I had dinner with a friend last night, and we were talking about how it’s not always easy to be disciplined in our meditation practice, thus the concept of discipline. She said something that really clicked. She said, “I just physically walk myself over to my meditation spot, and make myself sit down.” Genius. Whether or not you have a regular asana (yoga pose) and meditation practice, you know that even if you don’t feel like it, you always feel better after you’ve done it. It’s true. I’ve never felt worse after I’ve pushed myself to flow through my practice or meditate. Sure, I might have a cleansing cry or a flood of thoughts bombard my mind, but that’s the point of meditating — sitting still long enough for the purification to happen.
During my meditation this morning, this concept surfaced itself in my noggin, and I giggled as I thought of an anecdote. Remember when you were little and your mom would squeeze your arm a little firmer than “gentle” so you’d stop fidgeting in church or in the theater? That’s kind of what I envisioned I’d do the next time I find myself with fidgety thoughts or racing anxiety.
In one of my very first posts, “The Silence Between,” I said (and I believe) that when you witness the silence between, you witness the stillness within. And the reverse can be true. When you become still, silence arises from within. First the body relaxes, then the breath quiets and calms, and so goes the mind. So, there’s more to it than just sitting still, right? Well kinda.
When you finally do wrangle your inner child to stop bouncing her knee and promise to sit still if even for five minutes, shift your awareness. Notice if there’s an inner struggle that’s manifesting in a clenched jaw or furrowed eyebrows. Notice that by simply bringing awareness to that physicality, it releases. Notice that when you let go, you actually feel lighter. You start to feel the subtle energies around you and releasing from within you. There doesn’t have to be a remarkable astral journey for this stillness, this silence to bring a sense of calm.
“Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.”
– Eckhart Tolle from Silence Speaks
Regardless of obligations, distractions, anxiety, anger, TV listings, or the time you don’t think you have, be your own parent and make yourself sit still for five minutes today.
I want to dedicate today’s post to my dear friend, Amita whom I love dearly. Amita, make yourself sit still on the mat today, and the beautiful spaciousness inside you will arise.
Much love and Namaste.
– Your Friend, Your Charmed Yogi