Statio – A refreshing break

The busyness and cares of our day can have a dampening effect on our connection with reality and the connection with God that we established in early morning prayer. We started the day feeling good about ourselves, but the world of humanity we interact with during the day might be against it. We may end up feeling a bit lost or frustrated, thinking about “getting out of this place” or imagining that we are in a different situation.

In order to regain our “groundedness”, our effectiveness and creativity, along with a true understanding of the relationship of things in our field of consciousness, we will sometimes need to pause during the day for a quick “reorientation”. These moments of pause for refreshment are sometimes called “statio”. The spiritual discipline of statio is simply the discipline of taking a moment or two away from daily activities to reconnect with reality, with God and the world around us.

Statio can come in many forms, but the idea is to use similar methods used in early morning prayer. If you can find a moment alone, whether at your desk, walking down the hall, or sitting in your car, allow the current thoughts and worries of the day to flow through your mind until they begin to fade away. Do not try to force them out or prevent them from coming. It will gradually calm down. Remind them that you can deal with them later.

Then, get an impression of the day so far. Ask yourself something like, “How is this day (or moment) going for me right now? How does it make me feel?” Be sure to ask the question from two perspectives: first, from the perspective of your ego, and second, from your true self. Be honest with yourself. You will often find that the answers between the two perspectives will be different. The things that are important to the ego tend to be 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 today. It is also very important to remember that this distinction is purely ego based.

This realization will often change your perspective when you re-engage in your day and start interacting with others again. (And realize that you are often interacting with their ego, not their true self.) Your behavior, and thus the outcome of the day, will be much different in the next state. This will help you be more present in each upcoming moment, bringing calmness to you and others.

The practice of statio aims to focus us and make us aware of what we are about to do and make us present to God who is present to us. Statio is the virtue of Presence.

How often do we stand? In the beginning, this may need to be done often, depending on where we are in our spiritual journey and the circumstances of the day. Over time, the need for the station will be less, because we will stay in Presence more often and for longer.

How can I remember to do statio? It’s mostly about tracking your current state of mind and feelings throughout the day. Become an observer of yourself. If you are not still in the present moment, it may be time to try standing for a while.

Look out for those openings in your busy day where you can slow down, pause for a moment and remember who and what you really are!

(c) 2010 Daniel D. Schroeder

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