I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith but the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light and the stillness, the dancing.
Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don't realize this because almost everyone is suffering from it, so it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being.
Stillness and action are relative, not absolute, principles. It is important to find a balance of yin and yang, not just in qigong, but in everyday life. In movement, seek stillness and rest. In rest, be mindful and attentive.
Source: The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing, Pages: 4..5
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, Or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger: Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night Become the touches of sweet harmony. Sit, Jessica: look, how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold; There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins. Such harmony is in immortal souls; But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage; Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; . . . . Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood. . . .
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Source: King Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1 [short excerpt]
Swiftly the years, beyond recall, Solemn the stillness of this fair morning, I will clothe myself in spring-clothing, And visit the slopes of the Eastern Hill, By the mountain-stream a mist hovers, Hovers a moment, then scatters, There comes a wind blowing from the south That brushes the fields of new corn.
Source: Chinese poem, Author Unknown, Translated by Arthur Waley