Interestingly, we often a misconceive meditation only a time of outward silence. True meditation is silence within. Meditation does not consist of a goal; rather, It is the doing of it. It’s just like music. We don’t play, sing, or listen to music simply to reach to end of the score. The joy of music is in the playing, the singing, the listening, the doing. It’s the same with dancing. The aim is not to arrive at a particular place on the floor. The art is in the doing. It’s the same with meditation. In meditation, we discover that the point of life is found in the immediate moment. That immediate moment is reality. Meditation, while appearing to escape from reality, is really the immediate moment of reality. We should meditate as naturally as we drink water when we are thirsty or take a nap when we are sleepy.
If it is forced and unnatural, it is not a true practice and will probably be unsuccessful. In meditation, we sit and simply experience the nothingness of being. Nothingness is naturalness and true being. Although naturalness is an emptiness of the ego, it is also a feeling of fullness and completeness. It is an emptying out of the unnecessary clutter that binds, stifles, and prevents us from feeling free, natural, relaxed and content. When you sit in meditation, don’t sit with expectation, with a knowing. When we expect something, we want something, and this wanting comes from the ego. The real you wants for nothing. You are already complete. If you sit in knowingness and with assuredness, you will see the real you, and that is your goal.
You might be asking yourself: “Why should I bother meditating if I must keep coming back the ego:” Someday, sometime, these two opposites will begin to blend as one. Then, you everyday life will become peaceful and as blissful, as rewarding as your moments in this higher consciousness of meditation. The habit of anything changes us. The habit of sitting in bliss brings the the tools we need for a blissful state. We cannot dwell in this blissful state without it affecting all the other parts of our life. From each cause there is an effect. Nothing goes unnoticed.
We are powerful beings when we realize our full potential and begin to have faith in ourselves. We are powerful when we begin to listen to ourselves, to explore ourselves, to care about ourselves, and love ourselves. Yoga teaches us all of these things. If we don’t love ourselves, we can never really love anyone else. To love yourself means to love the essence of who you are. It does not mean to love your ego. Your essence is always pure, always precious and perfect just as it is.
Reverse Balance Leg Lift. Sit on the floor, and bend your knees up so that your feet are flat on the floor. Lean back so that the lower parts of your arms are on the floor. Lift your body up off the floor. The weight is on your arms and feet. Inhale and straighten your left knee, then lift your left leg straight up. Exhale to lower your leg so it is out straight again, then bend your knee to return your foot to the floor. Repeat for your right leg.
Lunge Stride. Stand with your feet comfortably apart and your arms by your sides. Take a long step forward with your right leg. Bend your knee and lunge forward and down, as far as you can. Do not let your knee go forward beyond your toes. Your left leg is bent and extended behind you. As you lunge forward, swing your arms up over your head. keep this low position and take a long lunge step forward with your left leg. Try to keep your body as low as possible. As you lunge forward with your left foot, let your arms swing down. This time your right leg is bent and extended behind you.
Pivot and push. Stand with your feet directly below your hips and your arms at your sides. Inhale and raise your arms in front of you. Your elbows are at waist-height and your palms raised a little higher facing outward. Shift all your weight to your left leg. Place your right heel slightly forward, and lower the rest of your foot down. Transfer most of your weight to the right leg. As you transfer your weight push your palms forward.
Transfer your weight to your left leg. Raise your right heel and bring your right foot parallel to your left foot. Let your palms drop slightly, and bring your elbows back to your waist. Transfer half of your weight to your right leg so that you are balanced, and lower your arms down to your sides. Repeat this movement for the other side of your body.
One of the best places to meditate is outdoors, sitting with your back to a tree, turning and connecting with its life force. It is extremely calming and such a delightful experiencing. In this session, you will have an opportunity to experience connection in a different manner. You should practice this with a partner and sit back-to-back on the floor. Your knees may be bent if you are more comfortable that way.
Close your eyes. (pause.)
Gently and comfortably adjust your back to one another. (pause.)
Take a few deep breaths and relax. (pause.)
Think of your partner as your leaning post, as your tree! It is a very nice, loving tree with very good vibrations. Try to tune in to those vibrations now, while you picture this tree. (pause.)
Tune in and feel the life force of the vibrations. Let this life force penetrate right through your back, your skin, your pores, to the center of your being. Be open to it. Observe, feel, and experience it. (pause.)
Is there a calmness there? Is there a flowing and a peacefulness? Does a relaxing feeling reach out to you? Do not feel it enter and join you? (pause.)
Is there warmth and gentleness? (pause.)
Can you feel the tree as an extension of yourself? As you inhale, does it inhale? (pause.)
As you breath flows from you, does it join you in letting go? (pause.)
