Inner Stillness

How to Find Inner Stillness

In yogic philosophy, the process of withdrawing from the world is called pratyáhára. Pratyahara is achieved first in the physical body. By sitting in full lotus or half lotus, by cupping the hands and placing them in the lap, by closing the eyes, a person is in effect shutting out the world and preparing the mind for an inward journey. However, there’s still the mental chatter to address! Shutting the eyes doesn’t shut off the mind as you likely know. True pratyahara means withdrawing the mind from crude physical objects that are perceptible by the sense organs, and then directing it toward something else. However, that process isn’t easy.

Tantric guru Shrii Shrii Anandamurti says human beings are like impure gold. And if the impure gold, which is completely natural, is put in the hands of an experienced goldsmith, the gold will become pure and glittering after the impurities are removed. Impurities are embedded in the mind, they are inseparably associated with it. They cause pleasure and pain. They are impediments that keep a person from knowing true peace. How are human impurities removed?

First through washing the human mind with the holy water of the moral and ethical code known as yama and niyama. Secondly, through meditation. However, even in meditation the mind must be directed toward something, and in this instance if a person is trying to achieve peace, directing the mind toward the source of all peace will help them in their quest. What is the source of peace? What is beyond the scope of time, place, and form? What remains unaffected even amidst the most chaotic of circumstances? Brahma. Brahma, the combination of consciousness and the creative energy pervading the universe is beyond all limits, all constraints. Brahma cannot be measured or perceived with the sensory organs and instead must be felt internally using the heart. And the first step in doing so is practicing pratyahara or withdrawal.

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