Have you been searching for the “mute button” on certain channels of your mind? Are their channels in your mind which you have become so accustomed to listening to and yet, they leave you feeling exhausted? Would you like to have the ability to “mute” whenever you chose? If so, lets take a moment to understand this power to stop, to pause, to mute by bringing to mind, the tortoise, one of the longest lived, peaceful creatures on the planet. What does a tortoise do in a moment of danger? It withdraws into the safety of its shell. With one powerful movement, what was once on the outside and visible, moving about and exploring, eating or walking, a slow moving target, suddenly disappears from sight completely. This one immediate action will save the tortoise from its demise again and again.
How does this apply to you, a complex, fast moving, fast thinking human being? I’m nothing like a tortoise you may very well be saying to yourself. True enough, physcially you are nothing like a tortoise. The aspect of you that can be understood through the wisdom of the tortoise is your state of mind. When your mind is racing, making up stories from the past and being your task master, there can be so many thoughts that you, the master of the body and mind are out of control, anxious, exhausted, unstable, vulnerable, and sad. You have gone deep into dangerous territory. How can the tortoise help you now? What would the tortoise do when faced with such danger? It would stop on a dime and withdraw completely from action!
This example can be applied to the mind. No matter how much the expansion of thoughts has taken over, no matter how much water has gone under the bridge, no matter how much you have been raked over the coals, apply a full stop and merge all thoughts in one second! Tortoises have been merging by pulling into their shells, for such a long time, that now it is their true nature, even a baby tortoise knows the game of life! As humans, we must begin practicing this kind of response to the danger of the mind taking over.
It requires consistent, daily practice over a long period of time. The sooner you start, the sooner you will experience success in putting a full stop to wasteful, exhausting, and destructive thoughts.
This practice of stopping and applying a brake to your thoughts can be enhanced by the practice of meditation. And in turn, the practice of meditation can strengthen your power to put a full stop and to merge all thoughts into a deep experience of the self as a soul in communion with a Benevolent Power.
The most powerful stage of meditation is known as the seed stage. All expansion of thought ceases; you become free from the burden of heavy thoughts of the mind, free from the constant questioning of the intellect, and free from past impressions. All three of these aspects of the soul are no longer “managing you”; you have let go and gone beyond them. In the seed stage, the final stage, the only awareness is of being full and complete, of being a soul bathing in eternal moments of stillness and beauty, our original state.
Coming back to our original state is so worth the practice of mastering the mind, intellect, and ingrained patterns of behavior. This practice is what the ancients called YOGA~ coming into true union ~the eternal self with the eternal Beloved in the eternal moment.
This is the aim and objective of the practice of Raja Yoga, the ancient, venerable practice that creates the emergence of purity, happiness, peace, bliss and spiritual power in the soul.
And to think, this all began by thinking about the innate wisdom of the tortoise, who withdraws from all action to preserve its life. As we learn to withdraw from the grip of the mind, from the habits and the relentless questions, we too preserve our life, our life as a soul, our life as a master almighty authority, and we create a life that blossoms because of living from our true nature.