During my spiritual quest, I discovered the wonderful benefits of daily meditation. It helps master the mind by clearing and quietening it. Consequently, we become more aware of its influence on our life. We can be mindful of our powerful thoughts and emotions with more ease and clarity. This helps us generate more positive thoughts and emotions and use them constructively, for the benefit of all. Meditation also revitalizes us and brings balance to our body, mind and spirit. It allows us to experience stillness.
Stillness is like a pause, a slowing down of the impermanence and movement inside and outside of us. When we experience stillness, we can feel connected to the seen and unseen worlds, to our spiritual/energetic essence, to The Divine and the Creation spark within everything that is alive.
‘ When my mind was cleansed of impurities,
like a mirror of its dust and dirt,
I recognized the Self in me:
When I saw Him dwelling in me,
I realized that He was the Everything
and I was nothing.
I saw and found I am in everything
I saw God effulgent in everything.
After hearing and pausing see Siva
The House is His alone;
Who am I, Lalla.’
Lalla, 14th century Hindu saint-poetess and mystic
Stillness Increases Awareness, Detachment and Balance
Stillness is like a breath of fresh air in the tumult of our life. When stillness happens, we become aware of the craziness and dysfunction of our mind and ego. We can let go of our thoughts, tensions and preoccupations. Consequently, detachment from the conflicts, contradictions and problems that we experience becomes possible. We can find our center, feel aligned, peaceful and connected. Then we can let ourselves be filled and supported by all the good energies around us.
When we don’t acknowledge, nurture and connect with the spiritual essence of life, we ignore its most precious, magical and powerful reality. We are not aware that we all have personal and collective spiritual helpers and allies who can support, guide and protect us in our life’s journey. We also isolate ourselves and prevent ourselves from feeling the enriching and salutary experiences of connectedness and wholeness. We let our mind, ego and shadow control our life, keeping us unhappy and out of balance.
‘ Hard to hold down, nimble, alighting wherever it likes: the mind.
Its taming is good. The mind well-tamed brings ease.’
Dhammapada, on The Mind, Siddharta Gautama the Buddha teachings, verse 35 (trans. Thanissaro Bhikku)
Some meditations like the Buddhist Vipassana meditation, can help us clear and cleanse our mind of the miseries and bondage, cravings and aversions it creates. Our ego is a product of our mind. All negative emotions are ego threats. By cleansing and taming our mind we develop a greater awareness of the influence of our mind and ego on our experiences, perceptions and choices in life. Subsequently, it becomes possible to remain aware of their influence and attempts to lead our life.
‘ Earnest among the thoughtless, awake among the sleepers,
the wise man advances like a racer, leaving behind the hack.’
Dhammapada, on Mindfulness, verse 29 (trans. Max Maller)
Stillness can be experienced in many different situations, once we know how to get into that space. Some experience it through prayer, meditation, contemplation or communion with nature and Spirit and/or during ceremonies. Others can experience it walking, practicing yoga, gardening, or just living. When we choose to experience it, it is uplifting. In stillness, our Consciousness is alert and expands the essential formless presence of being. My personal experiences and practice made me realize how essential stillness is to our overall physical and mental, emotional and spiritual balance, hence to our health and positive evolution.
‘ There are many paths up to the same mountain top.’
It is up to each individual to make the decision to find the time to experience stillness. If we love ourselves enough, we allow ourselves to experience it regularly. In doing so, we don’t wait for a terrible disease or trauma, a state of complete imbalance and unhappiness or a close escape from death to experience it.
There is never just one way to understand or solve a problem. This perception might go against general academic teaching and therefore the conditioning of our minds. It also opposes the influences of societies which are often prone to reducing our existence and simplifying the ways we can perceive it. When we apprehend life from the Garifuna Tradition spiritual perspective, there are 3000 possible solutions to any problem we can have.
‘ All conditioned things are impermanent. When one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.
This is the path to purification.’
Dhammapada, on The Path, verse 277 (trans. Acharya Buddharakkhita)
There are many ways we can experience peace, harmony and balance. At different stages of our life, the ways we choose to look for those states can change.
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