Breathing Stillness

In Sweet Surprise on New Year’s Day, Gurumayi gave Siddha Yogis around the world her Message for the year. Gurumayi’s Message for 2019 is

Draw the mind to its essence.
Allow the mind to experience its luminescence.
Repeat this practice.
Enjoy its blessing.

Gurumayi’s talk on this Message had an immediate effect on me, even as I was listening to it for the first time. When I closed my eyes and thought positively about my life, I saw light and beautiful shades of radiance. When I thought negatively, the light vanished. However, I noticed that I wasn’t attached to either and that my state was steady. As I focused on my breath, I realized that there is stillness beyond the thoughts. With this awareness, I felt a deep sense of serenity, where my thoughts no longer had such a strong hold and I had a choice about where I wanted to focus. I understood in that moment that a unifying Consciousness is beneath whatever appears in my mind. I decided to encourage my mind to remember and revisit this state as often as possible.

As days went by, I found myself becoming more aware of my breath and feeling more centered in my being. I noticed that whenever I focused on my breath, the mind’s restlessness calmed, and I was able to be in the space from where all thoughts arise. I realized that the breath is a way of finding that stillness even in the most ordinary activities.

Since then, I have started to notice my perception shifting. For example, when cooking a meal, it is not a mechanical step-by-step process; I am engaged with the task at hand, and it’s enjoyable! While interacting with someone on the phone, I am able to feel connected not just with myself but with the other person as well.

In that stillness I find that I can do what’s needed without being caught in the restlessness of the mind. For example, I am able to clearly recognize when my body needs rest, and respond by stepping back and taking that time. When I am in touch with that space within, I’m better able to focus on the task at hand and accomplish what needs to be done with ease.

I also see more clearly the effort that is required to lead the mind towards that stillness. It is a process, and while it can happen automatically at times, it does require me to be aware of not only my thoughts, but also of how I am feeling. By taking a pause to become aware of my breath, I can give myself a gentle reminder to not judge or get caught up in the thoughts and feelings that arise, and instead focus on that steady state of serenity inside. I am able to get closer to the space I experienced while participating in Sweet Surprise.

From consciously focusing on the breath, I find I am able to bring my mind to the stillness within. Regardless of the nature of my thoughts, there is an underlying unity. Being aware of this is a constant practice. I know that I can breathe and connect with my own sense of being that is not attached to the ebb and flow of my thoughts. The breath is constantly there and is a great support. Recognizing and watching my own patterns from that place of stillness can lead me to my source, the place from where thoughts arise, which is beyond judgment and which is none other than pure Consciousness.


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