Pure silence is within you. It is not just the absence of sound, or lack of noise. It is the ground, the basis of your very being. There is nothing to find out, nothing to get, nothing to prove. Just listen with your whole being to what is here, now. It is the most amazing thing you can ever discover. It is with you now. It is you. The only way to fond this is to stop everything else. Everything! Just be!
While many people falsely believe the goal of yoga is to become more flexible, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika teaches us that the goal of Hatha yoga is to prepare us for meditation (raja yoga). When we sit and quiet the mind, the body can rest and heal, and the tight pockets of stress that limit us in life are released.
Sitting in meditation helps quiet what the yoga sutras call “turnings of thought” so that our true nature can reveal itself. This true nature (atman) is characterized by a deep sense of peace and wholeness and our connection to Spirit is more easily recognized.
Sitting still is not easy, however. I offer regular workshops on the practice of seated meditation and my book , The Findhorn Book of Meditation, offers a simple, user-friendly introduction to the practice. Please check my events schedule for upcoming workshops and visit my Home Practice page for information on guided meditation recordings to help you develop a regular sitting practice.
Learning to Sit
From Inner Tranquility: A Guide to Seated Meditation
The Buddha was once asked which meditation technique was the most effective. The master’s response was both simple and profound. “The one you practice.” Therefore, start your practice with this simple technique and explore others as well. The important thing is that you get started and that you practice consistently.
Sit in a comfortable upright position. Some people sit cross-legged, and others prefer to kneel. It is also acceptable to sit in a straight-backed chair. Allow your body to relax and take a few deep full breaths to shift into a quiet space.
As you begin to quiet down, focus on the sensation of the breath flowing in and out of the nose where it touches the upper lip. There is no need to change the quality of the breath. Simply watch it move in and out. You will find that the mind will frequently wander. This is natural. Once you notice that the mind has wandered, bring the mind gently back to the breath.
The whole process is one of bringing the mind back to the breath over and over again. Try not to be discouraged by how much the mind will wander. You have been letting your mind wander without discipline for many years. You can’t expect it to sit still overnight. Rather than chastising yourself for letting your mind wander, praise yourself for noticing and gently bring it back.