By Ashok Bhargava
Within you there is stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself – Hermann Hesse
VANCOUVER: The state or an instance of being quiet or calm is called Stillness. It is like a perfectly centered top, spinning so fast it appears motionless. Therefore Stillness is not the absence movement. It is un-conflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, still in action. It can be experienced whenever there is total, uninhibited, un-conflicted participation in the moment you are in, when you are wholeheartedly present with whatever you are doing.
We often avoid looking at ourselves and prefer trying to control or focus on what others are doing. We are so busy, so noisy, so driven and concerned about other people’s business that the concept of stillness is alien to us. We measure our success by multi-tasking and pursuing busy schedules. Therefore to take time to observe what is around us is construed as a sign of laziness and stillness simply frightens us or seems like a waste of time. Yet it is essential for a balanced life.
Whether it’s finding moments of physical or inner quiet time, stillness is very personal, subjective condition. Somewhere between the workaholic and the cloistered mystic lies the needed balance.
There are two levels of stillness. The first level involves learning to relax, become centered, and meditate. It involves deliberately pausing, stopping all physical movement, becoming relaxed, calm, and quiet inside.
The second level of stillness involves living your daily life with inner certainty of who you really are. It means staying in touch with yourself in the midst of daily busy life. This involves continually letting go of the judgments, evaluations, and contradictory opinions about yourself that arise in your mind throughout the day and in your relationships with other people. You do this by staying centered in your peace and stillness.
I am not a schedule driven person. I enjoy gazing out the window first thing in the morning. I have enjoyed stillness of Canadian prairies, wonders of wetlands of BC, shores of Lake Superior and the quiet of mountain summits of the Rockies. I feel presence of divinity in these places and with my little eyes I see God in everything.
While Diwali and Christmas season can be a busy time, it can also bring opportunities for stillness. It is a freeing experience to be alone and stillness can capture your heart and mind. Stillness can provide the joy of simply being alive.
I will like to share my experience of stillness with all of you.
A new dawn
sparkles in the stillness
shimmering dew drops
capturing my heart and soul.
The jasmine aroma of incense
fills my core
and I am lost in stillness
as ancient as Sanskrit.
Melodies of soundless flute
kissing Krishna’s lips
call me from a distance.
Do you hear it?
my world is held in
in a single note
of eternal tune.
(Ashok Bhargava is the president of Writers International Network Canada)