Stillness in the modern world

In my first transformation, I talked about slowing down and taking time to appreciate the small things.  In my second transformation, I am going to take this one step further and talk about stillness.  Stillness is a concept which is very difficult to practice in our everyday world – many of us live in a city where things are buzzing 24/7 and where we are connected and contactable at any time of the day.  Have you noticed that if you take the mrt or bus to work, everyone is on their phones either sending emails, browsing the internet, or watching videos?  Are you a culprit? What about just going on the ride and having the mind being still?

Mediation (dhyana) is very effective in stilling the mind. The second sutra of Patanjali says “Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodhah”, this can be translated as “yoga is the cessation of the fluctuation of the mind”.  Both asana practice and dhyana can help reach a point of stillness.

The bonus effect of meditation is that it makes you more efficient throughout the day.  Did you know what Ray Dalio (billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund firm), Rupert Murdoch (the media tycoon), Oprah (no introduction needed), Bill Ford (Ford Company), Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post) all have in common?  They all meditate.   Now I’m not saying that if you meditate that you will become a billionaire, but what I would argue is that it helps to remind you of the importance of the presence and that life is not eternal.  When the mind is trying to grapple with multiple tasks, mediation helps you to prioritise and to behave in certain ways, hopefully with more compassion.

Prior to my YTT, I tried meditation here and there but it was definitely not part of my daily practice.  Now, I can’t imagine it not being in my daily practice.  Yes, I do have thoughts that come in and out of my mind when I meditate, but I know that is normal for someone who is starting off with mediation. I just try and watch these thoughts come and go.  During the day, I don’t feel so burdened with multiple tasks and I can detach myself from some, giving me more space to work on the things that are important.  I am thankful for this transformation and as an aspiring yoga teacher, I hope that I will help future students find a bit of stillness in their busy lives.

Namaste Sabine (200 hr Weekend YTTC)