Samyama… the expansion of stillness.

Samyama is the outward manifestation of stillness within.

If you are on the spiritual path, there is one practice I highly recommend incorporating into your daily practice routine… Samyama.

The last three limbs of Patanjali’s 8 limbs of  yoga –  Dhayna,  Dharana,  Samadhi – are combined to make the practice of samyama.  It is by far the most powerful and useful practice I have ever experienced. In the beginning, it works the best when practiced right after meditation.

Please note:  I use the words inner silence, stillness and intuition interchangeably… I know people have many definitions for each word… but to me, they mean the same thing, the place from where the divine speaks to me.

In meditation we use a mantra (if we practice mantra meditation that is), and the mantra should not have a meaning…  more a sound (vibration) that we use to bring our mind back to stillness. Samyama is a practice where we now take the stillness we cultivated in meditation and expand it outward.

In samyama we work with a word or words that has some meaning to us…  like love, health, abundance, peace.  So, initially after meditation,

  1. we pick a word (like “Love”) – bringing the word into our awareness – Dhayna;
  2. we hold the word in our mind for a few seconds – focus on the word – Dharana;
  3. then, we drop it into stillness –  and be in stillness for a few seconds – Samadhi.

We will know it’s time to pick the word again when the mind starts wandering. We do this twice with each word.  So we can pick a set of words like Love, health, abundance. Pick one of the words, say it in our mind (in your mother tongue if the word holds a deeper meaning to you in that language).  We don’t focus on the feeling the word brings up or the meaning we know and define it or add boundaries to the word with our ideas,  we pick the word in our mind and hold it for a few seconds (how long do we hold it? as long as it will be the only word in our mind, when we feel the mind is wandering off the word we drop the word) and drop it (dropping it is as simple as not thinking the word any more) and be in silence for a bit (how long? when the mind starts wandering away from silence).

Inner silence amplifies…  So the word we picked and dropped into inner silence will get amplified in our lives. So if we work with “Love”, the love we give and the love we receive and the meaning (ideas and definitions that we have of the word) will change… become more open and allow us to give and receive and experience love at a whole new level.

This is an amazing practice to learn to let go…  Anytime something is bothering us, we pick the thought or feeling, hold it for a few seconds and drop it into stillness with the intention of letting it go…  An intention is a slight knowing on inside we want a solution to it. We don’t define the solution; we allow the solution to come to us. It can come to us in many forms, an insight, an inner knowing, something we read, hear, or an experience we encounter… this is inner silence (intuition) speaking to us.  The more we are in touch with our inner silence,  the more powerful this practice gets, that’s why meditation is recommended before doing this practice, at least in the beginning.  The best part of this practice is you can’t do it wrong and you can do no wrong/hurt anyone with it, because you are working with pure inner silence /stillness…  From There you cannot hurt, Samyama will not work if you are sending negative intentions.

Prayers, healing, self-inquiry are very powerful when done this way… Not the long prayers, but a short prayer…  Say it, drop it and let it expand in stillness…  This is a practice of surrendering to “thy” will…  Not “my” will…  And so it will take a bit of time to “see” the blessings, because we are so caught up in our ideas we don’t see the subtle blessings,  like I say, if God says I will visit you and you wait for God to show up in the form you think God should be in,  you will miss him when he brushes your face as a butterfly.

Of course this practice is also used to cultivate siddhis, I have never tried it for siddhis, as the Patanjali also warns that seeking siddhis can become a block in our path… but more than that really, I am lazy.. I will take what is sent my way (thy will) rather than focus on siddhis (my will).

 

Samyama... expansion of stillness

Stillness Dancing

My painting Stillness Dancing … it is the movement of stillness into manifestation.

Mahasweta Mitra

Around 2004, I began my spiritual journey and along the way have been blessed by many openings and insights. Initially, I only experienced a beautiful stillness and freedom during meditation, but over time it began to pervade my daily life and has stabilized into my everyday living.

I feel unspeakable gratitude for being blessed with this stillness, peace and freedom. While I traveled this path, I realized how all of the stress and worries we experience in our lives comes from the mind trying to keep a “Me” in place. We and others have defined an image for us, and we spend most of our lives, stressing and worrying about how to keep this image in place. I hope to share some techniques, insights, books, and other resources that can be used to free us from the mind created stress and worry that causes us so much suffering.

Another surprise blessing along the way was me getting in touch with my inner artist. When I started painting in 2010, from a place of stillness, I watch the colors merge and create the beautiful paintings. I can’t really say I create the paintings, because any time my mind is actively deciding what to do, the paints and colors don’t really flow. However, when I stop, I become silent, I ask the divine/stillness to paint. Then, the colors, the shades, the paint, the brush strokes, it all just flows. That's why I call my paintings Creations From Stillness. If you would like to support my art, please visit my Patreon page.

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