Yoga for Stillness
Swami Satchidananda, who came to the US in the early 60’s under the protection of artist Peter Max, has something to say about that feeling in meditation when you feel you’re losing yourself, like you’re slipping away. He says “Don’t be frightened; it’s wonderful, fantastic. Why? If it happens to you, it means your system is ready. Your breath may even stop for a few minutes. That is what you call samadhi–you just become still.”
Have you ever had that experience? The more you practice Yoga–either the physical practices like asana and pranayama–or the more mental disciplines of meditation and svadhyaya, the more you’ll feel this stillness. You might even feel it at an unexpected moment, like driving in your car, or waiting in line at the post office. Or when gazing at a beautiful sunset. Then you’re really getting somewhere. Or nowhere!
Another door into stillness is through mantra repetition, using music, in the practice of kirtan. As my son once said after a long chanting session–he was only about 8 years old–he said “Mom, sometimes when we were chanting I couldn’t think of anything at all”. That’s the stillness. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with these celestial moments. Please leave your comments, share your bliss.