Last week I shared an affirmation from Master Sivananda and one from myself to be affirmed with feeling on a regular basis. Such things work a special magic that can shape our lives, mostly by shifting the state of our mind. Whatever our mind holds onto, especially if we add feeling to fuel it, will surely manifest in our lives.
Here again are the affirmations from last week.
From Master Sivananda: “I am the Self of all; I am the All; I am the All in all.”
And the one I have used for years: “I am pure, eternal, light, consciousness, bliss.”
This past weekend I was part of a lovely yoga retreat. Each morning we sat together for meditation. We started with a structured element followed by quiet time for us to focus upon whatever we do for our meditation. It was lovely and powerful, and useful to be doing this together as a group.
This restricts you bit - you cannot chant your mantra aloud since that would break the silence and distract the others, and the time frame may be too short for some practices (such as chanting through a piece of scripture or completing the number of repetitions of your mantra that you normally do), yet the group energy is very powerful and can help to draw you into a steady, rich meditation experience.
Another nice thing about being on retreat is that it effectively cut us off from so many of the things we tend to engage in. This, too, helped to make our meditation times easier, lighter, and brighter.
Please note that there are some great advantages to gathering for meditations. Find some others to join with and spend time meditating together. You may find these special, rich sessions, especially if those gathering together regularly meditate on their own, too. At such group meditations you may find it quite easy to let go and simply slip into a deep meditation. Good company. Sangha is so important.
Keep in mind just how valuable the company you keep is. This is considered one of the great elements of life. In the Buddhist teachings it is presented as one of the 3 gems. One is the Buddha, the living example and guide. Another is the Dharma, the teachings of truth and righteousness and those practices that serve you and all. And the Sangha, the company you keep, is the other.
Take the time to look around you and be sure that you choose to gather with folks who share your vision, who are also dedicated to Spirit, and who value service. Your sangha has a huge impact on your life. It can help move you forward and keep you on track, or just the opposite if the company you keep has no interest in spiritual growth.
There is a sort of magic that you can see working in your life. The practices you do impact your life in ways that are way beyond simple logic and understanding. Even if it's unconscious, or perhaps subconscious, there are many things that have results far beyond what seems logical. Your morning meditation practice does settle your mind and impact the body with it calmness, too. And, if you are regular, it is even understandable how holding a particular thought or energy in your mind can shape how you view things, what you are expecting and looking for, and how this might shift what is happening in your life. But that morning meditation does more. It changes how your day unfolds. It puts you into a different flow for your day than what would be happening without it. It even deals with some of the karmic debt you must go through to lighten the remainder of this life's experience.
Be sure to take some time and make the effort to gather around those "realized" beings and sages. Being in their presence will change the way you perceive things. It will remove some of the clouds that have dulled your inner Light. It will definitely be good company, too. Again and again you will hear from others and read in the stories of the sages how being in the presence of realized beings helped to shape their own lives. We are fortunate to have some of these great beings around. We can even tune in to them and hear their teachings via the internet or DVDs. This is totally worthwhile, but for most of us, there is something special that takes place when we can be in their presence physically. This is not a requirement. If you are able to direct your attention fully in the mental plane, you can tune into them and benefit from their state of consciousness like that. But most will get the benefit when they make the journey to be with them in the physical plane. And making such efforts helps us manage our mind and how we are in this world. So, do make the effort to visit such beings when possible.