Still your inner vision
and fix your attention on the door of the inner eye
that opens to the path leading within.
Break through the inner barrier, defeat Kal’s plans,
liquidate your karmas and soar to higher regions.
Radha Soami says this for you to hear, friend,
so that you can tread this path with understanding.
Soami Ji, Sar Bachan Poetry
So many times we have heard the Master speak about stillness. Stillness is not only of the mind but also of the body. The image that comes to mind is that of a lake of water where, if there is wind or if we are wading in the water, it becomes impossible to see the clear reflection of the trees, the clouds and the sky on the lake. The Master emphasizes the need for stillness to occur before we are able to fix our attention on the door of the inner eye. Physical stillness is a prerequisite to our mental stillness, and both are necessary to our treading this path and to our meditation.
Meditation is an activity of both mind and body, so it is important to think about attaining a posture that we can be comfortable in and which supports the process of meditation. Actually, stillness of the body helps the stillness of the mind. By assuming an upright posture in meditation, we inspire alertness in the mind. Realizing that we will react to any physical discomfort, the mind will convince us that we need to move. But we need to put in our best effort not to move because after a while the mind will give in. Even slight movements of the body cause ‘ripples’ or movements in the mind. Stillness of the body will increase the likelihood that the mind will become still and concentration will occur.
Maharaj Charan Singh in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, says:
Concentration is stilling your mind at the eye centre. The real concentration is to be here at the eye centre because this is the seat of the soul and mind knotted together. From here our consciousness spreads into the whole world through the nine apertures. To withdraw the attention to the eye centre, to still the mind, that is concentration.… Be still, still your mind and be with God. Only then can we be with the Father.
The stillness that brings about concentration enables us to become absolutely unconscious of our body and to become conscious of the Master and the Shabd within. It is a great thing. Without the stillness within, the soul will not be able to rise up to the Father. Maharaj Charan Singh is quoted in the same volume of Spiritual Perspectives: “I’m saying that the body will be at peace when the soul is able to withdraw from it and be one with the spirit.”
Our meditation is a gradual realization. We are uncovering something that is already within us. We must lift our consciousness to the level where we can see the Master within – the Radiant Form of the Master – who will not leave us until he has guided us home. And stilling both mind and body is a beginning.
Silently put up with your defeat, my heart, and think it your good fortune to sit perfectly still where you are placed.
These my lamps are blown out at every little puff of wind, and trying to light them I forget all else again and again.
But I shall be wise this time and wait in the dark, spreading my mat on the floor; and whenever it is thy pleasure, my lord, come silently and take thy seat here.
Rabindranath Tagore, as quoted in S.K. Paul, The Complete Poems of Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali