Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Be Still: The Essence of Water
This past Saturday I attended a self-care event hosted by the Black Women’s Media Project. The Be Still Retreat, which is free of charge, is given quarterly and in its seventh year. This was my third time attending and it has always been an uplifting experience for mind, body and soul. Self-care practitioners including, health conductors, holistic healers, physical fitness experts, yoga instructors and massage therapists share their wisdom and gifts with the ladies who range from early 20s to some in their 80s and diverse ethnicities and cultures.
Dr. Frank Staggers is a constant guest speaker. A well-known community physician, his lecture about the effects of diabetes and hypertension among African Americans is worth paying for. Dr. Staggers extols the benefits of attaining and living a less stressful life in order to lessen the symptoms of high blood pressure and to live a longer life. He suggests that we practice being still; a time when you turn everything off, including your mind. Just sit and be still. When Dr. Staggers patients tell him that they relax by reading or sewing, which is not good enough. The brain and mind is still working. In order to fully relax, one must turn off both of those.
So he had all 150 attendees sit in a relaxed state and just be still. Initially, your mind is running a mile a minute, all kind of scenarios play in your head, but eventually the mind releases the cares of life and your body loosens up and your thoughts turn to nothing… but peace and tranquility. Dr. Staggers suggest we practice this stillness two or three times a day, if possible. He suggested water sounds, especially of the ocean accompanies your meditation. Water is calming and soothing. Think of sitting on the beach watching the water; the sun shimmering over crystal blue water and your mind just floats away.