THE EXPERIENCE OF LIFE

It is difficult to look at ourselves in fearless honesty, uninfluenced by ideas and images of what we are, should be, or have been told we should be. Outwardly, we might feel as though we are defying some sort of social authority. Inwardly, we question our own being. Yet, only with this insight can our mind begin to feel itself from its conditioning and can the true spirit of us come to life.

Our reaction to life is generally programmed. we respond out of memory in both action and language. In other words, we react automatically to life and to the moment, rather than spontaneously. Why do we do this? The familiar feels more comfortable, easier, and safer. You can continue to believe the varied definitions of “truth” you might hear. However, you could instead experience truth firsthand.

The following story illustrates the experience. A very rich emperor loved blueberries and looked for a man who would know the most about them. He spoke with one man who had read many books about blueberries: how to cultivate them and in what conditions, the right season, and so forth. He was considered an authority. The second man have never studied blueberries and was untrained. When asked by the emperor about blueberries, the first man went into great detail about how to determine the very best blueberry.

Experiencing life is attention to life. Attention to life is being spontaneous. When we cease to react to the images in our memory, our senses act as whole, and we see the whole picture. Ask yourself the following: Am I willing to question all my past opinions, information, and points of view? Am I willing to break the link of thoughts, impressions, feelings, and emotions that my parents and others have inflicted on me, which have all become my ways? Will I stay clothed in comfort and in the familiar, or will I strip myself of the old and dress in the new? I am not suggesting that everything others have taught you is wrong, and that you should wipe out this information. I am simply recommending that you see this world through your eyes, and experience it with your senses.

Postures

Carefree. Assume a comfortable standing position. Inhale and raise your arms out to yours sides at shoulder height. Keep your shoulders high and make quick chopping motions backward. Exhale on each backward movement, and inhale on each forward movement. Your breathing will be as rapid as the movement of your arms. Exhale and slowly lower your arms. The purpose of this posture is to get your circulation moving.

Strengthening Nerve Breath. Assume a comfortable standing position. Inhale, bend your elbows, and raise the lower part of your arms up and in front to about waist high. Your palms should face upward. Make your hands into fists. Move both arms backward and forward, very quickly and very vigorously. Exhale on each backward movement, and inhale on each forward movement. Your breathing will be as rapid as the movement of your arms. Exhale, and slowly lower your arms. The purpose of this posture is to get your circulation moving.

Forward Swing Breath. Stand comfortably. Inhale and lift your arms over your head. Exhale and very slowly bend forward, down to the floor, and hang there. When you are ready, inhale, and slowly lift your body. Allow your inhalation to lift your body. Exhale and relax. The purpose of this posture is to get circulation to your head.

Relaxation/Meditation: The Chakras

In yoga, we refer to the various centers of our being as chakras. Our chakras are located throughout our body. Kundalini yoga concentrates on opening the chakras by using several breathing techniques. It takes much time, practice, and dedication to learn how to open all our chakras. This relaxation will give you a basic overview. Each chakras has its own color and a certain number of lotus petals. Each petal contains letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, which form the sound of a mantra. Sound and breath work together in the chakras, and each chakra has its own position in the body. By associating yourself with individual chakra colors and positions, you can begin to familiarize yourself with their existence and your relationship to each.

Make yourself comfortable on the floor in a sitting or kneeling position. Feel centered, released, and relaxed. Close your eyes. Your breathing is smooth and effortless. In this visualization, try to feel the color and location of your chakra, what is represents – its quality.

Begin with the first chakra. Its color is pink and has a red energy to it. It is located at the base of your spine. It represents vitality and earthly love. How does it feel to you? (pause.)

The second chakra is also of earthly vitality and courage. The color is orange, and is located in the genital area. Orange. Can you feel its energy? (pause.)

Mode upward to your third chakra. It is golden yellow and located at your navel. It is associated with the solar plexus and earthly wisdom. How does this feel to you. (pause.)

Your fourth chakra is your heart chakra, and its color is green. This chakra is for concentration. It represents maternal love and earthly healing. Can you feel its vibration and its quality? (pause.)

Your fifth chakra is in your throat area, and its color is light blue. This color is one of mental healing and articulation. Can you become one with it? (pause.)

Your sixth level chakra is often referred to as your third eye. It is located in the center of your forehead. Its color is indigo blue. It represents mental healing, and the opening of the psychic center. Much calm is needed to open this chakra. Ir might be easier for you to feel this chakra if you are already familiar with the third eye. (pause.)

