“Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop.” – Vigyan Bhairav Tantra (VBT)
STOP – Just STOP right now for few seconds before reading ahead, just STOP.
This is the technique. When you are doing anything, suddenly stop. It should not be planned, “I will do this and then at so and so time I will stop.” No, it should be like suddenly applying brakes. No planning, no thinking. Just STOP. Stop all your movements for some seconds in whatever position you are. This will make you much more mindful of your surroundings. It will slow you down. This type of sudden stop breaks the chain of thoughts. I am personally stopping as I am writing, STOP!
You can do this in many ways throughout the day. I try to do this often. I am walking and I will just stop. I don’t mean I will stand in particular position and then stop. Just stop. Just stopped right now, it makes you meditative in midst of worldly activities. I do this while bathing, reading, thinking, sitting, any time. It sounds so simple, but don’t think it is less potent. Even after reading this, chances are quit high that you will forget to stop. But if try, after some time you will remember to stop. And you can’t stop after planning. You can suddenly stop only if are already little mindful. So, here’s a trick which can help you if you have a companion. Start this as a game with your brother/sister/son/daughter. This will make it more sudden and unplanned and more effective.
After practicing it, you will realize emptiness of things, really. Other thing I have observed is, when I suddenly stop, many a times I realize that some body part was unnecessarily tensed. For example, arms or eyes. This helps to remove such unnecessary tensions and remain at ease. As a result, I don’t get tired easily.
Let me sum up with a story which depicts this technique from Swami Sivananda’s book on Lord Shiva :
In days of yore, Virasindhu was the king of Kalinga country. He did severe Tapas, meditation and Yoga in his previous birth, but did not attain Moksha. Owing to the force of previous spiritual Samskaras, and the grace of the Lord, discrimination and dispassion dawned in his heart. King Virasindhu sent invitation to all Pandits, Sannyasins, Sadhus and Mahatmas. He put them all in the prison as no one could help him realize his self. Lord Siva assumed the form of an ordinary coolie. He had a very black complexion. He wore some rags and appeared before the king. The king went in advance to receive him. Through the grace of the Lord, he came to know that this coolie was none other than the Lord. The coolie raised his hand towards the king and said “stop”, and vanished immediately. The king understood that the Guru has commanded him to stop the mind and control its movements. The king closed his eyes, while he was standing. He entered into Nirvikalpa Samadhi and became like a statue. He did not open his eyes. The king opened his eyes after six years, and asked the ministers: “Where is my Guru?” The ministers replied: “O venerable king! The Guru said a word to your majesty and vanished at once. You are standing here like a statue for the last six years. We are conducting the affairs of the state with the aid of your ring. Here is the seal of your ring in all the registers and papers.” The king left the palace and entered the forest and sat in Samadhi.
Warning : Don’t practice this while cooking, driving, walking on road, giving exam, delivering speech, or other similar situations 😛.