Quietness helps us to contact the Divine within. In January I enjoyed a wonderful retreat in Wainui, New Zealand, where we practised ‘noble silence’ from 10pm until 10am each day. During the other twelve hours we did our yoga, chanted, meditated, ate fabulous food, walked in the peaceful rural surroundings, swam, and talked to each other. Not everyone can spend a week like that, but even taking a little time each day to sit, or walk quietly, listening to nature and the still small voice within will bring rewards.
One aid we always have with us, the breath. Watching the breath, noticing, ‘now I am breathing in, now I am breathing out’ can be settling. The breath connects body and mind, connects inner and outer, and brings us into our centre. Sitting or lying, imagine you are breathing into your heart as you breathe in, then imagine you are breathing into a space in front of you, as you breathe out. Continue for a while, let the breath slow and become very quiet, let your awareness move around the sensations of the body, what you are feeling, your posture, let tensions flow away, and you may feel as though inner and outer space has become one, and you are simply a point of conscious awareness without boundaries. When you are ready to come back to everyday consciousness simply deepen your breath, and begin to move again.
From the Chandogya Upanishad we learn: “within the city of Brahman which is the body, there is the heart, and within the heart there dwells a little house … shaped like a lotus … as large as the universe outside, even so large is the universe within the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and earth, the sun, the moon, the lightning, and all the stars. Whether we know it in this world or know it not, everything is contained in that inner space.” (Chandogya, 191)
Whist on retreat Donna introduced us to music by Snatam Kaur, incredibly sweet, innocent and beautiful. We sang along with her “Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo (I bow to the subtle divine wisdom, I bow to the divine teacher within) Oh my Beloved, Kindness of the Heart, Breath of Life, I bow to you. Divine Teacher, Beloved Friend, I bow to you again and again. Lotus sitting on the water, beyond time and space, this is your way, this is your Grace.”
Bow to the Lotus in your heart, your own inner Divine Teacher.