yoga meditation and philosophy with Lynn
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· For 5 minutes, without letting your pen stop moving, write about ‘what is acceptance?’
· Now journal about these questions: Do I accept myself completely, including my less than pure thoughts, emotions, words and actions? If not, how does it feel to exclude part of who I am? Do I accept other people as they are? Why/why not? When am I not able to do this? How does this feel?
· What makes me feel significant? Do I need some ideas, objects and relationships in order to feel I exist? What would happen if I left that behind? Am I willing to do that? Capable of that in this moment? Why/why not?
· Write about 3 very different times when you didn’t feel free to be who you are/ be known/ be accepted for who you are. Use examples from different ages – eg if you are 50 – as a teen, younger adult and in forties. How do they feel the same? How do you feel about that? What is your situation now? Do you feel known? Accepted? Loved for who you are? By yourself? Others?
· Journal about 3 very different times when you suspect someone else didn’t feel known/ accepted or loved for themselves – by you. How is that different and the same as when it happens to you? Do you expect (your definition of) perfect behavior from people? Do they expect if of you? How does this feel?
This may be helpful – Internal dialogue
More on how to journal.
From Philosophy of Hatha Yoga, Swami Veda
Watching the Mind Watching the Body
In yoga philosophy, there are 5 sheaths (layers) around the spiritual self of a person – the outermost first sheath (layer) is known as annamaya, made up of the food we eat. The second is the finer essence of the food, the pranamaya sheath made of the vital force. The third is manomaya, a further essence of prana, the mental essence. The fourth, vijnanamaya is made of limited consciousness. The fifth is the anandamaya, the sheath made of limited pleasure.
The average individual is more conscious of their outermost layer, the annamaya kosha, the food sheath or physical body. We speak of ourselves and we put our hand to our chest. We say, “I am hungry”. We are not speaking of the mind’s hunger but of the hunger of the body. So there is this physical identification. Where does control of the physical body fit in the entire philosophy of yoga? Its purpose is to gradually draw the attention from the grosser parts of us to the finer ones. Ordinarily we use our body and we are not even conscious that the body is being used. …The primary consideration therefore in the practice of hatha yoga philosophically is the practice of mindfulness, self observation, the habit of being a witness to one’s own physical functions, aware of whatever it is that we are doing with our bodies, whether it be the external surfaces of the body or internal things like muscle tension, heart rate, blood flow and breathing. …
This mindfulness in daily life is … the starting point of being a witness, of being aware of the body from head to toe. … The process of hatha is from the external levels gradually to the internal levels. What does that mean? It means first of all to become more and more conscious of the different levels and slowly shift the mind’s identification from one level to a finer one. Therefore, you progressively remove the control that the grosser has over the finer parts of your being and establish control of the finer over the relatively grosser parts of your being.
One’s identification has to change: an awareness of prana and then the awareness of the mind as functioning in the physical body must develop. Some of this deeper awareness can be felt in the relaxation exercises that are done in the corpse posture which enhances one’s awareness of the mind in the body; relax the mind that is in the forehead, and the muscle of your forehead relaxes; relax the mind that is in your cheeks, and your cheeks relax; relax the portion of your mind that is in your shoulders and your shoulders relax.