Jan 032014

Meditation is hard for several reasons.  Number one, we are not trained to sit quietly.  We are trained since birth to look and explore and accomplish things.  As we get older we are told that success is measured by how much money you make, and how many new things you acquire.  Sitting still is basically “wasting time” right? Time that could be spend accomplishing things.

When we do hMeditation pictureave “down time” we turn to email or social media, t.v. or even radio to fill the silence.

“Ok” you say? “I’ll learn how to be silent and quiet; I can do this.”   Then you sit down to meditate  and immediately you start to think about that conversation that you had last night with your spouse.  You got defensive, you snapped at him and made him feel badly about something that shouldn’t probably have been an issue.  Why can’t you just keep yourself in check and You know you hurt his feelings but you were trying to explain to him that you were feeling hurt also.  Herein lies the hardest part to meditation…. clearing out your demons, that energy of hurt or anger or frustration or fear that we harbor inside when things in our lives aren’t at peace.

I think it is Iyengar who says that you can’t just practice one limb of yoga… you have to practice all of them. Living right- following the Yamas and Niyamas is an important part to the Whole of a Yoga Practice.
Just as practicing the Yoga Asanas helps you to sit more comfortably in meditation, and Pranayama practice helps you to breath more steadily and focused, the Yamas and Niyamas help to guide your life so that you aren’t harboring pain or sadness or fear from the way you are living your life.

This happens to me often when I start to meditate… things come up that I haven’t resolved.  I think it is best to not fight it -not try to ignore it just so you can say you meditated (there’s that pesky ego).  But to acknowledge it, to work through it and maybe even to write about it or do something to resolve it….?  When you have cleared that bad energy or made peace with the people that have hurt you or that you have hurt…. you can sit once again in stillness and begin to really enjoy the energy of meditation.

Peace and Namaste.  Happy Meditating!

Oct 032012

photo credit Sean Boggs

What is “meditation”?  It means many things to many people but one thing is for sure, it has been practiced for thousands of years… and people keep doing it– why?

To practice meditation means that you are moving from a state of intellectual input and output (or what I call “living in your mind”) to a state of calm, peace and presence.

There are many benefits of this change ….
One benefit is the chance to calm your mind and your emotions.  When we live in the area of the mind that is of stress, frustration, anger, fear, or other negative emotions and thoughts, this creates a physical response in the body which creates adrenaline and other stress hormones that can be toxic to the body if not used up (in our fight or flight nature).  So regular meditation helps us to tell our nervous system that we are ok, we can be calm and that we don’t have to release so many of these chemicals into our bodies.  Spending more time each day in a state of peace is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Another reason people practice meditation is to seek oneness with The Divine, or with their Divine nature.  To sit in silence, very calm and focused, practicing one pointed concentration and letting go of the daily grind of thoughts and emotions, means to hear the stillness around you.  When you start to become part of that stillness, you realize that it is not really stillness, it is all energy, and you are that energy, and God is also that energy.  So everything in this Earth, everything around us and in us, everything that came before us and after us, is energy.  Can we connect to that?  Can we feel our own Divine Nature… what came before and what comes after?  This is not an easy task and thus why we call meditation a “practice” .  It is not something to accomplish (that can be argued), but something to get better and better at and to notice that as we practice…the perspective we have about our lives will change, and the things we worried about before may start to seem small compared to the realization of our connection to the Universe– how small we are, and yet how big we are.

Keep PRACTICING meditation.  Make a special place in your house to go and seek out this peace.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (Peace)