Yoga and meditation offer a path towards inner silence and stillness. But why are these so important and more importantly why are they so elusive?
In the yogic tradition inner silence is the state of mind where the thoughts rest or are absent altogether. One of the fundamental aspirations for those who practice yoga, it gives greater access to the present moment.
Inner silence comes when our thoughts slow down, or quieter completely, leaving behind a pure awareness of the present moment, a pleasant state of awareness and clarity that allows for the space around us to be pure, natural and inspiring. We find this when taking in a beautiful scene in nature, a perfect moment of romantic love or when engrossed in a piece of work that combines the right amount of challenge and inspiration.
Typically we wait for these moments. We hope there will be one around the corner, to relieve our sense of boredom or to take us away from a nagging sense that we should be doing or feeling something more in life.
Sometimes we go to great lengths to achieve these moments. We strive for achievement, giving all of energy to our work, friends or family at great cost to our physical or mental health. We go on holidays to inspiring places or make improvements to our homes and living spaces with the promise that the sense of peace and calm we so strive for will follow.
We soon discover however that these moments, even if we can achieve them, soon pass and are once more replaced by longing or the nagging sense of anxiety.
Through the practice of yoga we uncover through experience, the cause for these moments, not by our external surroundings, our achievements or the feedback we gain from others. We discover the source to be rooted in the stilling of the mind’s constant activity.
We become engrossed and absorbed in the present moment to the exclusion of past experiences or future concerns. Through practice we gain greater access to these moments and greater control over the stillness that rests in each of us at all times. This becomes the reason for our practice.