Over the past few weeks and months you may well have struggled to occupy yourself in these times of lockdown, isolation and social distancing. Surrounded by all the negative news and views, it’s hardly a surprise that many have experienced escalated levels of boredom, anxiety, uncertainty, worry and fear. And yet, this slowdown has also presented us with the opportunity to dive deep into the transformative stillness of our inner being.
Perhaps the idea sounds a bit dull and uninspiring? Well bear with me. Being still in body and mind is not a route to loneliness and boredom, but a doorway to liberation, an opportunity to expand awareness and evolve as a human being. In fact, at its core it’s the most alive you can feel, more complete and fulfilling than any mental, emotional or physical high, so it’s definitely worth the personal investment of your time and effort wouldn’t you say?
One of the most effective meditational practices to reconnect with stillness I have found requires two things; your willing presence and a lit candle. A ‘tea light’ type is a relatively safe option but please ensure you take all the necessary precautions before lighting it!
If from the outset you struggle to deal with the idea of approaching stillness, you can add your own calm relaxing instrumental music to help create a chilled atmosphere. It’s worth remembering that as you become more proficient, you will no longer have a need to be supported by this music, so try not to get stuck with it for too long as it’s an additional tool rather than a necessity.
So here’s an outline for those who need it;
- Choose a darkened room and place your candle in a safe position where it’s easily visible.
- Keeping the same place or spot to return to is helpful.
- Light the candle.
- Get comfy (try to keep a straight back) and take a few deep breaths to empty your mind as you relax and unwind.
- To begin with, just look at the candle and bring your full attention to the flame. There is nothing else you need to do.
- If thoughts arise and interrupt your concentration, just be aware of this. You are not your thoughts. If it’s useful, repeat the word ‘CANDLE’ in your head or out loud as a trigger to help return your full awareness to the light.
- Remember there is nothing required of you in this moment; nowhere to be, nothing to do or say, for thoughts, words and actions are all unnecessary.
- When your thoughts have passed, and the mind’s commentary has died down, return your full awareness to the candle once more.
- If you’re mind engages again, it’s okay, just be aware this is happening and keep returning your awareness back to the candle
- Relax into the light of the candle while remaining aware and alert.
- Continue holding this as long as possible.
- When you end, take a few deep breaths before extinguishing the candle.
Each time you finish a session, be conscious to hold the sense of peace and calm you find at the heart of your stillness meditation and bring it back into your daily life. It’s not as easy as it seems, but like going to the gym, if you stick at it, it will become easier and the benefits will multiply as your practice continues.
At some point, you will notice how improved you’ve become at watching thoughts come and go. Noticing them arrive and watching them leave. You will begin to see they are just thoughts. You are not your thoughts; but the permanent awareness underlying these passing thoughts.
In time, the real magic of this practice occurs as you develop the ability to visualise the light of the candle with your eyes closed. This is a positive step which (with continued effort and practice) will then lead to the ability to visualise the candle at anytime of the day by just closing your eyes. In your mind’s eye you will be able to see the candle, and recognise the light within with you at all times. This ability is particularly beneficial in stressful times when you need to reconnect with the calm presence of your inner being. Eventually there is no need to close your eyes to visualise the candle, and you will be able to look out into the world with your eyes open, while at the same time ‘seeing’ the flame of the candle alight in your mind’s eye. This is strange but true, and genuinely possible because you are a multi-dimensional being. You can see in many ways.
When the churning mind is stilled, and you remain present, alert and aware, then you glimpse the truth of existence beyond the physical body and habitual mind. And if you exist beyond these, then you are not simply what you appear to be, nor what your intellect assumes.
When the mind is free and unburdened, we taste the nature of freedom, the joy of life and the eternal presence of peace. It’s powerful stuff! Just because you don’t appear to be doing anything, it doesn’t mean that nothing is taking place. Far from it, everything is! When mental commentary, emotional responses and the requirement for physical action fall away, you become directly aware of the oneness in which all life exists, the oneness you are, and realise you can never be alone because you are a part of a miraculous wholeness, a singular consciousness existing within and beyond all life.
Loneliness is a trick of the mind
In truth, you can never be alone for loneliness is a trick of the mind.
When released from the habitual content and flow of the mind, human consciousness exists in a timeless euphoric stillness I call pure mind. This is the same for all people. In this neutral space, we see things as they are not how we think, prefer, interpret or presume them to be. Pure mind is original, pristine and without preference or distortion. It’s already here living within you, all you need to do is seek it and sink into it. So why not embrace this amazing transformational power that is your divine birthright? In these times you will find it invaluable.
I hope you’ve found these words helpful to you. If you have any problems or questions about any area of seeking, then I invite you to contact me directly. It’s absolutely free. Please visit my website so you can read about me and my journey. Simply fill out the contact box on the landing page (details below) and I will get back to you offering help and support according to your needs. I don’t ask or require anything from you; I am simply here to be of service in these difficult times.
PLEASE NOTE: This free service is for those who seek advice, help and support in their spiritual awakening at this unusual and remarkable time in human history. There is no charge, so if you feel the need to contact me regarding any aspect of your awakening, please do so. It’ll be my pleasure to help you in whatever way I can.
In peace & gratitude,
J.M. Harrison (Jonathan) is a Soul Mentor and Award-winning author, musician and poet who began writing following a mystical death experience in 2007. He has taught alongside Barbara Marx-Hubbard, Esther Hicks, Caroline Muir, Lynn Andrews, Dr. Bruce Lipton and others. www.AuthorJMHarrison.com
You can contact Jonathan directly by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org