It is akin to dieting – the moment we decide to eat less is the exact moment we start to obsess about food. Instead, stop resisting and stop forcing something to happen, only then we can be present to receive whatever comes. Without expectations the mind is open and willing to be present. It is almost inevitable that thoughts will steadily enter our consciousness when we’re still. Watch them come, observe them, and then allow them to pass. It is by doing this that we become the observer of our own minds. By paying attention to ourselves we become better acquainted with what lies beneath. It’s less about trying to stop all thoughts and more about disentangling ourselves from them. Removing ourselves from the muck and just watching it all settle. Eventually the mind will start to quiet and the busyness of our thoughts begin to be replaced with silence. There are no hard-pressed rules to get there. We each have our own method of finding stillness. There is no time limit we have to follow for the magic to happen. We can scratch an itch, slouch or even lie down. The key is just being still and paying attention. It's about patience without expectation. Letting go. The phrase itself just makes you want to let out an exhale.
We just have to listen. So much insight can be revealed in those sacred moments of connection. Once I began a regular practice of meditation, this awareness became most obvious. My greatest insights have occurred while sitting still, breathing and listening. I’ve heard it been said that prayer is that act of speaking to God while meditation is the art of listening.
Yogis believe that, to find God, we have to connect with that unifying place within us. That process is called, “God-realization.” That connection is to our True Self, the Self who is eternally at peace. When we mistakenly believe that our limited, material bodies are the only components of our nature, then we continue to suffer. Failing to recognize our own divinity is often the reason for our despair. The real practice of yoga is all about self-mastery. It is the dedicated effort to reach a steady state of even-mindedness, so that we can clear a path for our God-presence to be revealed.