The experience of Stillness

Each thought uses energy. It is said that 70 percent of the thoughts that we have during the day are about things that we cannot control or change. It is also said that these thoughts are not only futile, but also negative which directly affects our vitality and vibration. What would it be like to free up this 70 percent of space in our brains? 

It is not by thinking about thinking that we can create space. Thinking about reducing the thoughts is adding another thought. When the mind pays attention to something other than its own works of imagination, something happens. What happens when you see a charismatic deer in the woods with a barrel chest standing tall with its antlers? What happens when you stand in front of the orange sun? What happens when you hear a solo flute being played somewhere far away? The kala chakra, the wheel of time, comes to a still. 

Where there is attention, there is love. This experience is not an emotion. There is a state of “non-me-ness”. To come to this state, there can be no effort from the mind. If there is, it gets caught in its own wheel. The wheel then keeps turning. This is why yoga is not an expression of emotion. It is the purging of emotions. The mind is made to let go of its own creations. We cannot see the earth rotating, being on the earth. We need to fly to outer space. Similarly we cannot see the rotations of the mind, the vrttis, being caught up in the movement of the mind. We need to fly into “inner space”. This is not an escape as many people think it to be. The reason they think it to be an escape is because they are still thinking about it. If they experience it, they won’t have a thought about it. One then tastes what it means to be light, free and alive.

When the mind has come to this state of stillness, it realises that it is still, and begins to make effort to keep the quietness. Stillness cannot be held by the mind. It has to become aware, again and again of its futile efforts to hold stillness. Then it makes no effort, when it has understood.

In asanas, the mind’s attention falls into embodiment. Then the mind is yoked to the body. This yoking happens with the help of breath. The actions become the mind’s anchor. The body demands the mind’s attention like a child demands its parent.

A human being goes through suffering because she is not able to see beyond herself. When the kala chakra, the flow of time, comes to a still for the first time, and the mind realises the beauty of silence, the ultimate of human suffering begins. The search to unite with the infinite. The search to come back to Ananda (joy, bliss) that we already knew as a child, but had forgotten. Yet if this beauty does not come about, the mind consumes itself and the vitality of the body and all of life’s energies go to waste. If this stillness does not come about, life becomes dry and painful. This stillness is the source of life.