I sat down in my big, over-stuffed chair. I lit two candles: one on the mini-altar across from the chair, and the other on the little table by my hand where I keep my books for prayer time.
I set the countdown timer: 20 minutes.
I closed my eyes.
I began immediately to feel that sensation that a part of my insides was melting, and part of me was starting to drip.
Down. Down. Down.
Deeper into contemplation.
I was reaching for that experience of complete stillness.
And then it happened.
In the quiet of my mind, it was a literal explosion.
And I imagined a sort of forest fire taking place inside me.
Deer leaping over downed tree.
Small rodents scurrying.
Will they have the time they need to escape?
All of a sudden my whole body was astir.
I wanted to put my food down, to insist that order be restored immediately.
But the chaos ruled.
And I was no longer in charge.
So my meditation became a study. A study of an explosion in perfect silence.
The birth of a star, perhaps.
The blowing of dandelion seeds on the wind.
As we try to go in, we burst out into the world.
Perhaps that is what stillness is meant for: that instant—that pause—before the switch is flipped—the trigger is pulled.
The standing still before the race begins.