Do you feel – really feel – in unison, as one? (pause.)
Are you feeling comfortable and peace? Do you feel love? (pause.)
Remember to experience on the inhalation, as you draw to you, and send out on the exhalation, as you release. (pause.)
What are you receiving? (Pause.)
What are you sending? (Pause.)
Are you open to receiving? (pause.)
Are you giving in you send? (pause.)
Be a vessel that opens and holds on to what it receives, but pours forth and empties out in return. (pause.)
Now experience, simply experience, what is happening. Be free of thoughts that label you as “good” or “bad.” There are no words, only gentle and quiet experiencing. (pause.)
Remember that experiencing is the only truth there is in the knowing of life. (pause.)
Here is your knowing. You have just experienced your other self. Now, move very slowly and gently away your tree trunk and stretch out to lie down. However, don’t lose that feeling of connectedness, that oneness. Carry it with you, because it is important. (pause.)
Why should You Meditate?
We must try to reach the highest mental and spiritual state attainable to us. We spend most of our time obtaining materialistic things, but very little time at all attaining our mental and spiritual growth. The materialistic world is fleeting, with limited pleasures and value. The spiritual realm is constant and priceless, with unlimited pleasure, unlimited peace, and unlimited presence. The material world is expensive, the place of spirit is free. You simply have to open yourself to it, as the flower opens itself trustingly, as the bird flies assuredly, as the tree bends lovingly to its true potential.
This journey means that we must draw on resources that we generally leave undeveloped. Work to be quiet. Empty your mind. Open your heart. Recognize the oneness of all. Truly desire a higher consciousness. Strive to be free of desire for reward or gain, free of preconceived ideas of reality. Learn to just be here now. Remember that meditation is the total experience of now, as is enlightenment.
Infant – Palms Down Stretch. Bring your arms in front of you with the palms of your hands on the floor. Stretch your left leg out behind you as far as you can. Inhale and push down with your palms, and raise your head and body slightly. Fully stretch your arms and your extended leg. Exhale and return your left leg to its kneeling position. Inhale and repeat this movement, extending your right leg. Exhale and return to your starting position.
Infant – Arms Up Back Stretch. Stretch your left leg out behind you as far as you can. Inhale and raise your upper body. Stretch your arms out behind you and arch your back. Tip your head back to look at the ceiling. Exhale to lower your upper body down, and return your leg to the kneeling position. Inhale and repeat the posture for your right leg.
Circle Earth/Gather Clouds (relax). Stand in a relaxed position and slowly let your upper body bend forward until your hands almost touch the floor. If you are really relaxed, your arms will feel as though they are not attached to your body, and they will begin to slowly move in circles – clockwise for your left arm and counterclockwise for your right arm. Relax your knees and begin swaying back and forth. Your arms will swing out into larger and larger circles, overlapping one another and circling the earth. Keeping your body swaying naturally, gradually rise up. Keep your arms hanging loosely and making circles. Gradually move your arms over your head, making circles as though you were gathering clouds in your arms and into your being. Then, gradually lower your body again with your arms still loosely circling. Slowly, stop staying. Your arms will slow down to small circles. To raise your body, simply take a deep inhalation. Your arms will stop swinging, and your body will rise and be relaxed.
Relaxation/Meditation: The Four Elements
There must have been a time in your life when you gazed upon a Japanese garden and thought: “How beautiful.” Japanese gardens are laid out in the same relationship as a person’s body. For example, the water represents the flow of our blood, the rocks mirror our bones, the moss is our skin, and so on. The Japanese feel more connected to nature than most westerners. We are missing out on a very valuable asset in helping us relieve our stress and in reaching the calm we need. In japan you will see entire families spending ours sitting on the porch, gazing at beds of raked stones and islands of larger rocks. We must not fail take the time to connect with nature.
This relaxation will help you become more attuned to the nature within you. You will learn how you can associate with it more closely. You’ll experience the different elements of nature as a part of you.
Place yourself in a relaxed, centered position on the floor. Breathe yourself into a relaxed state of being with a full exhalation, maybe a sigh, as you let go, or even an inner affirmation, such as: “I now open myself to this moment, this experiencing, for this my time to just let go. “Then, do it. (Pause.)
The four elements are: air, earth, fire, and water. It might be easier to associate with water since our body is about 75% water – sweat, tears, blood. Earth is the denseness of you. Feel that denseness now. Realize the significance of the way that your body feels to the floor. Look at air – oxygen. In yoga air is known as prana energy. Prana energy is what is sustaining you right now. Come to fire. You may ask. “What does the have to do with me?” Have you never felt the warmth of the sun penetrate deep with you? Your breathing creates within you the fire that sustains you, just as the sun sustains plant life and warms the earth, and energizes the universe.