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In the season of flame red trees and burning leaves we sow what we’ve reaped from the earthly plain. It is a straightforward thing to plant a seed and harvest the plant, having clear parameters of time and direction. What we have sown or reaped also becomes a philosophical inquiry at harvest time as fall marks the beginning of a new year for the Jewish people with a ritual of reflection on our behavior to our fellow men. Less condensed, as it’s a daily practice, the underpinning of yoga requires reflection with regularity. We are sowing without pause and observing the outcomes.
I had a lovely old Tantra teacher who asked me if I knew what the worst pollution was and when I failed to come up with an answer he said that it was words: You can clean the air, the earth, the water but words can never be removed.
I came upon a medical study on rejection and physical pain. An MRI (an imaging device) of the brain lit up the same area of the brain for rejection as it did for the physical pain of a burn. Rejection forms its own words in the mind of the rejected.
Rejection is the upshot of any number of actions: Being fired from a job, being fired as a lover or friend, being passed over for a post, being ignored by anyone close to us or not, with words spoken or implied. I write rejection and you’ve already remembered your own.So when we say we got burned by another person, we are correct. We can heal a physical burn with physical means. How do we heal the emotional burn? My teacher said that only meditation could clean the pollution of words. It is a worthy experiment. I have found it to be helpful.
If human nature changes, it changes slowly forged by cultural pressure. What we cannot change in others we can manage ourselves with the right tools. This is the foundation/groundwork of much of the psychosomatic field. We are managing energy. We are looking for ease. We need to shake off the chords that bind us to pain and habit.
It takes time to vanquish words and the meaning behind them. The thoughts that arise in the waiting room of meditation are the compost of actions that got us to this place of discomfort. We must be detectives. We may have been held against our will or we may be complicit by our actions or inaction. In noticing, we help ourselves and by extension those we affect.
Here is my advice on how to begin a meditation practice:
~Do short practices. Begin with even 5 minutes, done at least once a day. Work up to at least 20 minutes when possible.
~Meditation is hearing and seeing and feeling without listening or looking or touching/ you are a receiver without sorting what you sense. All is exquisitely there without judgment.
~Beneath what you perceive of the external world create a steady rhythm of something without agenda (attachment) which can be the breath or a beat like a ticking clock. You need to experiment with it. Not all folks respond to the same triggers. You may find something else that works. I have found that the sound of the ocean is neutral and centering and unattached.
~Close your eyes –some meditation practices are done with open eyes but I think it takes some eyes closed time to manage that.
~ Keep a notebook beside you. Observe your thoughts and if any are so pressing they must be held, write them down and go back to the meditation.
~Some people respond to a chosen vision but it is wise to find a guide to help you find what is right for you. I can help you with that.
~Meditation can also be a byproduct of bringing the nervous system to the foreground in subtle and repetitive movement. This is also initially facilitated by a seasoned professional.
Pausing midstream in the onslaught of useful and useless production to consider ourselves in relation to others is cause for celebration. While we know there is always more work to be done, we also recognize the need to give ourselves a break and a pat on the head. Taking time through ritual and holidays is a powerful time for that as we do it together.
As the yoga culture has been spread thin enough to be indefinable, at times it may seem bereft of the mores that were often shared with less effort. When your yoga feels over saturated and dull it is wise to seek inspiration from disparate avenues to reignite the fire. Meditation is the bedrock of yoga. I recommend you continue your meditation through movement as well and invite you to visit my classes for that experience.