Welcome Everything in Meditation

This month our Moving into Meditation class continues study of the Yoga Ethic of Saucha.  Saucha inspires us to cultivate clarity, light, purity and simplicity.  Today we explored these qualities inspired by Rumi’s beautiful poem, The Guest House:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

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The Sun Shines for All Meditation

This month our Moving into Meditation class continues study of the Yoga Ethic of Saucha.  Saucha inspires us to cultivate clarity, light, purity and simplicity.  Today we explored these qualities inspired by the beautiful poem, Core, written by Kerrie O’Brien and Yoga scholar, Rolf Sovik’s essay:  The Gayatri Mantra: Awakening to the Sun.

You can find a tutorial that will help you learn the Gayatri mantra embedded in Rolf’s article.

Guided Relaxation

Welcome. . . . and relax. . . . sensing each passing moment . . . the state of mind, your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Let your mind land on breathing . . . feeling breathing . . . . . . currents . . . pulses . . . glimmerings . . . expanding . . . relaxing . . .

. . . you need to be very still . . . to hear the concert of your body . . . . . .
. . . you need to be very still . . . to think about what you contain . . .
salt and water . . .
. . . salt and water . . . knows what it’s doing . . . renewing itself . . . back to earth
. . . renewing itself back to earth . . . it is a quiet thing . . . . . .
this is where our riches are . . . we are all red inside . . . brimming with love . . .
. . . brimming with love . . . all fluid and quiet and fire. . . . . [adapted from Kerrie O’Brien]

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Opening to Light in Meditation

This month our Moving into Meditation class is studying the Yoga Ethic of Saucha.  Saucha is one of the Niyamas, the observances we practice to live in harmony with all of life.  These guiding principles comprise the yogic model of living a conscious life. This day of the winter solstice we invited light into our hearts in contemplation, reflection, meditation, mantra and movement.  We kindled a luminosity of being inspired by the Yoga ethic Saucha – clarity, light, purity, simplicity. The spark of luminous goodness. A Winter Solstice Prayer asks:

May we find hope in the lights we have kindled . . .
hope in one another and in all who form the web-work of peace and justice
that spans the world.
In the heart of every person on this Earth
burns the spark of luminous goodness;
in no heart is there total darkness.

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Animal Being in Meditation

This month our Moving into Meditation class is studying the Yoga Ethic of Saucha.  Saucha is one of the Niyamas, the observances we practice to live in harmony with all of life.  These guiding principles comprise the yogic model of living a conscious life. This model is outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra using the metaphor of a tree. The tree’s eight limbs describe the path.

In Yoga we climb these branches toward liberation – we liberate ourselves from unnecessary suffering. We free ourselves to embrace a deeper well being that includes all beings. Nischala Joy Devi defines the Yamas and Niyamas as “inspired offerings, not commandments, given to us gently and respectfully.” We can create harmony within ourselves and with our world relationships.

We drew inspiration from poet and philosopher John O’Donohue’s beautiful poetry.  Here are some of the resources we used in this morning’s practice of guided relaxation, mindful movement and sitting meditation.

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Waking Up in Meditation

This month our Moving into Meditation class is studying the Yoga Ethic of Aparigraha.  Here are some of the resources we used in this morning’s practice of guided relaxation, mindful movement and sitting meditation.

We used the Pavamana Asatoma Mantra to seed our breathing consciousness in our pranayama practice.  This old living peace mantra is taken from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. You can listen to Deva Premal’s beautiful rendition of this chant and practice at home.

We drew inspiration from the astronomer and  philosopher Carl Sagan’s reflections on our place in the universe in his book Pale Blue Dot:  A Vision of the Human Future in Space and and Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s translation of the Bhaddekeratta Sutta in the Majjhima Nikaya – the Middle-Length Discourses of the Pali Canon.  (You can learn much about the Pali Canon, some of the earliest know teachings of the Buddha, at Access to Insight.)

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Forgiveness in Meditation

This month our Moving into Meditation class is studying the Yoga Ethic of Aparigraha.  Here are some of the resources we used in this morning’s practice of guided relaxation, mindful movement and sitting meditation.

We used the Pavamana Asatoma Mantra and Bhramari to seed our breathing consciousness in our pranayama practice.

We drew inspiration from the poet and philosopher David Whyte’s explorations on forgiveness taken from Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

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Letting Go in Meditation

This month our Moving into Meditation class is studying the Yoga Ethic of Aparigraha.  Here are some of the resources we used in this morning’s practice of guided relaxation, mindful movement and sitting meditation.

We used mantra and bandha to seed our breathing consciousness in our pranayama practice.

Today We were gifted rare Japanese incense especially made to facilitate letting go.

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Moving Into Meditation With Trees

This month our Moving into Meditation class is studying the Yoga Ethic of Brahmacharya.  Here are some of the resources we used in this morning’s practice of guided relaxation, mindful movement and sitting meditation.

The inspiration for our guided relaxation and practice comes from The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben.  You can find a lovely synopsis of the book written by cultural essayist Maria Popova at her BrainPickings.org website.

We crushed the flat sprays of scale-like leaves of Thuja Plicata, our native Western red cedar, between our palms to release its aromatic oils.  We breathed them in during our Pranayama practice.  Cedarwood brings people together to experience strength and value of community.  It inspires the feeling of belonging and assists the heart in opening to receive love and support. Continue reading

Utmost Care in Meditation

This month our Moving into Meditation class is studying the Yoga Ethic of Brahmacharya.  Here are some of the resources we used in this morning’s practice of guided relaxation, mindful movement and sitting meditation.

The inspiration for our guided relaxation and practice comes from Native American musician, poet and writer, Joy Harjo.  Her latest book is Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings.

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