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Sunday, 16 August 2020 | Sumiran Annamaria Kashyap


We are all spiritual seekers, and we all have our own definition of meditative stillness that resonates with us, writes Sumiran Annamaria Kashyap

Meditation allows us to think of our past with peace, our present with passion, and our future with prayerfulness. It’s a daily sanctuary, wherein we can make sincere efforts, to allow the most authentic version of our Self to unravel. It’s the authenticity of this Self that makes its strength and ingenuity effortless. Beyond the Self, it’s not just about coming home to the Cosmos, the Source, but about making the journey inspirational for others around us, too.

Understanding the role of meditative stillness

It helps with a significant aspect of daily practice — that of being able to assimilate a thought, idea, and/or memory without an emotional ‘charge’ attached to it. This is easier said than done. But, it is doable, one step at a time. Then, one day, we find that we’re able to adopt meditative stillness as a way of being, when the situation calls for it, quite effortlessly.

Perspectives on meditative stillness

The experience: Samsara — The World Within is a tranquil fountainhead of guided meditation practices entwined with skills-based learning. Founder-enabler Shikha Puri’s endeavour is to bring awareness to one’s own journey, that one decides to embark upon. She says, “Stillness is a moment that can last a few seconds, minutes or even longer. It’s a moment of realisation, and we can call it our oneness with the power of the Universe. It helps us realise that there is so much more than us and there’s so much more over us. All of this — Nature’s abundance, and its own powers — humbles us. That way, even in nothingness, there is something.”

Shikha describes meditation not as the end, but the journey, the process, leading us. She elaborates: “In a moment, even for a second, when we can feel the oneness with the Source, meditation happens itself and there is stillness.”

The approach: Assimilating a thought, experience, and/or related memory, without the emotional ‘charge,’ is not about forceful detachment. Rather, it entails reconciling with the emotional ‘charge.’ Here’s a brief anecdote to explain: I drew Tarot cards for a friend recently. He called me wise for the manner in which I interpreted them. I said, “wisdom comes from having been a fool for a very long time.”

It’s the same with meditative stillness! Attempting it is easier, when we accept, and embrace, the high-octane chaos of our existence. In doing so, we’re able to segregate what we need as a life-lesson, from what we need to let go of, because it may have run its course.

The process at work: As is the case with all authentic forms of spiritual self-work, we find self-introspection at the heart of meditation, and meditative stillness. The subsequent mental chatter, though potentially excruciating, helps us familiarise ourselves with the potency of the emotional ‘charge.’ And, while this ‘charge’ is going through us, it teaches us many things about who we are, who we thought we were, and who we can be. This combination of awareness and remembrance that makes meditation personal, and sacred.

The ease or difficulty in arriving at meditative stillness: Zorian Cross (the ‘modern Merlin,’ as I call him) is a tarot reader, astrologer, numerologist, and psychic channel. He’s also a certified ashtanga/vinyasa yoga instructor.

Zorian asserts that stillness isn’t for the unethical anarchists of chaos, and he further explains union with the Self, through the practice of Asanas and Pranayama: “The body is constantly abuzz with trillions of cells and subatomic particles that are beaming with life, while the mind is bombarded by infinite thoughts on a conscious and subconscious level. Perhaps that’s why to achieve stillness, Patanjali laid out the eight limbs — Ashtanga — the first two being Yamas and Niyamas that contain five personal ethics to follow strictly, along with five societal rules to abide by. To get the body to be seated in stillness, a regular Asana practice is a must. Only once that’s achieved, can we practice the art of Pranayama to still the mind. Some say that it takes five times longer to still the mind through Pranayama than it takes to still the body with Asana.”

Practice that focuses on the power of meditative stillness: Mini Shastri, founder of Om Yoga Shala Delhi, with a teaching experience of over two decades, is also a wellness consultant and columnist. Her teachings are shaped by her vast travel and study with Masters from Kerala, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Chennai, and U.S.A. You can study and teach with Mini on her retreats. The focus is on living techniques — with daily Yoga, Pranayam, Meditation, cleansing Kriyas, along with curated diets.

She explains the daily strength and nourishment we can derive from sincere practice succinctly, and so beautifully. “Your mat, your sadhna, and your tapas will be your guru always,” she always reminds, gently.

On the subject of recommended methods she says, “Some easy meditation practices like So Ham breath mantra, Tratak, Om Japa meditation, and Kaya Stairam (cultivating stillness with presence in the body) are a great way to pull in a fragmented mind (vikshepa) or distractions towards meditative stillness.”

Mini shares that striving to attain meditative stillness is about working towards and creating a correct inner environment, to enter internal practices for the mind (Antaranga Sadhna) that are more helpful to meditation, so our mind/body lends itself naturally to make meditation more spontaneous and joyous.

Choosing a suitable time to practice stillness in meditation: Mini advises, “It’s best to take advantage of the shifting qualities of the mornings or sunsets. According to Ayurveda and our body’s clock, we need to adjust our actions to counteract the innate qualities of this time. Dawn and dusk are a natural time of change — transformational, with shifting energies, resulting in fruitful meditation. The quiet stability of a meditation practice may also serve to counteract the potentially anxiety-producing aspect of change, of this time of day.”

A humble wish and prayer

We are all spiritual seekers in our own ways, and no doubt, we all have our own definition of meditative stillness that resonates with us. Whatever this definition is, based on my personal experience, I’d like to say: In our special space of meditative stillness, may we all reunite with, resurrect, and reinvigorate who we truly are. May our new ‘once upon a time,’ begin now.

The writer is a content creator with deep interest in metaphysical healing and communication, divination tools and flower therapies

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