Be Still and Know by Ellyn Nikkia Gray
Summer Solstice Inspiration 6 /21/08
How can we attain inner stillness? The bible says “be still and know that I am God.” That is the key. Right in that truth we have been given the keys to unlock the gate of heaven. But how do we find the correct door that matches the key? What stills the mind so that we can know God? Concentration and meditation. Stillness comes after we have practiced the first two. When we go to church or gather with others or read the scriptures we spend hours upon hours talking of God, reading of God. But how much time do we spend in deep concentration upon God? How much time do we spend in deep meditation upon God? How much time do we spend in that stillness letting God nourish our spirit. We cannot expect to truly be one with God or to truly know and love God and be able to follow God’s will without silence, without concentration, without deep meditation.
The first door is concentration. Through concentration we begin to calm the mind and thus calm the body and prepare it for meditation. Real concentration is that which focuses the mind on God. It can be through focusing on the breath or focusing on energy, bringing God’s cosmic energy into the body and by practicing concentration techniques. We bring the body and mind to calm center where by it is prepared to sit in silent meditation.
Silent meditation is the second door. In meditation we have brought he senses to a close. There is stillness in body and mind. The mind is brought from the outer senses to the inner. You begin to go up the spine and direct the mind to the higher spiritual centers. By using techniques of meditation, we slowly redirect the energy in body and mind inward and upward. We release attachment to sight by closing our eyes, sound through inwardly listening to the inner cosmic sound, touch vanishes through keeping the body still, our sense of smell is rerouted through pranayam (life force control). We focus on the breath. As we move the life force around the spine the sense of taste is vanquished by the bliss, joy, peace and love of God experienced during the correct practice of pranayam meditation. You are no longer a little body, an American, a man nor woman. You identify les and less with the outer world less and less with external and more and more with the light of God within that you experience in deep meditation.
The third door is Silence. Silence is achieved after the first two stages. In concentration we are stilling the physical functions of the mind and body. In meditation we are stilling all the faculties of the mind and body and take our selves through meditation techniques to a place of total stillness and silence. This is not an empty mind. This is awareness in stillness. You are not thinking or doing or being. The mind and body are calm like a crystal clear lake. No ripples no, waves, no movement. Just clear. This is the true reflection of you. This is the time where grace flows, this is where God can pour his bliss into you. We must be careful here. We must not judge ourselves or the experience while in this state. We must also have no expectations while in the stillness. This is the time to just be. Stillness is where God reveals himself to you. This is the most important part of your practice. You must not leave your meditation seat before you have come to the point of stillness. After sitting in that stillness for a while, it may become uncomfortable. We are not living in a world where stillness is valued or appreciated. Your mind, your ego, your body will fight against this intruder called stillness. This is okay. This is normal. It takes time, it takes patience, practice and determination. You will overcome with persistence as with all things. After the practicing of stillness, if restlessness begins to set in; that is the time for you to pour your heart out to the divine Mother (or Father, or whatever your concept of God is) with deep expressions of love and longing. The Divine cannot escape your heartfelt devotion, and neither can you escape her all embracing love.