Stillness Meditation

Within you there is a stillness and sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.

Hermann Hesse, German-Swiss poet, Stillness Meditation
A table set with two bowls of fresh fruit, a cup of tea on a saucer, a square cake topped with sugar, and a large carafe
Levi W. Prentice; Still Life with Strawberries, ca. 1890; Carnegie Museum of Art: Purchase: Mary Oliver Robinson Fund, bequest to Women’s Committee of the Museum of Art, and Women’s Committee Acquisition Fund

Enjoy this guided breathing meditation paired with Levi W. Prentice’s Still Life with Strawberries. Follow along with the audio or text below.

Step-by-Step Meditation

Listen to meditation on stillness:

  1. Take a few moments to study the various objects in the still life moving slowly from one to the next.
  2. Notice the purposeful placement of each object by the artist. Contemplate the stillness and attention required of the artist to paint each element in this still life.
  3. Bring your attention to your own body. Release any tension you might be holding so that you can sit comfortably in complete stillness.
  4. Now, focus on an object or group of objects in your surroundings. Take a few deep breaths as you study them, tracing their forms with your gaze.
  5. Close your eyes and imagine you are creating your own still life in your mind’s eye. Trace the objects in your imagination and recall as many details as possible, like an artist studying a scene before they paint.
  6. Continue like this, creating your own still life in your imagination, to cultivate greater stillness in body and mind.