More Sitting Still (Part 2)
Sitting still in silence has various names and various techniques from various traditions. In Buddhism it is called Zazen or Mindfulness. In the Hindu tradition is it Yoga or mantra meditation. In Christianity it is contemplative prayer, Centering Prayer© or Christian Meditation©. In more secular language there is TM©, the Relaxation Response©, and hundreds of other methods and mixtures. The common thread to all these is silence and the allowing of the mind to be silent and still.
No matter what form or tradition of "sitting still" you currently practice or might practice, there is something very important to understand. The basic tenant of all these methods is the stopping of the mind in its tracks including ALL mental patterns, all words, images, desires, needs and expectations. If the technique you use is helpful in stopping the mind, if your practice is a compassionate and gentle ally, then by all means continue with it.
What does it mean to stop the mind? It means simply to realize that you are not your thought patterns. You are not your mantra. You are not any image that arises in your mind. In fact (and this is paramount) you are the Pure Silence itself. So in essence, "sitting still" is merely a way for you with your conditioned mind, with all your belief systems about who you think you are, to experience you as you are, in silent nothingness, aware of nothing in particular and witness to all that arises.
The actual "sitting still" is or can be symbolic of your entire life and a very good reminder that the nothingness of the Divine, the void, the silence, is constantly bathing you in its light and love; it is supporting you, lovingly and constantly, every millisecond in and through even the most tumultuous experiences of life. However, as I have said before, you do not need to sit still to realize this; this can also be realized this moment if you are ready with 100% intent and willingness to just surrender to Pure Silence. But, modern western humanity is very lazy, very stubborn and very conditioned. Perhaps some of us just need to take time out during our day to simply sit still and allow everything to just simply be, including that which we have labeled "mind." Maybe then we can more easily come to that moment in our lives when we are ready, with no effort, with no force, with only simple awareness of the Pure Silence of this moment to say, "yes, this is it, this is me, I've known all along but have forgotten, but now I know who I am, I am the Pure Silence of sitting still itself.
Love and joy to you.
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