In Meditation for visualization

A Taste of Stillness

A light dandelion seed gently sits atop a wet steel beam in the darkness

Image thanks to Neal.

Just for a little while I experienced a deep state of clarity. It was much different than my normal state of busy thinking. Everything in my life was the same, but it was experienced differently. The kids and the dog were waking up in their usual noisy manner, yet it didn’t disturb my quiet state of mind. The focus of the mind was on this stillness. It didn’t take effort and it was held there firmly. Thoughts that were present in the background were experienced as light and passing.

I’m sure I could find it again without too much difficulty. It was brilliant, it was simple and it was effortless. However it didn’t happen accidentally and it didn’t arrive without initial effort. It’s probably best not to forget that it took a respectable amount of practice to get there though. It was as if all of the meditation sessions and reading finally came together, if only for a brief while.

Even if it was just for a half an hour or so in the morning, just having a taste of such undisturbed clarity was rewarding. Without the weight of thought affecting my mind I was able to feel the richness of simply breathing.

It may be one of the few times I’ve experienced this state so vividly. Even though it sounds like I’m just describing a calm clear state of mind, it was a bit different. It’s difficult to point out why exactly, but it was. It was a deeper focus. It was more centered and it made me feel physically lighter. Regardless, it’s worth experiencing and  I want to share an exercise with you that I use to reach this state.

Here’s what you can do tonight if you want to find your stillness:

  1. As you settle down for the night make an effort to be aware of your breathing and your thinking.
  2. Notice that if you are anxious or stressed, then your breathing is probably not calm.
  3. Become aware of that and turn your mind away from your thoughts to focus on rhythmic relaxed breathing.
  4. Maintain focus on your breathing as you get comfortable in bed.
  5. As you settle down, watch as thoughts pop in and out. Be aware of them, but simply witness them and let them pass.
  6. If you have any stressful or worrisome thoughts do your best to let them go.
  7. Scan your body for tense muscles. Notice any tension and stretch or move your body to relax.
  8. After relaxing your body, your breathing should become slower and more automatic.
  9. Again, give up your thinking and focus on this relaxed breathing.
  10. Once you’ve released tension in your body and distracting thoughts you should be able to reach a calm centered place. Just relax and let it be and stillness should appear naturally.

Being centered will allow you more freedom. Too often we are caught up in thoughts, images, and stories that run through the mind. It’s easy to forget who is in control. You are creating those stories and ideas that create the self-image – the concept of who ‘you’ are. By stopping the stream of thoughts, you can turn the minds eye towards creative possibilities.

Attaining clarity isn’t about disconnecting from the world, or from yourself. It’s about connecting in a more essential way. Try to reach this state of stillness through meditation when you next visualize. It will help you create from a deeper place. You will feel more at peace with yourself and have access to a resourceful state of mind. It’s a welcome break from the hectic state that people have a tendency to get caught up in.

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