Your seventh chakra – the crown chakra – is located on the top of your head. Its color is violet for spiritual health and enlightenment. It is a very pretty chakra with its thousand lotus petals, symbolizing the infinite. Would it not be nice to truly experience this one? Just try it. (pause.)

Keep your eyes closed, and gently lower your body to the floor – centered, loose and limp, released and relaxed. Each center, each chakra, is much like a telephone center with many different wires coming in and going out of it. Just as we cannot see the electricity in those wires, we cannot see the prana energy created by our breathing, but we can feel it.

Spontaneous and Deliberate Concentration

Crystallized meditation is a very deep, refined meditation that is only possible after the groundwork of concentration is established. There are two specific kinds of concentration. One is spontaneous and automatic, while the other is deliberate and controlled. Spontaneous concentration occurs when our mind focuses voluntarily, because it wants to, and offers no resistance. Our mind flows or obeys a strong, emotional motivation. For instance, we might become engrossed or spellbound by a piece of music or a majestic oak tree.

Deliberate concentration is has very little emotional urge or desire behind it. Because this can be unattractive to our mind, our mind will try to escape by interjecting distracting thoughts. To overcome our mind’s tenacity, we must pull our mind back, again and again, if we wish to obtain a higher plan of consciousness. Unfortunately, our nature doesn’t always have the enthusiasm to pursue higher aspirations. Sometimes our nature is much like a child who would rather play, than work at some form of mental advancement. Just as the child evades the work, our mind places distractions in our path. The actions of both the child and mind call for discipline.

Assume that you’ve been working on your concentration, and you feel that you’ve been doing fairly well. Suppose for a minute that you are sitting in meditation and asked to hold a small bowl of water in your hands. This bowl has a pinhole in the bottom where the water the water slowly drips out. You continue to sit, while the water drips, until finally the bowl is empty. What do you do? Do you place the bowl on the floor when the water is gone? If you choose to set the bowl down, you have set a time limit on your meditation and were not truly concentrating and meditating.

In meditation, there is no time. The concept of no time keeps many people from practicing meditation because they fear that they will not be able to come out of the meditation. However, this is not true. Our innate being will always take care or us. If decide to sit in meditation for fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes, or however long you choose, you inner being will bring your back. However, if you stay in contact with that message center, then you will not enter meditation and will create an attachment for mind.

Postures

Rabbit. Start in basic infant pose with your arms at your sides and your head to the floor in front of your knees. Take hold of your heels. Inhale and slowly roll your buttocks up in the air. All your weight is on your knees. As your buttocks are raised, your head position will automatically change so that more of your head is resting on the floor. There should be no weight on your neck or head. Your back and neck are curved. The purpose of this posture is to increase the circulation to your neck and face area and to release tension. Hold the posture for as long as you are comfortable. Exhale to lower your body.

Yoga Supported Back Bend. This is for individuals who have difficulty with unsupported backward bending postures. Stand with your feet comfortably apart and your arms by your sides. Inhale and place the palms of your hands on your back at about waist level. Exhale and gently lean back as far as it is comfortable. Use your hands to support your back. Inhale to return to an upright position.

Stand with your feet apart and under your hips. Your arms are relaxed at your sides. Turn out your toes slightly. Slowly shift all of your weight to your left leg and slightly bend your left knee. At the same time, while bending your body slightly forward, slowly bring your right arm across the front of your body so that your hand is slightly above your left knee with your palm facing upward. In addition, at the same time, your left arm rises up and over your head, with your palm facing down to the top of your head.

Relaxation/Meditation: The Now

In this meditation, you will visit the now. Instead of trying to escape the ego self, as you usually try to do in meditation, you will now truly get in touch with yourself. Perhaps, for the first time, you will understand yourself more thoroughly. What is it that keeps after us and disturbs our peace?

Make yourself comfortable for the exploring adventure. Center your body to the floor. Relax all your muscles. Don’t hold anything back or up. Let go and sink down with each exhalation. (pause.)

Begin with the premise that our life is better witnessed with an awareness of opposites, like our in-breath and out-breath. Foe example, you feel the pleasure of relaxing only after you move your body through your postures. We are not always able to thoroughly experience the opposites of life because of society’s emphasis on constant activity. We are always being pushed to go and to do. We are rarely encouraged to stop, to be still, to pause, to be!

How much of this day did you spend in the now? Answer yourself honestly. Get to really know yourself, the why of you. Did you sit and do nothing?

In order to understand your connection to your life, you must be honest with yourself.

Did you balance your doing with your not doing, today? Did pause as well as push?

In order to reach harmony, balance, and the joy of living, you must give into the hum of your being, like a cat gives into a purr.

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