“One of the first conscious efforts you can make after you have observed some wrong work or negative I in you is the practice of inner stop. It means to become absolutely still within yourself. You are not trying to stop your thoughts. Stopping all thoughts are not possible. Gurdjieff used to give his students an exercise to stop all thoughts in order to allow them to verify that it is not possible. But you can hold yourself inviolate against any particular thought that wishes to grab your attention by being entirely motionless inside. It has nothing to do with stopping the I itself. I’s will continue to move in and out of your awareness but in your stillness, you have become invisible to them like a rabbit that freezes when it senses a predator. You notice an encroaching negative I or negative state and instead of trying to banish it you become silent and still inside yourself and therefore are invisible to it. You don’t talk to it or contend with it in any way, you simple stay still within yourself which will give you the time to proceed to the next movement which is usually the practice of inner silence but may be a different Work practice. However, sometimes you will find the simple act of making inner stop will be all that’s necessary to free you, even if the same I returns later. … [quoting Maurice Nicoll] ‘To practice inner stop in the mind is like making oneself motionless in space. You are not noticed … In your mind you are surrounded by different I’s. Each wants you to believe you are it. Each wants to speak in your name. Suddenly they cannot find where you are.’ …
“The sly man, in the Work sense, knows how to avoid the snares of life I’s by using the right Work practice for the occasion. Sometimes it may be appropriate to simply observe; sometimes inner stop is the right approach; sometimes you might want to practice external considering; sometimes remembering yourself is the best solution; sometimes putting your attention in some activity is the right move. There are many options available and it is the ‘sly man’ or more correctly the ‘wise man’ who knows which practice to employ to stay awake and walk carefully through the various circumstances of life. … Practicing inner stop gives you the opportunity to decide the best course of action”
– Rebecca Nottingham, The Work: Esotericism and Christian Psychology
A Work exercise – Call “inner stop” on oneself: In mid-sentence, mid-action, mid-thought, stop. Observe in three centers: what are my thoughts, feelings, sensations around this thing/event/person? Make note: Is this mechanical, habitual, recurring?