Commentary by Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher Gita Haddad
Easefulness is defined in the English dictionary as a state of well-being and tranquility, a peaceful state of mind. In Sanskrit, a translation for easefulness is sukham, which means “comfort” as well as “ease.”
True easefulness results from staying connected to the ecstatic state of stillness within our own being. A life of ease is often associated with not having to work hard or with possessing material wealth. But an outer appearance of ease does not guarantee an easeful inner state—after all, we can experience mental agitation while lying in a hammock on a lovely day.
Bringing the state of easefulness into our activities in the ever-changing world is a skill we can learn. As we embark on this endeavor, we must apply effort, and one of the most effective efforts we can make is to cultivate an easeful practice of meditation.
In the Yoga Sutras, the sage Patanjali uses the term sukham to describe the perfect meditation posture:
sthirasukham āsanam ॥
Asana is both steady and easeful.1
This not only describes the ideal for the physical posture (asana) of meditation but also reflects the correlation between effort and easefulness that is at the heart of spiritual practice itself.
When we sit for meditation, there is effort involved in aligning our posture and keeping it steady. This steadiness in posture assists us to focus within and glide—easefully—into meditation. When we make the steady effort to meditate day after day, the stillness that we experience in meditation starts to be the foundation of every action we perform. We find that, just as we choose to bring our attention back from our thoughts to the Self when we meditate, we can choose to pause, remember, and reconnect with the expansive, relaxed place of perfect easefulness before speaking or acting at all times.
Gurumayi speaks about how learning to focus on the activities we engage in leads us to a state of complete stillness, the state from which easefulness arises. Gurumayi says:
In the midst of all your actions, there is total stillness. And it is no longer restlessness which is compelling you to do something, it is the inner silence. When your actions are born here, out of this inner silence, you experience such ecstasy, such bliss. Then wherever you go, you are utterly at ease, you are totally comfortable.2
With practice we get in touch with the natural easefulness of our own being, even in the midst of a busy life. We take delight in stillness within, and we communicate with the world from the place of inner steadiness and tranquility—with easefulness.