Practicing Stillness: A Quiet Place

Lake George Reflection (circa 1921-22), Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) oil on canvas, 34 x 57.9 inches, Image Source

Along with finding a time to practice stillness, I recommend finding or creating a special place for your prayer time. Some place where you can be away from the noise of the world…a quiet place with a comfortable chair and any creature comforts you can prepare to make this time something you look forward to everyday.

There isn’t one way of doing things. The places people meditate and pray are varied and diverse. Someone might rise early to watch the sunrise from their porch; another might linger in the warm covers of their bed with a favorite mug of coffee; still another might find closing the door to their office and turning off all notifications a welcome rest that rejuvenates the mind.

Creating a special place and a regular time are key to finding your rhythm of practicing stillness.

When I gaze at this painting by Georgia O’Keeffe along with reading a few details of her life, I become impressed with her dedication to beauty. Slowing down to look at all the rich colors, feeds my soul and I admire her ability to get up each day to start again. Like O’Keeffe, I am resolved to start fresh in my practice of stillness by enlarging the various details in scripture…to fill the canvas of my heart with the beauty of God’s story.

The famous jest by O’Keefe makes me smile:

It’s my private mountain. It belongs to me. God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it.”

Georgia O’Keefe

A lifetime of her dedication produced some 900+ paintings for future generations to enjoy.

As a musician, practicing stillness means:

  • focused attention
  • repeating small passages
  • slow mastery over time
  • strengthening our weaknesses “we practice what we can’t do to improve”
  • spiritual food that nourishes our heart

If we expect to ride out the storms of life peacefully; If we are tired of being tossed to and fro by each day of the news; if we hope to shine God’s light into this world; then we need to spend time nurturing that light.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea, though its waters roar and foam, and mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where Most High dwells…Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalms 46: 1-4, 10a

Do you have a favorite place to pray?

May God bless you and the work of your hands.

Thanks for reading!

J.R.

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