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To Sit Still

by Swami Rama

[This is an excerpt from Science of Breath by Swami Rama, Rudolph Ballentine, and Alan Hymes, The Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, Honesdale, PA, 1979, pages 129 – 130.]

Book: Science of Breath by Swami Rama, etc.After serious observation and analysis of its functionings, yogis have found that the mind forms the habit of being conditioned, either by remembering past experiences or by imaging the future. There is no technique which helps it become aware of the now except meditation and contemplation. But meditation is not a method of allowing the mind to roam aimlessly. It is a conscious effort of coordinating the body, the breath and the mind. In the monastic tradition teachers do not teach the advanced techniques of meditation unless they see the signs and symptoms of the stillness of the body and the serenity of the breath.

When a student learns to still his body he becomes aware of many tremors, twitching and movements that he was not aware of before. Since childhood he has learned to move, but no one has taught him how to be still, and sitting still is very important, for the less movement there is in the body, the steadier the mind will be. All of the movements, gestures, tremors and twitchings of the body are caused by an undisciplined and untrained mind, and when a student examines his behavior, he finds that not a single act or gesture is independent. The mind moves first, and then the body moves – and the more the body moves, the more the mind dissipates. When the student has learned to be still, however, and begins learning the techniques of breath awareness and meditation, he becomes aware that he can have conscious control over his body, his breath and his mind.

So the first thing one must learn is to sit still.

Editor’s Note:

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The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana    Mindfulness
Japa     Dharana     Shavasana
Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage
Yoga Nidra     Silence Retreats     Full Moon Meditation

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