Tag Archive: meditation

Signs Around Town (and the Yoga Siddhi of Bi-Location)

The “shelter in place” signs in my building demarcate suites where designated groups of employees are supposed to gather in the event of a threat to human safety where it would be safer to hunker down in the building than to go out.

While I was sitting through a seemingly interminable, pointless, but only somewhat acrimonious meeting this morning, I was thinking how important it is to have a space within our own consciousness where it feels safe and peaceful even when we are in a situation where staying physically put is the most realistic alternative. This got me thinking about one of the powers (siddhis) that allegedly may arise from a steady, devoted, and long-term practice. That power is the ability to bi-locate–the power to be in two or more places at once.

I’ve long practiced with part of my goal being to cultivate the space of meditation as a way of making bearable the unavoidably painful, such as when confined to bed because of severe illness. In such a situation, though my experience is thankfully limited, going into meditation is a going to another space of consciousness, but does not require staying mentally engaged and present.

When in an unpleasant meeting or stuck in traffic or similar situations, the problem is that one needs to stay mentally and physically alert and present and cannot just go off into bliss.

Then, I think the power of bi-locating is what would serve best. It would enable being simultaneously present and functioning while also being in the blissful and peaceful state of meditation. The space we go to in meditation would indeed then be a “shelter in place.”

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Found Exhortation (and Samskaras)

Over the years, our minds and emotional selves get clogged with junk unless we do something to clear things out and to avoid repeating old negative patterns (in yoga–samskaras).

Our bodies, too, get clogged with junk energies that take us off-balance and ultimately manifest as illness unless we take care to eat well, exercise, sleep regularly, and avoid undue stress.

A home filled with junk has its own samskaras and can prevent us from dissolving and liberating those of mind, body, and spirit.

Do meditate, live a healthy life, and surround yourselves with only that which cultivates a more beautiful and generous life. You will likely be happier for it.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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Mantra

The texts on sadhana — yoga practice  — say in simplified essence that mantra is the fulcrum between the unknowable universal and manifest particulars.  What language we use and how we use it can either lead us towards skillfully navigating life informed by illuminated understanding or blundering through things with obscured vision (or, I add, somewhere in between, but which do you want to be your goal?).  If you listen for your authentic voice, what words do you want to utter, which do you want to embody, which do you want to offer?  The mantra is a tool (in the best sense of the word) to find a source for our own language (thought and spoken) that recognizes the common bond of dwelling together as neighbors (near or far) on this earth, in this universe.

New York City, June 13-14

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A Key to a Steady Home Practice (Letting Go of Preconceived Notions)

One of the things most likely to keep us from having a steady home practice (whether asana or meditation or both) is being unable to live up to our own expectations or preconceived notions of what is a proper or good home practice.  If we think that we need to do a certain amount for an established length of time or that we have to feel fit enough to do a particular range or poses than inevitably we will be challenged in practicing regularly in a busy life.

It is good to have a set time and place for our practice and to try and practice for a length of time that will foster the growth and balance in ourselves that we seek from our practice.  To stay steady, though, we have to be flexible with our expectations.  When we are sick or injured or exhausted, it will be appropriate to do restoratives or a gentle practice rather than a more vigorous one, even if we are accustomed to doing more advanced asana.  If we are pressed for time, even if we like to spend 45 minutes to an hour in the morning, perhaps we will do 25 minutes.  If we usually meditate in a special place in the house, but we have to leave for the airport at 6am, we can find a quiet moment to breathe for three minutes before we leave the house and then meditate on the plane.

This morning, for example, I knew that the only opportunity to have a walk would be early morning because the electricians are coming for more work towards installing the solar panels.  Having a walk on days I am working at home is critical for my ability to sit at my desk and concentrate.  Instead of doing my usual 45-60 minutes of practice, which gives me time for some asana and pranayama before sitting for meditation followed by savasana, I chose to sit for 25 minutes and then go for a walk.  I will practice more this evening when I am off work.

Once we give ourselves permission to be flexible about how much to practice and what, then it will be easier to stick to practicing.  I think it is far more important to practice several times a week than to have a practice that is thorough and “by the book” but is only done sporadically.  What are your challenges in developing a steady practice?  If you have a steady practice, what has helped you stick to it?  Have your expectations about what a practice should be interfered with your practicing?

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