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Section 7: Sitting in Stillness

We can intentionally enter stillness anywhere at any time. However, if this practice is new to us, it may be best to start with a daily practice of sitting in stillness for fifteen to thirty minutes shortly after we get up in the morning, before the activities and responsibilities of the day are upon us.

There are two reasons for this. First, our mind is generally less active at this hour than it is later in the day. Second, we will take the benefits of our practice of stillness into the rest of our day.

To begin this practice, we choose a quiet place. Sitting comfortably upright, we keep our body still and close our eyes. As we sit in stillness, we let go of any expectations of what is supposed to happen. We simply hold the intention to enter the stillness within us.

The key is to allow our breathing to take us inward. Breathing naturally, we simply become conscious of our breath. Next, we notice the inhale stage and the exhale stage. We then intentionally make the exhale longer than the inhale, and as we do so, we feel ourselves going deeper into the stillness. This can be achieved more easily if, when we let go of our exhale, we also let go of any tension in our body, allowing the body to deflate as it were.

After we have done this for several breathing cycles, according to what feels comfortable to us, we return to breathing naturally. At this point, if we wish, we can take our attention off our breath and simply be in the stillness.

If thoughts come or emotions arise, we allow them without resistance, letting them subside just as effortlessly as they arise. If an insight or an impulse to do something emerges out of the stillness, we make a mental note of it, then return our attention to the stillness.

This also applies to any bodily sensations we may experience, including discomfort or pain. Since most of us put little, if any, of our attention on our body, when we become still the body often takes this opportunity to tell us where it hurts or where it’s holding frozen energy as a result of suppressed emotions that seek to be released. Whenever we feel soreness or a twinge of pain, we can send loving energy to this area of our body, breathing into the place we feel the discomfort until it passes.

As we go within, we will become aware of an animating force that gives life to our whole body. This was referred to earlier as our  “inner body.” The best way to remain anchored in stillness is to keep our attention on the sensations of our inner energy body.

If we are new to feeling our inner body, it may be difficult at first to experience the sensation of the energy of the inner body. This is because we have been conditioned to give almost all our attention to thoughts, emotions, and the external experiences of our everyday life.

In such a situation, it’s important not to make an effort to feel our animating life force. If we struggle to experience something, we can’t be in stillness. Instead, we are patient with ourselves.

Since it’s easier to feel our inner energy in the body’s extremities than to feel it in our trunk, it’s helpful to start by putting our attention on one hand, then our other hand. Next we feel both hands at the same time. Following this, we bring our attention to one foot, followed by the other foot. As with our hands, we next feel both feet at the same time. Then we allow ourselves to feel the energy in both hands and both feet simultaneously.

Next we focus our attention on the whole of one arm, followed by the other. Then we place our attention on both arms together. Following this, we switch our attention to the whole of one leg, then the other. Next we place our attention on both legs simultaneously. From here, we move to feeling the life within all four limbs at the same time.

In this way, we continue to bring our attention to other parts of our body until we can feel the whole body as a single energy field. The more we sit and practice feeling our inner body, the easier it will be to do so. The more intensely we feel the energy, the more sublime the experience.

With practice, we will carry this inner body energy with us beyond our isolated sitting practice into our daily activities. In other words, we will be aware of and participate in the external circumstances of our life, while simultaneously sensing the energy field of our inner presence.

When we are attuned to the energy of our inner presence, we can’t become lost in the world of everyday events. On the contrary, we bring the healing and corrective power of presence into all we do and to all we meet.

 

Opportunity for Self-inquiry and Sharing:

  1. Have you experienced feeling your inner body? If so, describe what it felt like and the effect it had on you.
  2. Share your daily practice of sitting in stillness. What does it feel like? How does it help you?

 

This ends Section 7

The next section will be posted on May 3

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mikaylamikayla920's picture

The more we sit and practice feeling our inner whole body, the easier it will be to do so. The more extremely we think the power, the more classy the experience. RightAndroid

SueM's picture

Hi David and everyone, I am also new and posting at a late date. I have only recently tried meditation for the first time at age 49. My son gave me Tolle's Power of Now and encouraged me to read it twice. I have done that, and now trying to quiet my mind and meditate. Does anyone have any tips on this? I cannot keep my mind quiet for more than just a few seconds.
I realize I may not get a response! David...I feel ya! :)

DavidCSW's picture

I don't even know if, at this late date, this will be posted. I just discovered this site. I am reading through it as slowly as I possibly can. (When I read spiritual material I am more in the silent present than when I practice sitting meditation.) My primary problem in meditation practice is a lethargy that overcomes me. Especially if I begin any relaxation technique or concentration practice. I nod out. The only way I have been successful at staying awake is during aerobic exercise. Then, quite often, I become aware of being aware and can stay focused (for a few seconds at a time) on awareness itself. Why do I fall asleep?

