Alternating movement with stillness is a fundamental principle of spiritual exploration that will increase your success. See how you incorporate this tactic into your practice.
The most powerful tools are often the simplest. Creating a routine involving periods of movement and silence will accelerate your progress. You can alternate action and rest with almost any spiritual practice. It doesn’t matter the subject.
This tactic will help if you are trying to learn a new skill or hone an existing ability. Stillness helps the mind solidify or normalize our practice. This tactic doesn’t just apply to the body. It also deals with the activity of the mind. It’s a valuable tactic for grounding and centering. It helps us normalize growth and accelerate our development.
We don’t think of thinking as a movement, but thoughts are “movements” to the mind. If you have a job where you sit and work on a computer all day, you’ll be just as tired as the person who works at a physically demanding job.
“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness”. — Sakyong Mipham
Alternating Movement with Stillness
This tactic is a critical element of many systems of consciousness exploration. We know this type of practice as a “round.” An example is to practice moving meditation alternating with seated meditation. Then repeat it several times a day. Rotating these two elements deepens the level of familiarity with whatever you are working on, and it ensures the student is both grounded and centered.
Also, this provides the best learning outcome for more advanced techniques. It’s a simple but effective way to increase your success without adding anything new to your routine. When you alternate action and rest results, you think more clearly and come more quickly.
The movement doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise. It can be as simple as walking. The stillness or seated meditation can be in short increments of 2 minutes. This type of activity is a great stress reliever and a centering tool. It can help you think more clearly, and so many business enterprises teach this type of exercise to their executive staff members. Everyone can benefit from this type of calmness and clarity of thought.
It is a strategy we use in our blended learning process. This strategy enables us to deliver several spiritual technologies in the shortest time with the best learning outcomes.
Alternate Action and Rest
Our “blended learning process” is a learning strategy that combines several practical teaching tactics. It includes theory, instruction, reinforcement, feedback, and teach-back components. That’s why we refer to it as a blended learning process. It blends all learning styles. It makes sure the learner is getting the best learning outcomes. Several critical elements of this forum make it an ideal learning environment, including:
This strategy enables us to combine the preparatory exercises for multiple spiritual technologies. We keep the original integrity of the separate traditions intact. Feedback checks throughout the process ensure the learner is ready for the next step in the learning progression. Thus, reinforcing learning, reducing many of the common issues with learning these tools. This blended process is proven to provide the best learning outcomes.
We all know the best way to ensure you know something is to teach it. So, we’ve built the opportunity to share and help others in the process. It makes us all students and facilitators throughout the process. The more we learn, the more we can pass along. This process isn’t a new model. It follows an ancient pattern Joseph Campbell called The Hero’s Journey.
The Hero’s Journey and the blended learning process
“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.” ― Joseph Campbell
You can find this pattern at the heart of many spiritual philosophies and religions. It is also one that we mirror in our “blended learning” process. Although the theme takes shape using different characters, the story’s core elements remain the same. This story resonates with us deeply because it reflects our spiritual quest.
The Hero’s Journey is a story with a pattern involving three main phases. These phases revolve, intertwine, and overlap at times. If we look closely, we’ll find this pattern in our own lives. This pattern cycles repeat over and over, again and again. We use this blended learning strategy of the Hero’s Journey in three phases, awakening, transforming, and inspiring.
Increase Your Success With The Hero’s Journey
Phase One ― Awakening
In the first phase (Awakening), people meet in small groups (weekly or semi-weekly) (and now virtually) to build a foundation of basic terminology, knowledge, experience, and meditative practices. We teach the benefits of using a journal to track our journey and experience, provide opportunities to learn different forms of meditation, and participate in other small group learning exercises. In this phase, we identify our strengths. Then we know how to leverage them in many ways. The preparation phase enables us to ensure participants are “ready” to learn more profound practices.
We teach the importance of action and rest as a building block to expedite growth.
