Stillness is God. I should stop right there! That's all there is to say or to contemplate! Peace — Shanti Peace (shanti) is a divine quality. A true yogi, one united to "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding," is like a lovely rose, spreading around him the fragrance of tranquility and harmony.
I have said this many times and remind myself of it daily. But still, the mind goes, and the body wanders and we forget the simple and not-so-simple practice of stillness.
I found some gems that I will share with you that have been written many ages ago for the sole purpose of clarity and to show us the way!
Everything in the world displays activity and changefulness, movement, but tranquility is the nature of God. Man as a soul has within himself that same nature of calmness. When in his consciousness he can level and still the three mental states of upheaval—the waves of sorrow and gladness and the dips of indifference between them—he perceives within himself the placid ocean of spiritual soul-calmness expanding into the boundless sea of tranquility in Spirit.
(The Gita XVI:12 - p.963)
Be still, and know that I am God. — Psalm 46:10
Peace of God After meditative unity with Spirit is permanently established, the devotee attains the superior state of oneness with God plus complete escape from the bindings of material vibrations. He enjoys the dual perception of oneness with God and interactions with matter while his consciousness within remains wholly detached from material vibrations.
Lastly, the devotee realizes the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding,"
The ultimate state of blessed tranquility in the vibrationless Absolute.
(The Gita, p.850)
"The ornament of a servant of God is devotion; the jewel of devotion is consciousness of non-duality. "The ornament of knowledge is meditation; the decoration of meditation is renunciation; and the pearl of renunciation is pure, unfathomable Shanti. "The pure and unfathomable Shanti cuts the root of all misery. He who holds Shanti in his heart dwells in a sea of Bliss. All sins that breed suffering, anxiety, and anguish disappear, together with all limitations.... "Know him to be perfect who is most peaceful, who is taintless and free from all personal desires, whose mind vibrates with Shanti." —Tulsidas, in Indian Mystic Verse The saints have found that happiness lies in a constant mental state of unruffled peace during all the experiences of earthly dualities. A changeable mind perceives a changeable creation, and is easily disturbed; the unchangeable soul and the unruffled mind, on the other hand, behold, behind the masks of change, the Eternal Spirit. The man whose mind is like an oscillating mirror beholds all creation as distorted into waves of change; but the man who holds his mental mirror steady beholds there naught but the reflections of the Sole Unity—God. Through realization, not mere imagination, he sees that his body and all things are the condensed consciousness of Spirit. The mind, free of artificial excitation, remains centered in its native state of inner peace and soul joy.
(The Gita p.205)
The Most Vital Part of Meditation by Brother Ishtananda (excerpts from a talk at 2004 Convocation) The most vital part of meditation – the whole crux of the matter in attaining the ultimate goal of God consciousness is stillness. When we are still and knowing God as peace, bliss, and love, then the normal sense thoughts are banished and we are in an interior state of consciousness. To commune with God, we need to go into silence. There is a vital point of meditation that is often misunderstood. Consider what the desired goal of meditation is: pure God consciousness — stillness. — God Alone Ordinarily our consciousness is vibrating with thoughts and emotions, and cannot merge with the calm consciousness of divine consciousness. Stillness of meditation means being absorbed and feeling God’s presence at the spiritual eye. It is in this stillness that we experience communion with God as peace, as joy, as love.
Brother Anandamoy said, “In stillness there is conscious awareness, a deeply alert state without thoughts.”
Jesus taught: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet (withdraw the mind into the silence within), and when thou hast shut thy door (the door of the senses), pray to thy Father which is in secret (in the inner transcendent divine consciousness); and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly (shall bless you with the ever new Bliss of His Being).” (The Second Coming, p. 495)
Paramahansa Yogananda said, “True prayer is an expression of the soul, an urge from the soul. It is a hunger for God that arises from within, expressing itself to Him ardently, silently.” (The Second Coming, p. 491)
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t yet enter into this state of stillness - it is a very lofty state. But always set aside a portion of your meditation to try to attain this goal of stillness. It will come through the grace of God and Guru. Our job is to make the effort with the techniques. Recognize and appreciate what that stillness is when it comes, and don’t feel you have to move on in your meditation if you attain this state.
The practice of stillness is one of the hardest to attain, I hope some of these readings have helped you understand how important and vital stillness is to our overall well-being, peace of soul, and clarity in life.
Hari Om Tat Sat