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Read more about Imagination from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.


In silence lies the greatest receptivity. And in an immobile silence the vastest action is done. Let us learn to be silent so that the Lord may make use of us. THE MOTHER

What is Stillness?

Stillness, the emptiness of mind and vital and cessation of thoughts and other movements. In this state, the consciousness goes inside in a deep stillness and silence. This condition is favourable to inner experience, realisation, the vision of the unseen truth of things, though one can get these in the waking condition also. [1]

In the Physical Being

Stillness and meditation, it is not only in meditation that one can reach the Divine consciousness, you will learn that one can remain in contact with the Divine even while playing or doing gymnastics or walking or doing anything. [2]

In the Mental Being

Stillness of the mind means, first, the falling to rest of the habitual thought movements, thought formations, thought currents which agitate this mind-substance. [3]It is the substance of the mental being that is still, so still that nothing disturbs it. If thoughts or activities come, they do not rise at all out of the mind, but they come from outside and cross the mind as a flight of birds crosses the sky in a windless air. It passes, disturbs nothing, leaving no trace. [4]

A mind that has achieved this calmness can begin to act, even intensely and powerfully, but it will keep its fundamental stillness—originating nothing from itself but receiving from Above and giving it a mental form without adding anything of its own, calmly, dispassionately, though with the joy of the Truth and the happy power and light of its passage. [5]

The normal activity of our minds is for the most part a disordered restlessness, full of waste and rapidly tentative expenditure of energy in which only a little is selected for the workings of the self-mastering will, [6]

In a complete silence only is the Silence heard; in a pure peace only is its Being revealed. [7] How the two things can go together, you see, there is a moment when the two—aspiration and passivity—can be not only alternate but simultaneous. You can be at once in the state of aspiration, of willing, which calls down something—exactly the will to open oneself and receive, and the aspiration which calls down the force you want to receive—and at the same time be in that state of complete inner stillness which allows full penetration, for it is in this immobility that one can be penetrated, that one becomes permeable by the Force.[8]

Why is Stillness Important?

If we can pass through these two stages of the inner change without being arrested or fixed in either, we are admitted to a greater divine equality which is capable of a spiritual ardour and tranquil passion of delight, a rapturous, all-understanding and all-possessing equality of the perfected soul, an intense and even wideness and fullness of its being embracing all things. [9]

How to Practice Stillness?

So the thing to be done is to remain very objective within that peace; then you can benefit from the peace without accepting its limits. And, this cannot be done without an uncompromising abolition of the ego-sense at its very basis and source. This, if persistently done, changes in the end the mental outlook on oneself and the whole world and there is a kind of mental realisation; but afterwards by degrees or perhaps rapidly and imperatively and almost at the beginning the mental realisation deepens into spiritual experience—a realisation in the very substance of our being.There is no need to struggle, just remain turned upward.One commences with a method, but the work is taken up by a Grace from above, by a response from That to which one aspires or by an irruption of the infinitudes of the Spirit. Even if a thousand images or the most violent events pass across it, the calm stillness remains as if the very texture of the mind were a substance of eternal and indestructible peace. [10][11]

What Must One keep in Mind?

It is not, for instance, only by an effort of the mind itself to get clear of all intrusive emotion or passion, to quiet its own characteristic vibrations, to resist the obscuring fumes of a physical inertia which brings about a sleep or a torpor of the mind instead of its wakeful silence, that the thing can be done. [12]

Challenges Faced

But, even in this repose of all thought movements and all movements of feeling, one sees, when one looks more closely at it, that the mind-substance is still in a constant state of very subtle formless but potentially formative vibration—not at first easily observable, but afterwards quite evident—and that state of constant vibration may be as harmful to the exact reflection or reception of the descending. [13]

Yogic Understanding of Stillness


As the mind progresses in purity, capacity of stillness or freedom from absorption in its own limited action, it becomes aware of and is able to reflect, bring into itself or enter into the conscious presence of the Self, the supreme and universal Spirit, and it becomes aware too of grades and powers of the spirit higher than its own highest ranges. It becomes aware of an infinite of the consciousness of being, an infinite ocean of all the power and energy of illimitable consciousness, an infinite ocean of Ananda, of the self-moved delight of existence. That's what it has managed to get: a complete stillness and an INTENSE aspiration. [14]


The other is the descent of the peace, silence, the spiritual freedom and wideness and the powers of the higher consciousness as they develop into the lower down to the most physical and even the subconscient.[15] The higher consciousness in its descent takes several fundamental forms—peace, power and strength, light, knowledge, Ananda. Usually it is the peace that descends first. This is not a mental, vital or physical peace of the ordinary kind, but something from above (spiritual), very firm, solid and concrete. It is its concreteness that makes you feel like a still massive block—a mass of the higher consciousness in place of the more tenuous substance of the ordinary nature.[16]

How Mother Works?

And it is the repeated and constant descent of the Divine Consciousness and its Force that is the means for the transformation of the whole being and the whole nature. Once this descent becomes habitual, the Divine Force, the Power of the Mother begins to work, no longer from above only or from behind the veil, but consciously in the Adhara itself, and deals with its difficulties and possibilities and carries on the Yoga. [17]


And we can say it is indeed the beginning of the real Transformation, all the rest hitherto has been mainly preparation and clearing of difficulties and impediments through all these years. [18]

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Read more about Stillness from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.