“The quieter you become,
the more you are able to hear.” – Rumi
Isn’t that so true! Certainly where meditation is concerned, when we still the breath through the practice of pranyama, the body and mind gradually become still. We find ourselves no longer enslaved to all the bodily sensations but can start to focus within. This turning inwards of the senses is called pratyahara and this practice allows us to be in the silence. As we sit in this silence, we can chant Om (or your preferred sacred words) inwardly or outwardly, almost like a foghorn sounding through the mist. Feel the vibration of the words in your head and concentrate on their meaning.
And we listen for a response. We may hear the noises of our body (pulse, heartrate and so on); we may hear one of the sounds associated with the chakras in the body (buzzing bee for root chakra, flute for sacral chakra, harp for solar plexus, bell for heart chakra, rushing water for throat and a conglomeration of all the sounds at the spiritual eye). You may hear static. Concentrate on whatever you hear. You may hear nothing (which in itself is great – no restless thoughts!). Don’t force it, just be in the stillness. Pray, chant an affirmation, or be silent. You will find an amazing sense of peace comes over you if you simply surrender to the quietness, to a state not of doing, but of simply being. For some people, this is a wonderful relaxation and de-stressing technique. For many others, it is in this peace and stillness that we connect with God / Source. And it is wonderful!
Recent studies have demonstrated the numerous physiological benefits of meditating (sitting in inner stillness), with spine erect to allow the life force to flow upwards in the body:
- brainwaves shift from beta (processing information and external stimuli) to alpha (relaxed state) so the nervous system can rest;
- relaxed muscles decrease tension headaches and other tension-related pain in the body;
- regular use can lead to a reduction in anxiety;
- increased peace and joy felt in meditation overspills into our relationships with others and improves our self-esteem and happiness.
The list is really endless. For more information, visit www.artofliving.org. Whatever you do today, try to find a few minutes to become quiet. Who knows what you will hear! Much love, Anita. 😘🙏