Taking Stillness into life

When the art of ‘stillness’ is truly captured, it’s really another form of beauty therapy!

I’m always interested in the progress of our clients as they walk the walk of Stillness Meditation and we review this formally at certain times during their course.  But far from the formal assessment of individual progress is the appearance on people’s faces as they gradually begin to live calmly.

Very often at first meeting, the new client’s strain visibly shows.  When anxious, tense, stressed or depressed, the facial features appear tight, twitchy, nervous or sad.  Hands are restless.  Nails may be bitten down.  Legs are crossed and uncrossed and the eyes, often close to tears, are wide with apprehension.  After so many years’ observing the effects of ‘stress’, it’s just not possible to miss these things. Read more


The difference between SMT and other methods of meditation

The question is often put to me ‘what’s the difference between Stillness Meditation Therapy and other methods of meditation’?  Here are my thoughts from over 25 years’ teaching!

First, some clarification!  The concept of Stillness Meditation (SMT) is significantly different from classical meditation which primarily involves the principles of Hindu or Buddhist teachings.  SMT is a Western style of meditation and a medically based form of therapy.  It is unrelated to classical or sectarian meditation and it does not use method or technique.

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Trust yourself

For many years I’ve regularly responded by mail or email to the questions asked by people from all over the world.  Now I aim to have my blog serve a more general purpose.  So send me your questions and each month I’ll choose a topic to reply to.

This month I’m going to talk about set-backs.  By this I mean, a glitch in the progress towards anxiety relief.  One common question from those who read my books or come here for assistance is “I seem to be experiencing a set-back.  I was doing really well, I’m practicing my Stillness and now I feel I must be doing something wrong.  I don’t know who else to turn to for reassurance … and I’m losing faith in making a recovery … please help!

‘Set-backs’ when we’re undergoing change, occasionally come and go.  Maybe you are extra tired, perhaps some unpleasant event has triggered a response; maybe some old memories have surfaced – or perhaps you’ve picked up a cold or some other kind of bug.

These events are common to all people and can put extra stress on the whole ‘being’.  When these things happen of course, anxiety and one’s emotional state will also be affected, too.  This is transient anxiety.  Aim to let go of worrying about this as all people experience a rise and fall in anxiety levels from time to time.  But remember that you (me in the past) and others in a similar situation are inclined to be affected more readily in this way.  Think of it in this simple example: how easy it is to feel quite ‘down’ when the weather is dark and dreary!  Maybe not pleasant to experience – but at least you’ll know your emotions are alive and well. Read more

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PODCAST: Listen to Pauline McKinnon

Listen to Pauline McKinnon talk about Stillness Meditation Therapy  click here 


Living Calm in a Busy World

By Pauline McKinnon

 Ease is that incredible quality
That enables us to deal equally
With disaster and success
 Ainslie Meares, M.D. Let’s Be At Ease, Posth.1987

 (Extract from Introduction – Living Calm in a Busy World by Pauline McKinnon, released December 2011) 

Life is filled with surprises – some beneficent and some less so.   Just when all seem to be cruising, challenges of one kind or another may interrupt the flow.  By contrast, when life is looking glum a doorway to lightness may serendipitously appear.

Many recognize the pace of living and the expectations within it as contributing to their inner discomfort.  Relationships decay and families are broken; confusion prevails as compelling life questions remain unanswered; while various forms of addictions and substance abuse are on the increase. Depression is an all too common diagnosis. Chronic or major illness is now frequently attributed to stress.

Stress, as these hurts are commonly recognized, is a ‘given’ in today’s world.  There is a lack of ease in living and stress is clearly something that many people are unable to manage.  Stress contributes to physical, mental and spiritual illness; and stress robs people of happiness; for happiness cannot freely exist without a healthy body.  And a healthy body cannot exist without a healthy mind. Read more