The Three S’s: Stillness, Silence, and Spaciousness

By Brooke Binstock

When the three of us; Kelly Lindsey, Marissa Knox and I got together to talk about what to center our August retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center around, we easily settled on the theme of Stillness, Silence, and Spaciousness (the three S’s).  In our incredibly busy world full of opportunities for distraction and a tendency to keep a very full, often overflowing schedule, this focus seems almost essential.

I’ll speak for myself as a small business owner and I’m certain my colleagues can agree, that unless I purposefully create space in my life, the plates will keep on spinning and the tasks will continue to stack up, often to the point of overwhelm or burn-out.  We must remind ourselves that there will never be that perfect moment in life where we can create space. It is something we must do intentionally.

I think part of why it is challenging to slow down and create space for ourselves is because of the demands that life naturally throws our way.  We need to make money, complete day-to-day tasks, and care for others. Not to mention social media, email and smartphones inundating our realities almost on a constant basis.  However, if we consider the deeper reality of why we stay in constant motion, it could be due to a deep discomfort with difficult emotions. We keep moving in order to avoid grief, loneliness anxiety or simply the very real struggle of being human.

This theme is nothing new.  In fact, stillness, silence and spaciousness have been explored throughout history and more specifically in the pre-Buddhist tradition known as Bön, an ancient shamanic tradition of Tibet.  According to honorable Bon teacher, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, “The idea behind these three practices is to stop the pattern of reactive behavior and truly acknowledge the pain that is causing it. The pain itself is considered an entry point for inner exploration.” (  In other words, we must first slow down in order to facilitate deeper healing.

Sometimes it is possible to carve out intentional space in our lives at home through the practice of meditation, mindfulness and setting boundaries with ourselves to prioritize self-care.  However, if the source of constant motion is difficult emotional energy, it can feel truly nourishing to enter a safe container of a retreat setting in community, so that we may feel supported enough to brave the realities of our shared humanity together.

If you attended and even if you didn’t attend the Stillness, Silence and Spaciousness program, please join Brook, Kelly and Marissa for Quiet Mind, Open Heart: Resting in Inner Refuge this July, 23-28, 2023!

About the Author

Brooke Binstock believes in starting where her clients and students are by incorporating gentleness and compassion in everything she does. In 2016, Brooke started Open Circle Healing, an all encompassing wellness initiative where self-care and self-acceptance are the main pulse. With groups and individuals, she combines yoga, massage therapy and meditation instruction to provide a truly holistic experience. To add even more tools to her belt, Brooke is currently working as a Therapist Intern with Plumeria Counseling Center in Austin, Texas to obtain her LCSW licensure.


Featured image by Liz Moskowitz

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