What is A Night of Stillness? The way Tara describes it makes me laugh: “A soulful night of pure nothing!” It’s a night where a bunch of fabulous ladies gather in Brisbane to indulge in the following format: 45 minutes of silence and stillness meditation, 15 minutes of journalling, and 30 minutes of open discussion.
Anticipation: Although I was super excited about this event and had been looking forward to it for ages, I thought it was going to be difficult. 45 minutes is a long time to sit perfectly still. I’ve meditated at home, but it’s usually a short practice – 10 minutes before work or 20 minutes in the evening. And I’m not very good at it yet. Thoughts still run rampant through my head; I fidget a lot. So I figured this was going to be hard, but I strongly wanted to give it a go.
Stillness meditation: I won’t lie and say this was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. There were times when my muscles ached and I wanted to stretch. A few times the thought entered my head: “I wonder how long it has been?” But altogether it was so much easier than expected. The time went quickly. I stayed still (for the most part) and I wasn’t at all tempted to peek. :p
In fact, there were times when I was totally in the zone. I concentrated only on my breathing and I started to get it – some of those things about meditation that I’d never gotten before: -
Firstly, returning to the breath. This was something I’d always tried to do, but I’d never really been able to stop my mind from wandering all over the shop. The breath had not been enough of an anchor for me. But this time, every time my mind wandered I felt it in my breath. My breath shortened and shuddered, and it brought me back. It was beautiful – I didn’t have to consciously think about bringing myself back to the breath, because every time I stopped being present my breath faltered and that sensation itself brought me back.
Secondly, mantras. I’d tried the yogic mantra “so – hum“ in the past and always found it amusing and a little silly rather than helpful. It just sounded like someone expressing their supreme boredom in the most toffy way possible : “So, hum, this is such a bore.” But this time I tried it again, and it helped me, it really did. Possibly because my breath was more in harmony this time. By the end of the meditation, I felt really grounded, really present, really great.
Post-meditation discussion: I LOVED the discussion after meditation. We all sat in a circle and had an open and honest discussion about things we’ve been struggling with recently and how we might deal with those things. Everyone was so loving and supportive of each other and I felt a real unity with these women whom I’d never met before that night. They were amazing and I loved meeting them.
I left a Night of Stillness feeling buoyant. I simultaneously felt at peace and energized, lifted up by an evening of self-care and connection. Susana and Tara are really onto something magical here, and they lead the group with professionalism and charm. If you live in Brisbane or the surrounds, I recommend you give a Night of Stillness a go – and I’ll probably see you there!