Stillness is our natural state of being. It doesn’t mean being motionless or numb. It is a state of presence, right here, right now, an exceptional experience, highly expansive, all encompassing!
It is said that, in stillness, you experience God. Paramahansa Yogananda said, “Stillness is God”. The Bible also says, “Be still, and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10. Let us first try to understand the creation and the Creator before trying to realise Him.
The Supreme Being
The creation is part of the Supreme God. He is permeating all this creation but he is beyond this creation at the same time. In the ancient dharma teachings, it is cited as Kshetra and Kshetragnya. It literally means the field and the knower of the field. The whole manifestation is considered as field and the knower of the field is the Supreme God. Put another way, “ishavasyam idam sarvam”. The Supreme Being, is here, now and is everywhere.
The Supreme Being is all pervasive energy (or power) with intelligence (or consciousness). From the Supreme Being comes all manifestation. In the manifested part of the Supreme Being, there are light and darkness as talked about in Genesis. In Sanatana Dharma, it is referred to as purusha and prakriti. Purusha is pure energy with intelligence or consciousness and prakriti is pure matter, also known as moola prakriti or root mater. Moola prakriti may be considered similar to a black hole. Thus, the purusha and prakriti; light and darkness; pure energy and root matter are all two aspects from the Supreme Being. When they combine, the creation is brought about.
Consequently, in the creation, we have energy and matter. However, what you state as energy is not pure energy; it has some matter. Even light has particles! Similarly, when you say matter, it is not pure matter; it has some energy in it.
The two important statements to be recognised: In everything there is all pervading consciousness of the Divine. Also, everything is within the Divine (therefore is Divine); There is nothing separate from it. This consciousness infusing everything has different degrees. Now, our inability to identify the Divine nature in everything, leads us into fears, doubts, frustration, inability to understand the purpose of life, confusion and dissatisfaction.
Degrees of Consciousness
There is water in the air, but you cannot drink water from air, like you drink from a water bottle. Similarly, there is a difference between an ordinary person and an Avatar or a Holy Master. Consciousness is in everyone, but how much is it; to what degree? Qualitatively, consciousness is in everything, but, quantitatively how much?
In different kingdoms of nature, there are different levels of consciousness. The highest level of consciousness is found in the human kingdom. Those who are spiritually progressing are trying to increase this consciousness of the Divine within themselves.
But, how do you experience it? Be still and know that you are God! It is in stillness that you experience your true nature, the soul nature; and further the Paramatma nature and finally the Parabrahman Nature.
Practices that Steer Closer to Stillness
Many people complain that when they try to meditate, there are so many thoughts, mixed emotions and many distractions and disturbances. They are not able to sit still. This is natural, as your aura is clouded with many thoughts and feelings. It is just that you are not aware of it at other times. But, when you try to sit in quietude for meditation, you realise that there are so many things inside you. At least now, it has come upon you. You can now work on ridding yourself of them. In other words, you must clean your aura.
How can you clean your aura? It may take a long time by going into seclusion and working on it. For a faster approach, some people chant mantras. That is good, but they must be used to a limited extent; that is, in moderation. Excessive usage of mantras is not safe. The vibration of mantra raises the consciousness of your physical, emotional and mental bodies and hence, all that is grosser, unwholesome, disagreeable and unsympathetic gets dropped.
The fastest method of purifying your aura is to become a channel of the Divine. When you become a channel of the Divine, energy flows through you. Thus, it cleanses you. You may channel the blessings to all kingdoms of nature and entire Earth using the prayer of Great Invocation or practice the Planetary Peace Meditation to bless the Mother Earth or heal someone to help in restoring his health. You can bring a change by aligning with the plan of the Divine and becoming a conduit to bring peace on Earth. When you become a channel of peace, the peace will fill and flow through you. You will become a reservoir of peace with higher degree of peace inside you. You may internalise peace, love and forgiveness in this manner by becoming a medium bursting with and emanating peace, love and forgiveness.
You are not giving out your energy, you are an instrument in channelling energy. You may say that energy is permeating everywhere, so why should we channel it? Imagine you are blowing a balloon. Air is there around, but the balloon is not inflated on its own. You have to put pressure and blow the air into the balloon. The air is not from you. You draw it from the surroundings. In the same manner, the healer is a channel for the Divine. When you do a prayer asking for well-being for everyone, you are an avenue for the Divine. Ask and you shall receive it. You have to believe it, and have entitlement to receive. You can improve your entitlement by giving. In this process, your aura gets purified as the divine energies flow through you. By regularly channelling, your aura gets purified of most of the unnecessary emotions and thoughts.