Phase Two ― Transforming
The second phase (Transforming) is a weekend retreat. After we have a common foundation, we invite everyone to assist in the co-facilitation of a weekend retreat. Meeting for a weekend is vital for several reasons.
First, we have found that learning several techniques that build sequentially is the best way to ensure learning. Logistically, it takes a weekend to learn and practice this set of methods that incorporate both seated and moving meditation. Learning the techniques in the morning, practice in the afternoon. This process accommodates everyone’s learning style and abilities.
In the evenings, we have time to assimilate what we have learned, share, and celebrate. The weekend is a time for the emersion in more profound practice, which we rarely do in our modern lifestyles.
Participants describe the weekend experience as “an oasis” from our hectic lives. A time to share our personal “stories,” re-charge our spiritual and physical bodies, encourage and be encouraged, be energized and healed. The weekend goes by often too fast for most who want to stay and bask in the synergy and positive energy generated by so many involved in this noble aim.
Phase Three ― Inspiring
The third phase (Inspiring) is the continued meeting of those who have been on the weekend. We continue building, sharing, receiving help, and encouraging us to overcome any personal roadblocks.
Consciousness Development Tools
The dimensions of time and space are not barriers to our consciousness. We do not exist between our ears. The real you, the person you talk to inside your head, have no limits. Our consciousness has a foundation of pure awareness, enabling us to access higher states of consciousness. All we need are methods to opening these doors. We call these tools spiritual technologies.
Everyone has their way of awakening their spiritual gifts sleeping in their DNA. Awakening is a process. When we open them, it sets our spiritual walk into motion. It opens our minds to new potentials.
The research of consciousness and learning to access these spiritual gifts was the central goal of many ancient cultures. The investigation of consciousness is something many ancient cultures thought was necessary, and we enjoy the benefits of generations of research. These early pioneers give us several tools for exploring consciousness.
We call the processes of these early explorers spiritual technologies. These processes stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable methods that produce measurable physiological changes. These tools enable us to reach higher states of awareness that differ from waking, sleeping, and dreaming.
We use a blended learning model incorporating those processes which are safe and reliable. We are not the first to use this eclectic approach. For example, Gurdjieff’s strategy was to adopt techniques proven effective. The research of these early pioneers stands the test of time.
The catalog of ancient methods for exploring consciousness is what we call spiritual technologies. They are a collection of processes to develop the potential of the mind, body, and spirit. They offer us ways to expand awareness and reach higher states of consciousness.
These tools differ significantly from religion. They do not require faith or belief in any religious doctrine. Anyone can use these processes to develop their full potential. All you need to do is follow the process, and it’s just like following the recipe for baking a cake. If you combine the right ingredients in the right way and you get something delicious.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning method. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. They are repeatable processes, and several produce measurable effects on our physiology. These changes include increased brainwave coherence, lower heart rate, and increased skin resistance. Changes like this prove these partitions of consciousness differ significantly from waking, dreaming, and sleeping.
We divide these tools into four major categories:
Everyone can use these methods to create their unique spiritual path, and you can start with any of these methods. The more of them you use, the faster your progress.
Alternate Action and Rest, Movement and Stillness
We use the strategy of alternating movement with stillness to increase the effectiveness of learning. It’s a theme we use throughout our learning process.
For example, we alternate teaching progressions of seated and moving meditation. It “normalizes” and solidifies understanding. This same idea is also a part of the healing modalities. We also use this strategy with healing modalities. Before the healing process begins, the practitioner always takes time to prepare. This preparation takes the form of both seated meditation followed by moving energy collection. So, this is another practical example of alternating between movement and stillness.
Additionally, the Enneagram studies movement and the use of mudras. So, it isn’t exclusively an intellectual process. Lastly, you can see the pattern of alternating activity with stillness in the use of the Shamanic journey. The preparatory stage almost always has a moving ritual. Perhaps the only technology this is not in use here is logical reasoning.
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Are you interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (1). Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission.
(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia