Be Still and Know. Is It Possible?

Be Still and Know. Is It Possible? December 1, 2023

Be still and know. Is it possible?

Yes, it is!

Every life-changing “aha” moment that has changed the trajectory of my life for the better has happened while I was sitting still in meditation.

Photo by K A

“Be still and know” ties in nicely with a practice known as Mahamudra, a profound but simple method to uncover the real you.

Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

Would you like to unravel layers of conditioned beliefs about yourself that prevent you from feeling at home with yourself and others?

Sound good?

You may think, “Okay, let’s get down to it!” But I must warn you that you must do something very challenging to unravel all that.

You must do…. (hear the trumpets)


What? How hard could that be?

Have you ever really tried to do nothing? I dare you. It is very healthy and very revealing.

Non-doing is the way

Lama Marut used to prescribe doing nothing as a daily practice. He would say, “Get home from work, flop on the couch and ponder how awesome it will be when you are a Buddha.” He called it the couch loll meditation. Not many of us could do it.

Here is a link to a previous post on meeting Lama Marut


Photo by K A

But this is a special kind of doing nothing. In Mahamudra practice, we are not REALLY doing NOTHING exactly, but it will be the most productive nothing you have ever done. It will bring you inner peace. You will know what it means to “be still and know.”

To practice the art of non-doing, it’s crucial to focus clearly while preventing the ego from getting whipped up and goal-oriented. This is the most critical aspect of non-doing.

This will allow you to:


Photo by K A

Relax Into Knowing

Observing the mind without getting caught up in its contents requires profound relaxation and radiant alertness, enabling you to “be still and know” your true self.

And guess what? If your experience has been anything like mine throughout my life, then the real you is not what you think it is. Your belief in a specific identity can significantly hinder achieving true inner freedom. It’s a real roadblock.


Photo by John Buchanan

Spacious Freedom

By learning to let go of everything and simply observing with patience, a previously concealed space becomes visible to us. This space of awareness is who we are and is not an intellectual concept. It can recognize the ego, but it is not a “self” in the way that we would typically think of.

So, what becomes enlightened? Nothing. Nobody. It is just that you know absolutely and entirely and finally what you aren’t.

How do we get there if it is impossible to understand and not found by way of maps?

Photo by K A

Effortlessly arrive

The intellect wants to do something and go somewhere. But where would you go to get a realization? Actual meditative experiences come to you. You can’t go to them. You make yourself receptive.

Be still and witness.

Photo by K A

Here is a link to a short and simple meditation from my Chitta Chat Podcast

And finally, you will indeed be still and know yourself as you are, a luminous being that is interconnected to all of life.

Photo by John Buchanan

Pleased to meet you!


About John Buchanan
Seeking a way out of confusion, John Buchanan turned to meditation in 1988. The meditative path led him to study and do deep practice in the wisdom traditions of Buddhism and yoga. You can read more about the author here.

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