Before this your physical body and energy body must be strong. For which physical exercises and breathing exercises are very important. Breathing exercises strengthen the aura.
In order to be physically fit, right and proper diet is also imperative. Right diet helps with subtler aura. Fruit diet, the natural diet made available by God, which is pre-cooked and/ or pre-digested mostly, must be part of your main diet or one meal of the day. You must maintain your body.
For attaining stillness, the first requirement is that your aura and emotional condition must become calmer. Let us take an analogy of muddy water in a pond. The mud has to settle down, for the water to become clear. Now, you can see what is inside at the bottom of the pond and also the reflection of things above, provided the water is also still. Likewise, even if water is still, but if its dirty, you cannot see through it or make out any reflection in it. Hence, water must first become clean. That is calmness! Only after calmness is achieved, there is significance or relevance of stillness. When you are calm and still, you can reflect your true nature, which is otherwise not visible, by manifesting it in your lower bodies as a reflection of your higher true nature. When disturbed, your aura is like muddy, dirty water and also not still.
All great people, religions, scriptures advice to practice stillness. But then, how can you be still when you are shaking with emotions, your breathing is erratic and your system is pulsating. Breathing is the key. If your breathing is erratic, it means you are not in calmness. The diaphragm might be vibrating. The energy centre near the diaphragm is called Solar Plexus, which is a seat for both positive and negative lower emotions. That is, it is connected with lower emotions, like, anger, irritability, frustration, sadness, etc. And also, with positive traits of courage, emotional commitment and persistence. This centre must be regulated with breathing exercises in order to calm yourself of any unpleasant feelings.
How to obtain more calmness? Try out forgiveness sadhana. If you are not able to forgive, you get stuck with the same old patterns of thinking, re-experiencing the same distasteful emotions. With all these going on within, how can you get hold of calmness? Learn to forgive yourself, others and ask for forgiveness from others, all in the mind. Practice sincere forgiveness, learn the lessons from these situations and move forward. In every case, forgive internally and take right corrective external action only if need be. That is deeper level of Ahimsa! Inaction is injury. However, right kind of force, right amount of force, at right time must be exercised. The intention for taking the action must be clear. It is to mobilise someone or to stop any injury; the intention is not to take revenge or to cause injury!
To be able to experience this all-pervasive or pure energy with intelligence or consciousness of the Divine, which is always present in and around you, you must be emotionally calm. Subsequently, when stillness ensues, your true nature above is reflected unerringly below. Hence, the people who are in stillness are embodying the aspect of the Divine, they are being an instrument for the Teacher. They are an outpost of the Divine by expressing the Divine through their entire being. There are degrees of calmness and different levels of stillness.
So where is this Stillness? How do you find it?
Once your aura is clean and calm by using the techniques mentioned already, you can now try to achieve stillness. Stillness is there between every two actions; between a word and another word, like amidst two utterances of OM, Ameen, Amen, or Krishna, Jesus, Christ. Your consciousness raises with each vibration. So, between two words or vibrations, there is an interval. In this interval is the stillness. Further, there is a separation between one thought and another. In this period of separation there is stillness. You cannot recognise this when your aura is clouded with multiple thoughts and emotions. This happens only after achieving certain level of calmness. When your breathing is coherent and smooth, you can experience a gap in the middle of inhalation and exhalation. In that gap there is stillness!
Learn to be aware of this gap between two actions, words, thoughts or breathing for a short time. Experiencing your true nature implies you realise your soul nature which is deeper inner peace, ecstatic bliss and immeasurable oneness. In deep stillness, you understand that spiritually there is only oneness. You understand this all-pervasive energy with intelligence or consciousness at different levels.
You may try our live sessions on Facebook, which are being conducted thrice a day, for practicing the various techniques of achieving calmness first and then experiencing stillness in meditation. These techniques include exercises, breathing exercises, chanting of the mantra Om for purification, practicing forgiveness, channelling the Divine energies to entire Mother Earth through loving kindness meditations, like, Planetary Peace Meditation, Metta meditation and through the prayer of Great Invocation in different sessions. There is also a guided group healing that is performed to purify your aura, soothe your being and help with faster recovery of any ailments.
You may also try the YPV Sadhana app which is available for free in various languages. It has guided tracks for the techniques just mentioned.