We have experienced some moments in our life when the world around us just stop for a few seconds and all that we can feel is bliss. No living in the past and not worrying about future, just this moment and us. At that time we are not longing for anything, we feel complete from within. The noise around us turns into soft music and everything looks beautiful. Our body is filled with peace and we experience the ultimate relaxation. All the stress just vanishes and some kind of vacuum is created within us. That moment reminds us that we can restart our life as we are filled with so much of energy. Sadly this does not last for long and we go back to our routine life where we hardly feel the life within.
I call this a moment of stillness. There is no change in the external world. It is still buzzing with all the chaos, but everything inside us feels different. These kinds of experiences also remind me that it is what is going inside us that makes us feel good or bad. Our reactions to outside world make us stressful or peaceful. It is and it was always our choice to remain calm or to burst out. Normally we choose the easy one and that is what the majority of us are doing. It is easy to give up than to win the fight with our own mind.
We might not create many moments of stillness in our lives, but few such moments can make our entire day. There is no prerequisite of a person or a place to feel such moments. We can practice this anytime What is needed is a commitment to take out some time off even for 10 seconds. If you have time at night or in the morning, then just sit on your sofa or on a chair. If you can find a quiet place, then it is good otherwise just sit wherever possible. Take few deep breaths and focus on the air going in and out. Try to close your eyes. Focus on any part of your body and see if you can feel the sensation. Try to increase this sensation and feel it in your entire body. After this, stop all the efforts and be in this moment.
I also practice another way. Before having my dinner, I just sit there without touching any electronics. I recite mantras like Gayatri or repeat Aum in my mind. These mantras are very powerful. In my previous articles, I have mentioned that we need to create mind waves that we want in order to stop waves that we do not want. Mantras can help us do that. Gazing at the food for 30 seconds and feeling grateful for it. This release the tension from my body that I have accumulated during the day and allow me to enjoy the food. Remember these are just small practices which can help us, but the real benefit will come when we will realize the eternal truth and will live every moment with immense stillness.
Many think that stillness is a sign of inactivity and it is for lazy people and hence they want to get involved themselves in all non-productive activities. Notice yourself, can you sit idle even for 1 minute. You will feel suffocate until you grab your mobile. I have experienced this many times and I really feel helpless. My wife can affirm this. At the same time, I have this thought in my mind that this is not correct and I need to change. That awareness has helped me in reducing such instances. We need to be mindful that staying busy continuously is not OK just because the entire world is doing that.
The goal of the Vedanta is to carry out real activity combined with eternal calmness. The calmness which cannot be disturbed by anything that happens in the world. People are afraid of stillness or calmness. They feel that they will not be able to carry out the work and will not achieve their goal if they become calm. In reality, when we lose the control of our feelings, we waste too much of energy and we disturb our mind. It is only when the mind is very calm and collected the whole of its energy and put it in the work, we get the best result. The study of most of the successful people states that they all are very calm people.
Another argument is that it is not practical to be a calm person in today’s competitive world. The Vedanta preaches ideal and we know that ideal is something very far from the real or from practical. We have two options, either we bring the ideal to our level and we call it being practical or we elevate our self so that we can achieve the ideal. Vedanta deals with the second option and that is also practical. It is easy or practical to assume that we cannot practice calmness as everything around us is chaos, but the real practical life is in which we find the stillness even in this ever-changing world. It is just how we look at being practical.
Calmness is the eternal nature of human being and that is why we are always searching for peace. The only problem is that the search is always carried out in the external world, whereas it was always within. I pray that every one of us finds the ultimate peace and reaches to the highest ideal.