Are you a Rumi fan? I am. I particularly love Coleman Bark's translations.
Here is one for you...
disciplined silence it opens.
With wandering talk it closes.
... where information flows...
Certainly much of our meditation practice might be called "disciplined silence".. and the information that then flows is much more than "thoughts," though we may have thoughts about what comes clear to us, what we realize during our meditation.
Connie: How much time should be spent in meditation to be beneficial? or is it important to be concerned with time?
Dear Connie, great question. It is one tat needs two answers, or maybe even more. Let's take a look at it.
You do want to be free enough to settle in and be open to hanging out, spending some time with your meditation. This is not really because it requires a lot of time, but more because it often takes us a while to settle into it. But it is much more important to do it "regularly" than for long times. So, I ask my students to commit to doing their "formal" meditation practice twice a day for a minimum of one minute. Yep, one minute.
If you actually commit to it, it is important that you follow through. This will make meditation part of who you are, how you do things. For instance, you most likely brush your teeth everyday. It is not something you decide to do and wrestle with whether or not it is what you are to do. It has simply become part of how you are. You do that. If you meditate everyday, it too will become how you are, what you do - without question. This is one of the most valuable things for you.
Also, if you try to commit to a longer meditation practice, you may sometimes find that circumstances make it quite difficult for you to keep your promise to yourself. And if we don't keep our promises to ourselves, we don't feel so good about ourselves. Then as meditation comes to mind, rather being filled with wonder, excitement, curiosity and joy, we subconsciously remember that it makes us feel bad. Then we start to avoid it rather than look forward to it.
On the other hand, if you make the commitment to at least one minute twice daily you will find that you can keep that promise. Even if your alarm didn't go off and you wake up late, you know that you are late to work... taking one minute to sit, still yourself with a few nice breaths and focus one whatever your chosen object of meditation is will get you to work even more quickly while being at ease, feeling good rather than anxious. One minute is doable. Of course, you will most often sit much longer.
You can look at some of the earlier chats. We have shared a lot about how to reap the many benefits from your meditation practice, and lots of tips on how to get the most from it.
Time is not the major factor in getting the most from you practice and enjoying rich, deep experiences. But do understand that most of what people in America call yoga (which is hatha yoga where you are using body postures to help come into the state of yoga) was developed to help get you comfortable being still in your body and emotionally and mentally clear and strong enough to focus the mind into a one-pointed attention... all to help you settle into meditation.
Connie: Thank you... I can lose myself in meditation. Meditation is something I wish more people would be open to.
Do you have more questions right now, Connie?
Connie: No. You have been helpful... thank you.
That is great, Connie. I agree with you. I do wish that more folks would come to recognize how great and useful meditation is. And... actually more and more people are!
OK, let me share another Rumi poem...
This is another Rumi poem that speaks to that information that flows in disciplined silence.
There are two kinds of intelligence: one
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.
such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.
There is another kind of tablet,
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It's fluid,
and it doesn't move from outside to inside
through the conduits of plumbing-learning.
This second knowing is a
from within you, moving out. ~ Rumi
"...a fountainhead from within you..."
I would like to share a bit about what "yoga" is. Patanjali opens up his teachings sharing that "the restraint of the modifications of the mind stuff is yoga." Many great sages have pointed out that Patanjali here is using yoga to mean both the means to get there (doing yoga practices) and where you are getting to (that state of union).
But what is the state of yoga, the goal of all of these practices? "Union" is an English translation. It is being in that awareness where separation is gone. Let me use one of the well-known spiritual trinities to discuss this a bit. You may know of Brahma as being called the Creator, and Vishnu known as the Preserver, and then Siva as the Destroyer. People do tune into and focus upon and worship one of these as their chosen deity. But interestingly, even when focused on just one of them, the other two are always present.
oops... we are running out of time for today. Please let me continue to share about this next week. Yoga is not changing. We can look at it again together then.