Pilgrim's picture

I focus on my breathing. I relax into the space around it. Then I feel the energy in my body. I relax into the space around it. Thought instantly lessens. I am at the doorway. I still don't know who I am. However, the peace at the doorway carries me into the day without dread.

Constance Kellough's picture

Dear Pittsburgh,

I have faith that in due time people will accept the invitation to come to the banquet and participate in it. And when they do, you will have the benefit of their companionship, and they will find the benefit of your wonderful input.

Spiritual practice is just that - spiritual "practice." It is something that you give priority to in your life because you know that it is the way to experience the gifts of our vibrational/spiritual nature.

Pittsburgh's picture

Thanks, Constance. Hopefully your prediction will come true soon.

Constance Kellough's picture

Dear Pittsburgh, I was remiss in getting the next section in Journey to Higher Consciousness to our Site Managing Editor to post. I sent this off to her just a few minutes ago with the request that she post the next weekly installment as soon as possible. The next section, which will run over three weeks, is entitled: Our "Inner Knower." Looking forward to your participation and comments on this as well.

Blessings and Namaste,

Pittsburgh's picture

I am so happy that you are still there and have no intention of quitting. It is wonderful to continue this forum and I hope that more join us in this quest. Yes, the stillness is certainly arising and along with that the tendency to not worry about the past or future. It has been a quick upturn and I want to believe Tolle when he says that the arising does not take time. However, I feel that while underlying presence may be ever-present, the removal of old habits takes time. Each time I listen to him, I seem to find something new. It is wonderful to proceed in this quest. What is this about my mother country? Tolle does namaste at the end of his talks and here you are saying namaste as well.

Namaste = Namah (bow) + Te (you) = I bow to you

Constance Kellough's picture

Pittsburg, you've got it. It's those old habits anchored in past pain that give us great challenge.

Namaste right back.

Pittsburgh's picture

Constance,

Thanks for the very encouraging words and for continuing to post even in the absence of significant participation. I do not know why the participation is so low here. It seems that most of the people are interested in just reducing their anxiety through the spiritual knowledge. Then when it comes to serious practice to actually achieve consciousness transformation, most take a back seat. The mind is so strong and then we have many habits to overcome. Also desire for satisfaction from worldly forms is deeply entrenched. Thus the movement towards serious transformation becomes very slow.

Another problem is that most of the religions do not tell us why this transformation is essential. It is only through people like Tolle and you that clarity is possible. I asked a realized master once why he was recommending this very tedious Yoga practice. The only answer I could extract from him was that the result will be good for me. To an intellectually inclined mind that kind of vague statement is not satisfying.

I apologize for the comment on Namaste. I did not know that you are the founder of Namaste Publishing.

Namaste.

Constance Kellough's picture

So happy you are experiencing a deeper level of stillness. Keep your regular trysts with stillness and witness your life being filled with more joy, more peace, more grace. The Cosmic Power of Divine Love resides within the field of stillness.

Namaste.

Pittsburgh's picture

Looks like the anonymous author gave up due to lack of interest from the audience. This is so sad. This could have been a very interesting journey. I would love any communication from the author. Hopefully, I am wrong and the author will come back.

Constance Kellough's picture

Hello, I AM here. We will be posting the next section shortly. Thank you so much for being part of this Journey with us.
Know that there is no such thing as giving up from this end. The Journey WILL continue.

Bless you.

Pittsburgh's picture

I tried this Yoga stuff for a long time and finally gave up. Meditation and keeping attention on breath are standard Yoga techniques. The problem was the excessive time and commitment needed for regular practice. May be it is the Tolle's simple techniques, but this time around I have felt the stillness much more easily.

Why are the comments from other posters missing? I just saw this great forum recently and was hoping some fellow aspirants would be using it.