Internal drishti

A couple of months ago I wrote about drishti, and about how having somewhere steady to focus our eyes helps us keep our balance in the world. This thought came back to me in a class last week. One of my favorite poses has always been tree. My huge difficulties with meditation are well documented.  For some reason, though, I’ve for years intuitively found myself repeating a small mantra when in tree pose. Reading Devotion, hearing Dani’s metta meditation mantra (May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be strong, may I live with ease) reminded me of this instinctive behavior in tree.

The words I’ve always whispered in my head, in tree pose in particular, are: Breathing in, I feel happy. Breathing out, I feel calm. In the past few weeks they have shifted, for the first time in years, to reflect something that has been tremendously on my mind. Last week, I spoke quietly to myself, saying, over and over: Breathing in, I feel safe. Breathing, out, I feel calm.

As I stood there, breathing in and out, my mind drifted to the idea of drishti again. I looked down at my hands, together at my heart’s center, as I have been taught to do in tree. And I was steady, and I stood there on one leg. But I thought about how the most challenging drishti in many poses is to look at a point inside ourselves: our fingertips, the end of our nose, our hands in prayer position. To find the internal still point is the ultimate challenge. To be able to be strong and balanced without need of an external focus point: this is the highest goal. And so I breathe, and keep refocusing my mind and my eyes, and I stand as steadily as I can.

9 thoughts on “Internal drishti”

  1. “May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be strong, may I live with ease”

    Thank you for sharing this, along with your thought process and struggles. I also have a hard time quieting myself down… and getting into meditation. But when I do, I’m always left in tears, so moved by an experience that is so beautiful, but so hard to attain.

  2. I do think it can be found. That doesn’t mean that we are always in contact with it, however. I think that we embrace this still point when we meet it as much as we pull away from it or feel we’re losing it.

    I have to believe that we aren’t searching for peace and surrender and sanctity in vain. The idea that we will fall into some ultimate safety net of confidence and security is perhaps a little far-fetched, but I think there is a place within each of us that is waiting for us to take notice, and to learn how to hold its gaze long enough to change the path of our life.

    Hmm. Much to think about with this.
    Beautiful piece, Lindsey. Just beautiful.

  3. I am so happy for you, Lindsey, for as Sarah said, it is a point that can be found. Though we may waver from side to side of it, to acknowledge it is to know it exists, and that knowing is a source of endless hope.

  4. Sometimes when I want to feel calm, safe and tranquil I try to send the roots of my tree down to an imagined space at the very center of the earth, a little sphere taking 24 hours to spin one time—a sort of drishti/anchor.

    Sending safe, calm wishes.


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