category are about learning to restrain your senses purposefully. This leads to relaxed focus of attention and the choice to sustain your attention on a given stimulus. As concentration develops, you learn to sit with the habits that make the ‘self’ and how these create distraction.
- Habit honesty box: These practices will help you learn about the many ways in which we are not as smart as we think we are. Looking at our habits honestly is hard as cognitive biases get in the way of us seeing out true habits. Digital life makes this easy to practice. The computer browser history does not lie in the way our mind does. We use our digital life to get more honest about how our habits get in the way of stillness.
- Interpersonal attention: “It’s the attention that counts: interpersonal attention fosters intimacy and social exchange” A title of one of the many studies in social psychology identifying attention as key to social exchanges. The challenges of offering interpersonal attention require us to practice empathy, being comfortable with silence and explore the ways in which these behaviour can be demonstrated in mediated online dialogue.
- Look at the way your are living: These practices will help you look at your lifestyle and how it helps or hinders stillness in your life. B. Alan Wallace talks about ‘human flourishing’ happening when we lead an altruistic life that is not dependent on external factors for happiness and well-being.
- Seeing Beyond: Practices to look inwards. We have so much to take in from our environment that we often forget to look in. Asking contemplative questions regularly can help us widen our perspective away from fixed views. This is about understanding the nature of life as impermanent, devoid of self and unsatisfactory – seeing beyond our desires for only getting our own way, helps still the mind from grasping.
We are starting with 30 days to Stillness which you can take as a course if that suits you. You can just do a few in the week. You can pick a random one or something from a specific category you want to practice. Use these resources as suits your needs. There is a a form on the site for you to submit suggestions for daily exercises and we hope that over time this submission box will be full of your ideas too. We aspire to create a a group of people who can learn together under the hashtag #stillweb on Twitter and on the site too. You can subscribe the the Daily Stillness on email or follow @livedtime on twitter to get the daily reminder. You reply to each day’s activity by tweeting to @livedtime and including the #tds tag associated with that day’s activity. You will need to create a Twitter account to reply there, but you can also respond on the comments on the site if Twitter is not for you.
If you want to know more about our thinking for the site, check out our About page.