yoga meditation and philosophy with Lynn
Awareness is always the first step in change. Do I know who I am? Am I aware of the thoughts and feelings that continuously flow through my mind? How can I strengthen my mind and develop this awareness? How can I be ‘me’ if I don’t know who that is?
When I don’t live my life in a way that values what is important to me – I condemn myself to live someone else’s idea of my life.
Some background principles:
· Life events do not have to be judged as good or bad. We can choose to take in all of life without grasping at pleasure and pushing away pain. Everything can be a means of waking up and getting to know ourselves.
· Work with nature, not against it. The nature of manas – the lower part of the mind – is a constant flow of information, ideas, sensory input, doubts and thoughts. Like a lake, the mind can be quite turbulent on the surface and become quiet and still the deeper we go. Don’t try to stop the thoughts – accept them, observe them and also shift your awareness to a level where the waters are still. Don’t spend all your time being tossed about by waves.
· Humans resist change. Start with small things, give yourself support and gradually work on strengthening your mind. Ask – what can I do to support myself while I am making this change?
· We must have reasons why we ‘disappear’. Find out what they are, why we have chosen our coping strategies and make new conscious decisions about how to move forward.
· Ahimsa (non-harming) is the first principle of yoga. It starts with ourselves.
· We develop awareness of thoughts and emotions during yoga practice. As the mind strengthens, we can extend this awareness to 100% of the time.
· Don’t be too serious. At any moment we can always choose to lighten up and take a breath of fresh air.
· Yoga philosophy speaks of karma and reincarnation and how the momentum of our lives comes from samskaras and vrittis – grooves in the mind from past experiences. When we learn and let go of the negative thought patterns and habits, the karma is erased. We aren’t stuck here forever! We can move on.
· Learn about the Royal Path – the Eight Rungs of Yoga.
Commit to a time once a week to write in your journal. Review the past week. Choose a topic and write for a ½ hour. Periodically review several weeks of your journal and write about your observations.
Some questions to ask/observations as I work my way through these questions:
· Will this bring me closer or isolate me from others and myself?
· Am I judging and condemning myself? Can I let that go?
· Am I being truthful with myself? If not, why not? What investment do I have in not seeing ‘reality’? Can I let that go?
· Swami Veda teaches – we can suffer what there is to suffer or enjoy what there is to enjoy. What do I choose?
· If something feels overwhelming, take a break, relax the forehead, jaw, shoulders and belly. Focus the mind on the smooth rhythm of the breath at the navel area. Stay in your body as you calm down. As you return to the questions, keep the forehead relaxed and the breath smooth and even.