By Barry McDonald
Meditation is the primary means of cultivating the inner peace and happiness that we all long for. Inner peace and happiness are found to be resident parts of our inner nature when we are able to take away the barriers in our nervous system from the purifying influences of yoga practices. Inner stillness is the essence of enlightenment, and how do we nurture this in ourselves? - Through deep meditation.
Samyama is a deep meditation practice that takes advantage of resident inner stillness (silence). The practice of Samyama develops in us that sense of “seeing stillness in action and action in stillness.” In this state, our desires become expressions of our inner silence and find fulfillment in ways we could not have expected.
With samyama, once the meditation time is up, rest follows for about a minute or two and transitions into samyama. The state begins with an easy state of not thinking, just resting in silence. If thoughts come, they are just let go without entertaining them. In samyama practice, mantra (sound) is not entertained either, not favoring anything but being easy in silence. The starting point for samyama is silence. The only requirement for doing samyama practice is having some inner silence. Most people achieve this after a few months of daily deep meditation.
Deep meditation however is often mistakenly assumed with having to sit perfectly erect in legs intertwined uncomfortably and washing all thoughts from the minds, or having a complete one-pointed concentration. This is simply not so. Deep meditation for different people may vary, and each of them may have their own ways and practices of meditating, but whatever way or practice they have chosen, the aim will always be more or less the same, achieving inner peace and happiness.
For some people, deep meditation is simply about “not doing”. They just get themselves deeply relaxed, the body lying down comfortably on the back, listening to beautiful, flowing music and just letting go. They form a perfect state of mind for more traditional meditation, such as prayer or just enjoying the wonderful energy coursing through the body.
Deep meditation practices give us insight into both the fundamental nature of our being. It allows us to experience emotions and thoughts with great clarity and balance. The mind is freed from conditioned patterns of self-centeredness, negativity and confusion, and the heart is opened to deeper wisdom and compassion. We begin to recognize and know each moment as practice for growth toward wholeness and harmony. We discover a place in ourselves which is already whole and always in harmony, and we learn to live from a clearer center and reach into the inner part of us that results to completeness and happiness.
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