I’ve spent too much mental energy in my life berating myself for falling short of my expectations, and my (perhaps) greatest personal growth came when I decided to stop once and for all any sense of obligation to hold up a meditative or yoga practice. I shifted completely my mindset and instead do my practices based purely on the logic of cause and effect. This was huge for me as it was the beginning of the demise of my moralistic thinking pattern I had been caught in for… hmmm…. The last 30 years? i.e… my subconscious mind telling me that doing Yoga is good while not doing Yoga is bad. If I meditate I am good, if I don’t meditate I have been bad. If I do eat a salad I am good… If I eat a donut I am bad…. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Look deeply now.
Here is my new way of thinking: If I meditate I love myself and my life flows smoothly. If I do Yoga I feel my peace and vitality. If I eat well, I feel well. If I am nice to others, others are nice to me. If I take out the garbage my house doesn’t stink. If I am grateful I am abundant. Etc.
What a relief not to be constantly walking the tightrope of success vs. failure.
So. If it is all about gains vs. losses, and nobody up there is keeping tally, with all of the things we need to accomplish in a day, how important is a daily meditative practice?
Why would we want to take time out for ourselves every day to sit in our own silence and align ourselves with our own true nature, without concerns
to anyone else, any other context, responsibility, interaction, role we play… etc?
Did I not just answer my own question?
When you spend time with your own spirit (self) every day, you get to know yourself like you never have before. One of my guests here at The Well said the other day that it was only in meditation that he was able to see himself for the first time. It was as if he had never in his 45 years of life looked at who he was. We often look at what we look like, what we do, what we prefer, what we hate, what we want… But when do we see beyond what can be seen, and see with our minds eye what we truly are?
Once you can bring yourself to know yourself (Hello, how do you do), you will not want to enter into conflict with yourself. Negotiations perhaps, but certainly not belittling, sabotaging, or causing harm. Therefore, choices become easier to make as your wellbeing is close to your heart… and your true needs and desires are brought closer to your consciousness. In short: you are better equipped to deal with the world.
Now the spirit might be raucous. And if we feel the need to run away frightened by our minds, lest we go totally mad, we might require some support or ‘tools for battling those dragons’. My personal favorites; Mudra (Hand posture) and Mantra (Sacred chants) help clear the mind and focus your concentration in the right places. Mantra and Mudra have the authority to by-pass the mind and get to the higher intelligence without all the fuss.
There are so many beautiful ways to enter into meditation. Find a trusted master. Find a reputable school, and find your way.
And if I were to set you a task, it would be as such; go find a special corner of the house. Make it nice with a candle, a pillow, a plant, a pretty image, etc.
Go to that place at any time day or night when you will have some relative silence (If you can manage to wake up before sun-rise, even better).
Sit comfortably (A chair is an option).
Breathe in and out long deep and slow.
Look inside your forehead for that empty space between and behind the eyebrows. Stay there.
Accept the discomfort.
Notice any colors, shapes, images that pass through the body.
Feed your soul the food of your breathe.
3 minutes. 5 minutes. Then try 11. Then 30.
And keep it up! No pressure. No one is judging you.