Stillness Is The Key

I was scrolling through podcasts during my commute the other day and this one hit me smack in the face. “Well, shit,” I thought. “This is exactly right.” 

Ryan Holiday, author and Stoic-enthusiast, tends toward a little more dead-white-guy philosophy than I usually prefer. But he nails it with this latest book: Stillness Is The Key.

Totally fascinating that he comes to this conclusion as an agnostic/atheist. Because for me, a central part of ANY spiritual practice is the inherent holiness of all things still. The sacrality of quiet. And that feels so much like something to hold onto in Christianity — its contemplative corners, personified by folks like Richard Rohr— even as I want to chuck so much of the rest of it. And that same stillness is of course at the heart of everything yogic and Buddhist.

The fact that stillness remains holy across most (all?) religions gives me hope. That even as I struggle to find a progressive spiritual home for my kid, together, daily, we can touch God in the wind on the ocean, the frogs burping on the lily pond, the sun rising over the Alps.

When institutions fail or refuse to evolve with the times — turn to nature. Take refuge, find inspiration in its stillness. It’s beyond denomination. I’m always grateful for teachers like Gary Snyder and Thomas Merton and Annie Dillard and Mary Oliver who’ve modeled that interfaith seeking, with eyes for all things holy in the quiet of the world around us. Stillness really is the key. 

(Listen to the whole interview at the Rich Roll podcast.)


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