I just finished week 1 of 40 Days to Personal Revolution, and I feel amazing! The program is focused on asana practice, diet, and inquiry, but the biggest change I feel is in my meditation practice. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a very consistent meditation practice, and I’m now committed to twice a day. But it has completely opened up new feelings for me and mostly, a sense of delight!
I would have never guessed that I would use “delight” to describe meditation. I’ve been doing meditation on and off for years and have even sat for 30 minutes straight one time. But it was always torture. My brain goes into stream of consciousness mode, and I start to get agitated with all my wild thoughts. My leg starts to go numb, and I itch to move. My back and shoulders hurt. Who can possibly experience enlightenment this way?
I don’t know what changed in my mind, but right now, I’m living my mantras of authenticity, stillness, and ebb and flow. And in the realm of meditation, this means letting go – letting go of my expectations and what I know about meditation and being authentic to what I can do in this moment. This also means, going along with my crazy thoughts with detachment and then letting them go. And incredibly, these simple mantras have led me to moments of stillness and pure delight. I’ve realized, there is no right or wrong, there’s just acceptance for our humanity.
I encourage everyone to develop a meditation practice in whatever form that means for you. Here are a few techniques to get started:
- Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. This can be a room designated for meditation/yoga or just a corner of your bedroom.
- Get comfortable. Sit on the floor with your hips raised (either on a cushion or blanket) with your legs crossed, or try sitting in a chair if it strains your legs. Elongate the spine and reach the crown of the head up as you root your tailbone down.
- Signify a start to your meditation. You can hit a gong, a singing bowl, or bring your hands to prayer and om.
- Begin to breathe deeply in and out through the nose. Try ujjayi pranayama or “victorious breath”.
- Notice when your mind begins to wander. Accept the thoughts, let them go, and return to your breath.
- Start off by sitting for 5 minutes and then gradually increase time as you can. Set a time so you won’t think about the time passing.
- Set an intention to meditate twice a day, once in the morning, once at night.
- Begin to receive the benefits!
“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.”- Ma Jaya Sati Baghavati