Last night I sat in meditation for 20 minutes, before my alter. My mind was racing. I’ve been having that lately. Perhaps a combo of a new schedule, Dad’s open heart surgery and the shift of seasons. Just a guess.
After meditation, whilst chanting to Ganesh, I released some stressors that’ve been bonding me as of late. Fears. Anxieties. Hindrances.
When I came out of meditation, I got up and emailed my master teacher, imploring any kind of guidance in my practice. I’ve found, over time, that meditation is HIGHLY effective, particularly for my constitution. It is for most, I humbly presume. But what I know for certain is that it calms and centers me, the only person I’m really here to study. I know this, and yet, it is the first practice to slip when life gets bonkers. As life so often does…
My teacher replied with what I expected to hear, that only so much can be offered over email. But she did offer what she felt she could via email, and I was supremely grateful. Little did I know how beneficial her shreds of wisdom would prove in a mere 12 hours…
This morning I woke, after the most peaceful night of sleep in weeks, and went straight to my bolster to sit again for meditation. With two candles lit and the sun far from rising, I sank deeply into stillness, repeating the mantra my teacher had bestowed upon me the night before. Meditation after rolling out of bed is powerful, and a practice I highly recommend. I notice it makes me a kinder, happier, gentler, less reactive human being when I get around to starting my day. It’s also easier to sit for meditation upon first rising, as the mind is usually still quiet. Sitting in the evening can be harder…the mind is now racing. The Citta is often alive and boundless!
Well, this morning was quiet, dark and still. Peaceful. Cold, but I wrapped up in a big, fuzzy blanket. My mind quickly grew tranquil. In what must have been the final 60 seconds, I had this profound sensation wash over me…the sensation that everything that’s happened to me up until this point has been Divine (a Truth I already knew but had yet to feel so deeply in my cells). Everything. The sensation that every little instance has led up to this point…to meeting my teacher, to reaching out for her guidance, to sitting in this very meditation, this very morning…and suddenly the thought came to me, “Release what no longer serves you.” I was deeply immersed in my own consciousness, and so the realization that the thought was directed outwardly didn’t trigger any curiosity in me, I just merely turned it inward, without question.
“I release what no longer serves me.”
(Said stressors, anxieties and hindrances).
In that moment, in offering them up, I realized how truly parallel my thought was to the words of my teacher just last night. “Offer up every disturbance to the supreme shakti,” she said, “treat every ripple as divine teacher. RELEASE THE INTENSE NEED TO CRAFT YOUR LIFE SO GRACE CAN GUIDE YOU AND HOLD YOU SAFE.”
Boy does that last line speak directly to me!!!
Suddenly it all made sense. Life made sense. In a way it never quite has before. Those types of “aha moments” will occur during meditation, I’ve found…a moment of Divine clarity that, albeit fleeting, will never ever fade from your memory. It’s the feeling, the experience, the palpable taste of higher consciousness that keeps me coming back to my bolster, my seat in meditation, my practice…
I felt a weight lift in that moment. A weight I knew was there…and yet also didn’t know was there. With my eyes still closed, still deeply immersed in meditation, I began to cry. Tears just slipped out of my eyes, down my cheeks, soaked up by my blanket. Cathartic and cleansing. A completely natural reaction. A purge.
It. Was. Powerful.
When I came back into my body, still bathed in candlelight, I reached for my journal. I downloaded the whole experience, the realizations that came to me, documenting what was sure to feel faint and faraway the next time life went “bonkers.” I wanted concrete evidence of the freedom that can be attained with focused attention. Then I read some of my favorite texts; Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, one of my chakra books and my moon watcher’s guide (we are coming up on a new moon in just four days, my loves).
Unsurprisingly, I turned straight to a page in my chakra book with some lovely shiva and shakti info that I thought would be beneficial to share.
Remember the oneness of all things. Unity. No duality. Power and the power holder are one.
Now, for anyone wondering why meditate?…I will just say this:
I felt more divinely at home in my Self this morning than I ever have before. I had a sixth chakra moment of clairvoyance after meditation, a vision of having been a Native American healer in a past life (*I met a psychic several months ago who, unsolicited, read that I have been a healer for several lives). I had a new vision this morning, though, as well. The distinct impression that my soul was around in the 60’s. Crazy, right?! A free wheeling hippie 😜 whose experience has drastically shaped my perspective in this life. I sense I knew my dad back then too. Clearly this life was cut short, perhaps in protest ✌️I digress…
Do you ever sense memories from past incarnations? The more I meditate and sink into my practice the more I do, but I have always been aware of past lives and dreamt vividly about them. I am (obviously) fascinated by the interplay of past and present.
That’s what yoga is, restraining the modifications of the mind-stuff (Sutra 1.1), so as to ascend into higher consciousness. Many forget this. Sure, for some the practice is about asana. The Western world has managed to make asana seem like the focus. My yoga practice includes a great deal of asana, yes, but that’s not what it’s about. I practice my yoga every single moment of every single day. It takes reminding, when I have an unkind thought, or I seem to have left my compassion at home, tucked under my pillow. I come back to my practice time and time again, day after day, and I trust it will always be that way. I certainly don’t expect to reach Self-Realization in this life. I know I have loads of work to do at the base of the totem pole, and I’m a happy camper to be there, on the bottom rungs, working my way up. The work is a blessing. That’s something my Divine teacher reminded us of several times over, during yoga teacher training. Not everyone has access to this knowledge. Not everyone knows that this is how life can be. Not everyone practices yoga, or knows that they can practice yoga. This is not common knowledge, and it is a sacred gift. So remember that, my loves, when you practice your yoga, if you practice your yoga. This heightened awareness, this blessed appreciation for the stream of consciousness that is neither your body nor your mind…this thread that has carried you through past lives and into this one…this is a gift. A body that can practice asana is a gift, a set of lungs that can practice pranayama are a gift, a mind that can sink deeply into meditation is a gift…a higher state of awareness that realizes these practices are all part of a bigger picture, a more vast concept, that’s what is happening when we practice. Deep down below all the layers. Like taking a rag to a cloudy window and slowly rubbing it clean in little circles. Slowly, with some elbow grease and ample patience, the light begins to stream in.