Blessings of the Lineage to you all. As we are drawn together in this celebration of illumination let us bring the light of the hearts, our compassion, to all those who have experienced hardships, trauma, and misery. Let the fruits of our meditations be offered: may their suffering be alleviated. And as to yourselves say, Thy will be done and not mine. Having thus unburdened yourself of all the claims of ego, remain a dweller of the heart-center, maintaining this awareness through breath and mantram.
I have thought about this extensively and tonight I’d like to share the two words that have come to mind: “resilience and silence”. And I call this resilience and silence returning to the single “I”. For when you drop the “I” of ego, from the “silience” of resilience, you find that you are in silence. In that single presence. For all of us around the globe, this year has been truly a stress-test of resilience and returning again and again to silence. As we have removed the “I” of ego in resilience, we have become aware of our ability to change and flow with that change. And as meditators, we have valued the quiet moments and have returned to silence, reminded of the fullness of re-silencing again and again throughout the day. This resilience and re-silence are two sides of the coin of personality and transformation. Let our meditations be a pause in the constant push and go with the flow of your breath. Let your meditations be a practice resilience and return to the single “I” of silence in stillness, in the fullness of your being. Om, Shanti, srbhttp://www.ahymsin.org
We are all glad to see the end of this strange and terrible year. Let us continue our efforts on behalf of all people on this Earth. Surrender your time on the mat and in meditation to the Greater Good and please, do your part to tamp down viral spread so that 2021 can become a year of hope, healing and possibility.
When all the business – busy-ness – of our lives is halted it is a great time to do some inside work. Beyond clearing the closets and sorting the junk drawer – Add to your To-Do list the Real Inner Work in whatever form it takes for you; introspective meditation, journaling, doodling, or reading and analyzing sacred texts. Remember Namaste means, “The divine light in me honors the divine light within you.” It’s in there. Now is a great time to lift off external stuff that hides your light from you and the world and let that light shine.
Swami Veda used to teach us that the best way to set ourselves up for success was to find a peaceful frame of mind using two minute meditations in each transition of the day. You might just choose to begin with two minutes sitting up in bed before you get up in the morning.
Now, I like very much two minutes in the car before driving, two minutes in the parked car before work, meeting, etc.. If you can, try to fit in two minutes at lunch or after lunch, before driving home, once you return home and right before going to bed. It sounds like a lot but if we add it up that’s a few precious minutes of your day simply spent in peace. Or rather, spent in simple peace. It is easier to do this now that there is broad use of cell phones because now we have timers in our pockets all the time :-).
So what to do exactly? One. Get comfortable sitting up straight and supported. Free from tension in the face, back, shoulders and hands. Two. Focus on the movement of breath in and out of the nose. Cool as it moves into the nose, warm as it moves out. Three. When thoughts come up acknowledge them by saying to yourself; “thinking” or “later” or “thank you.” Then draw the awareness back to the breath and wait for the chime…. Boom. You meditated. It’s a practice, a form of conditioning for your mind. The more time you spend in peace, the more easily you fall into that peaceful state. Two minutes. At. A. Time.
Have you got two minutes? That’s all it takes to start a meditation habit! Sit for two minutes at each transition of your day: When you arise, before driving your car, or leaving for the bus. Before important phone calls, meetings or emails, prior to rush hour driving or after-school activities. We can achieve a peaceful state of mind from which to enter into interaction with the world.
Set a timer on your phone, watch or device. Settle into a comfortable, supported seat. Relax your face, jaw, shoulders, hands and hips. Let your tongue come to rest inside your mouth with hands softly resting in your lap. With closed eyes watch the space between your eyes with soft focus. Watch the breath moving in and out of your nose…. As thoughts arise acknowledge them and let them drift on past your awareness. Bring your awareness back to the breath…
At the chime, with eyes still closed, slowly and gently bring your focus back into the present moment. Rub your hands briskly together and cup them over your eyes. Open your eyes into the darkness of your palms, and then slowly curl your hands away from your eyes.
Now you should be ready for anything the world has in store!
The Buddhist Metta Prayer or Prayer for Loving Kindness is a great tool for setting your head on straight for the week. In every work or volunteer situation we are in service. In our homes with our families or even our pets, we are in service. All we do to help one another, to lift each other’s spirits, is in service to the hearts of all people and hence is in service to the heart of the planet.
The first step of practicing compassion or loving kindness is to practice compassion toward ourselves.
By sending compassion and loving kindness outward toward all beings we include ourselves and can in turn receive the benefits. First you, then me.
Try this prayer on if you like:
“May all beings, all breathing things, all creatures, all humans, all noble ones, all worldlings, all devas, all those in the four woeful planes
Be free from enmity and dangers,
Be free from mental suffering,
Be free from physical suffering,
As far as the highest plane of existence to as far down as the lowest plane in the entire universe.
This shortest day, this longest night is the ideal time for turning inward and slowing the monkey mind. The demands of the season often create greater than normal need for stillness and introspection. Honoring the body’s natural tendency to slow down we should turn in to bed a bit earlier whenever possible, eat and drink warming foods, soak in a soothing coconut oil bath and, of course, meditate. Two-minute timed meditations at the transistions of your day are an easy way to stay centered and present with co-workers, co-commuters, family and friends. (Some examples: First thing in the am, before you turn on the ignition, once you arrive at work, before and or after lunch, before driving home, before retiring at night. )
You may want to sit this evening with a warm candle or fire close by and perhaps a plant or festive greenery to remind you of the return of the warming sun in 3 months time. Breathe, settle and So, join the panetary mindfield with a peaceful and open heart, a quiet mind and comfortable body as you settle in to the Yin time of the year.
Set a meditation timer so that you can luxuriate in this meditation without checking the clock for the end time. I use iQi for all of my classes. )
Sit quietly with legs relaxed and back comfortable or supported.
Watch the movement of breath in and out of your nose.
Consciously relax your face, jaw, shoulders, arms, hands, belly, low back, hips, legs and feet.
Feel the cool touch of air on each in breath and the warmth of each out breath.
Notice how your heart rate slows to a quiet resting rhythm and allow space to move in between each thought.
Expand that space as far as possible and if thoughts intrude or speed up, simply bringing your awareness back to the breath.
At the sound of the bell or chime slowly move and stretch the body. Maintain your meditative state of mind as you come back into activity.
Prayer to finish:
“I am grateful for this time of stillness. I ask you to expand the sense of peace I have created within my own heart and mind and body and share it with all in my community who are in the greatest need of peace.”
Yoga for better health, better birthing and better life!