If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that everything has a birth, death, and rebirth cycle. Take this moment. It starts, ends, and is followed by yet another moment. The trick is not to get caught up so that the moments start backing up upon one another. And what causes the backup? Well attachment, of course. Attachment to one’s beliefs, thoughts, and ideals. Meditation, however, offers some relief from the suffering caused by attachment, noting that although it would be somewhat foolish to expect never to be attached to something, at least we can attempt to make progress.
Mukti Gray pens this recent Yoga Journal post on detaching from attachment through using meditation to rest in the stillness. Acknowledging that one of our issues is not recognizing our true nature, that of spirit, Gray offers perspective and exercises on how to cultivate the harmonizing quality of stillness.
What is Stillness?
Connect with the quiet at the center of your whirling energies.
Begin by sitting comfortably. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let your body settle, inviting relaxation. Observe your body as you allow it to cease moving. Lean softly into your experience and give it your whole attention.
Now drop this question into the space between your muscles and bones: What is stillness? Let your body experience the answer. Let the body’s response wash into every part of you, from the top of your head down to the floor or chair where you are sitting. As your body quiets and softens, notice the stillness gather and settle.
Maintaining a steady and intimate quality of attention, let the stillness widen and let your senses open globally to the outer world. Notice the space of your awareness and let it relax outward. Let sounds in the distance enter the space of your awareness, but don’t strain to hear or to make note of them. Notice any sounds that arise closer to you, between the edge of your body and the outer shores of your hearing.
While continuing to soften into stillness, rest a portion of your attention on the surface of your body, allowing it to stop there completely, allowing the stillness saturating you inside and out to soften any sense of boundaries between your body and the outside world.
Let any sense of a “me” who is aware relax out of the center, letting stillness dissolve all attachment, all effort.
Read more from Gray on using meditation to cultivate stillness here.