Good morning... how was your morning meditation?
Any questions at this point? or things to share?
Last time we went over some of the experiences you might encounter while meditating. Before that we spent some time talking about mantra repetition. Until there are any questions today I would like to talk a bit about how the "little things" have a big impact.
My Gurudev would tell us that the getting ready for your meditation really shapes the experience. We will go over this a bit some, too.
Have a nice space that you like. Put a few of "your favorite things" around or on your altar. That will start to turn your mind in a nice way as you come to your meditation area.
Robin: I have a question. Lately, I find that the exercise practices in my daily life, like resistance training and running have become the most compelling meditative practices for me. Do you have thoughts or tips on other daily life happenings that can coincide with mindfulness/meditation?
Hi, Keshavani Maa! That is great to have your active practices draw you into the meditative space. It is worth noting what really works for you. The book of Swami Satchidananda's essential teachings is called "To Know Your Self." ( I highly recommend it to all. ) You are asking how to use other "normal" activities so that they draw you into the meditative state as well. Correct?
This may be a little unfair, but if you can start your day with a quiet meditation moment include a sincere offering of your self to the Divine and then dedicate your day to That (the Divine, the All, Nature, Love... however God/Goddess is most comfortable for your mind). Once you sincerely dedicate your day, then all of your activities become service and love. It may take little while, but not too long, for your mental patterns to adopt this perspective on things. And it will require a daily habit of making your life an offering. But once this settles into your way of approaching things then you will find that everything can be a fun meditation.
Certainly some things will shift into this way before others... like your active physical practices have already. For instance... if you are living as service then it is important to care for your self so you can be well and strong and clear-minded, and you can take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you in your life. Then feeding yourself is both meaningful and fun – even a meditation. Everything becomes fun.
You brought up a very useful concept... mindfulness. It is true that anything done mindfully is meditative. You can wash the dishes, bathe your body, prepare the food, eat the food, clean the house, drive, listen to others, observe MINDFULLY. This approach is in itself a meditation style that is very fitting for many.
The question you asked me is one you need to ask yourself, since you know the daily activities that you regularly engage in. Ask Seek Knock and you will find what you are looking for, it will be given to you and doors will open for you. How often do we ask something from a deep inner urge and hungrily look for that only to find that the answer to our inquiry begins to manifest all about us? You overhear a conversation that speaks directly to what you were asking. You open a book and a perfect paragraph or phrase almost jumps off the page giving you just what you need. Or something more subtle but just as appropriately revealing comes to you... a thought... a movie scene... someone asks you a different question and as you answer you find yourself expressing exactly what you needed.
Victoria: Years ago I was able to focus but as I aged I lost something. I believe my biggest problem is shutting everything around me out and my mind races on everything but what I want it to when I try meditating. I believe my biggest problem is during the day I have the TV on even when I am on the computer. I put it on when I go to bed, so when I turn it off to meditate I just have all of that TV stuff rolling around in my head. I am doing a year and a day wicca course and I am having a problem with the days that I have to meditate and connect with the maiden and mother Goddess I can't seem to connect with her.
Art: Glad to see these posts! Appreciate the suggestions and reminders for meditation and preparations for it. Thanks!
Hi, Art! (are you going to SG Re-union this year? I'm hoping I can).
Art: Hi, Jayadeva! Most likely not; no excuse, just not much impetus to attend. Currently in the middle of the woods by a warm wood stove watching the snowflakes wend their way earthward past snow-covered branches. Well, that and checking out Facebook, of course.
Thanks, Art. So nice to be connected. All love. Hey... did you see that snow flake there!
Hi, Victoria. Victoria, this may sound whackie, but if you have already set up the TV thing, rather than trying to shut it off to meditate, try just leaving it on softly. That is the atmosphere you are used to. When I lived in New York City one of the people living at The Integral Yoga Institute with me decided to get away from it all and go out into nature. She only lasted one night away. She came back and said that is was just too noisy at night! It is true that there are plenty of night sounds out in nature, but the City had a lot, too... just different ones that she had become used to so that they no longer demanded her attention. Maybe the TV being on can simply become background noise, part of the OM. Of course, you might wean yourself off the TV being on all the time. TV news and shows and ads tend to be fairly negative influences in our lives. It is better to spend some time reading or listening to some lighter things. Lighten up! Get enlightened. And have fun.
I love the Goddess, but that's me. Do you have a picture of the diving Feminine that you really like? If so put that in front of you and simply enjoy that. Spend some time in these meditations admiring what is feminine... the list is huge! All of the power of being... the softness... nurturing... mother... even the masculine is just part of the feminine (no such thing as a YY being... XX is female... and male, XY, is part female, too)... community.... etc. Enjoy!
Let connecting with the Goddess be something you hunger for. Then you will find that hunger itself is a connection with Her... like a kiss from the Goddess. If you really do hunger for this, She will come to you in many ways. It is good that you are seeking this. Be steady and focused, determined and patient. She will come to you and manifest in ways you may not now be imagining. Have fun.
There are wonderful Yantras (geometrical designs) that are totally feminine). Find one of these that moves you and let it be in front of you when you meditate. Gaze at it - this is a meditation technique known as Tratak. And don't be trying to get anywhere or anything. Just do your practice. Don't be concerned about the TV sounds or lack of that, or the thoughts that are running. Just gaze and consider whatever you find interesting or notable about the feminine. This can be a very powerful meditation. If you continue even when your mind is busy, or when you are struggling with keeping your mind attentive to what you have chosen to focus upon, the mind will eventually quite down and get focused for you. Don't quit. Great things await you and will be happening in your life long before your meditation experience may become all still and filled with light - but that will happen, too. It really is worth the effort. So don't be upset that it will take some effort.
Victoria: Thank you for this info. I will try all of the suggestions. I understand about the noise in the city and difference. When my son was about 5 months old I use to work at my parents bar on the weekends. They had bands and the bar was on the highway. My children use to sleep upstairs while I worked. We stayed there on the weekends and when I took them home it was quiet and I could not get my son to go to sleep I realized it was too quiet for him. Funny how we get programmed to our surroundings. My husband and I were out one time and there was a train that went by. I said would it be nice to live near that and he reminded me that we did. I guess you just get so use to things you forget that it is there.
Ok... have to go teach a class now.
Thanks for joining in today. Love Light Laughter