The busyness and concerns of our day can have a dampening effect on our connection with reality and the connections with God that we established in our early morning prayer session. We started our day feeling right with ourselves, but the world of mankind that we interact with throughout the day may begin to wear against this. We may end up feeling a bit lost or frustrated, thinking about “getting out of this place,” or daydreaming of being in a different situation.
To regain our “grounding,” our effectiveness and creativity, along with a true understanding of the relationship of things in our field of awareness, we sometimes will need to pause during the day for a quick “reorientation.” These pause-to-refresh moments are sometimes referred to as “statio”. The spiritual discipline of statio is simply the discipline of taking a moment or two from the activities of the day to reconnect with reality, with God and the world around us.
Statio can come in many forms, but the idea is to employ similar methods used in early morning prayer. If you can find a moment alone, either at your desk, walking along a hallway, or sitting in your car, allow the current thoughts and worries of the day to flow through your mind until they begin to dissipate. Do not try to force them out or block them from coming. Gradually they will settle down. Remind them that you can deal with them later.
Next, get a feel for the day so far. Ask yourself something like, “How is this day (or moment) going for me right now? How am I feeling about it?” Be sure to ask the question from two perspectives: first, from your ego perspective, and second from your true self. Be honest with yourself. Often you will find that the answers between the two perspectives will be different. The things that are important to the ego are usually very different from the things that are important to your true self.
It is this difference that you are now defining that is probably the cause of your troubles this day. It is also very important to remember that this difference is purely ego-based.
This realization will often change your perspective as you re-engage the day and once again begin interacting with others. (And realize that you are often interacting with their egos, not their true selves.) Your behavior, and therefore the outcome of the day, will be much different following statio. This will help you be more present in each forthcoming moment, bringing a calmness to you and to others.
The practice of statio is meant to center us and make us conscious of what we’re about to do and make us present to the God who is present to us. Statio is the virtue of Presence.
How often do we do statio? Initially, it may have to be done frequently, depending on where we are in our spiritual journey and what the circumstances of the day happen to be. Over time, the need for statio will be less, because we will remain in the Presence more often and for longer periods.
How can I remember to do statio? Mostly this is a matter of monitoring our current state of mind and feelings during the day. Become an observer of yourself. If you are not at peace in the present moment, it may be time to try a little statio.
Watch for those openings in your hustle-bustle day where you can put the brakes on, pause for a moment, and remember who and what you really are!
(c) 2010 Daniel D. Schroeder