Committing To Meditation

For the third straight morning, I roll out my Yoga mat on my living room floor and sit in half lotus pose. I straighten my back and rest my hands on my knees palms up, bringing the tips of my forefingers and thumbs together to create circles. Closing my eyes, I begin Ujjayi breathing, generating a sound reminiscent of the noise Darth Vader makes when he breathes. Ujjayi breathing allows me to feel my breath and I concentrate on following it in and out of my body. I draw air in through my nostrils and across the back of my throat, filling my stomach before I fill my lungs. I hesitate for just a second at the top of the breath, then exhale through my nose, emptying my lungs first and then my stomach. Pulling my belly button into my spine, I squeeze the last bit of air out of my stomach and then hesitate once more before drawing in another breath.

I envision heavy, negative energy leaving with each exhalation and bright, light energy entering my body with each inhalation. At some point I realize that my tongue is glued to the roof of my mouth. Gently I peel it away, allowing it to hang loose in my mouth, which forces me to unclench my jaw and relax my face. Breath flows to every part of my body, draining away all stress and tension. As I turn my gaze inward to my third eye, focusing on the spot between my eyebrows, a feeling of peace and serenity envelops me. The incessant chatter in my mind ceases and I feel as if I am floating, blissful.

I am not always so successful with my meditations. Sometimes I am so distracted that I find it impossible to get “into the zone,” but even during those times I find that beginning my day with a meditation – however brief – makes a tremendous difference in my life. Meditating sets the tone for my entire day. It helps me to keep things in perspective and to focus on the things in life that are truly important; things like loving kindness, unconditional acceptance, non-judgment, and caring for one another. So why do I resist doing it? During the past month I did not roll out the mat a single time. I created excuses. I was traveling and my normal schedule was disrupted. There was no good space available for meditation. I’m too busy today; I’ll do it tomorrow. Yada, yada, yada.

How ridiculous are all those excuses? No space? Give me a break. I could sit lotus in the smallest of spaces. No time? My mind tells me that I am not meditating unless I can sit for 30 minutes, but in truth I only need to commit to one minute. One single minute every day to clear my mind. What is so hard about that? What is it about the human condition that makes us resist what we know is in our best interest? I feel so much better when I meditate each day, yet I find every excuse not to do it.

Perhaps it will make a difference if I put it down in writing: “My New Years resolution is to meditate for at least a minute each day in 2009.” In addition to being my witnesses, in invite you all to join with me in the pursuit of inner peace. Those of you who have never practiced Ujjayi breathing may wish to check out the following video, which provides a clear explanation of the technique:

Happy meditating!

3 thoughts on “Committing To Meditation”

  1. As in your case, my morning meditation also makes a big difference in my life and I have followed this daily habit for 15 years or so. It brings me to center and sets the tone for the day in beautiful ways. Why can we tend to resist a feeling of peace and serenity that we know how to attain? Life is fluid and things happen that can interfere with our deepest desires and intentions. The more we sustain our commitment to meditation the better equipped we become to sustain a mood conducive to deeper levels of peace and harmony.

    I recently blogged about acquiring new commitments and wish to share here my comments.

    When contemplating the possibility of accepting new commitments as life becomes increasingly more complex I like to consider some of these questions as a meaningful part of my decision making process:

    Is this new commitment consistent with my core values and beliefs?
    How does it relate with my mission in life?
    Do I experience a need to commit in this area?
    Is it healthy?
    Does it bring peace and harmony to my life and others?

    Every new start if made in the light of our underlying creative spiritual purpose will strengthen our potentiality for spiritual spontaneity.

    Mayte Picco-Kline
    Author of Wholeness in Living

  2. Several years ago, when my kids were very young, and my stress level very high, I took a class on Mindfulness, which encourages daily meditation of 45+ minutes. Since that required me to get up about 6am, it did not happen very often, and eventually, I found that even smaller amounts of time made a big difference. Listening to a guided meditation for 10 minutes really helped me relax and respond differently during the day.

    Nowadays, I don’t take the time to meditate as I should, although in times of stress, I am reminded how helpful it was to me.

    Glad to be a witness to your gift to yourself this year!

    Gudrun’s last blog post..Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco

  3. Yoga (Application) which was based on the control of the body physically and implied that a perfect control over the body and the senses led to knowledge of the ultimate reality. A detailed anatomical knowledge of the human body was necessary to the advancement of yoga and therefore those practising yoga had to keep in touch with medical knowledge. (Romila Thapar, A History of India, volume one).

    I suggest : Mind and brain are two distinct things. Brain is anatomical entity whereas mind is functional entity. Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system (ANS). It is claimed that mind can be brought under conscious control through the practice of meditation. But how? ANS is largely under hypothalamic control which is situated very close to optic chiasma (sixth chakra or ajna chakra). Protracted practice of concentration to meditate at this region brings functions of ANS say mind under one’s conscious control.

    ANS is further divided into parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS). On the basis of these facts I have discovered a mathematical relationship for spiritual quotient (S.Q.). Spiritual Quotient can be expressed mathematically as the ratio of Parasympathetic dominance to Sympathetic dominance. PSNS dominates during meditative calm and SNS dominates during stress. In this formula we assign numerical values to the physiological parameters activated or suppressed during autonomic mobilization and put in the formula to describe the state of mind of an individual and also infer his/her level of consciousness.

    Meditation is the art of looking within and science of doing nothing. We don’t use anything in meditation. We just try to concentrate to meditate at some point in human anatomy known as ‘chakra’ in Indian System of Yoga. The current of mind is flowing outward through the senses and unconsciously. The mind comes at rest gradually through regular practice of meditation. Then comes self realization and enlightenment. Protracted practice of meditation under qualified guidance will help to manage all sort of psychological problems.

    Emotional Quotient can also be expressed mathematically as the product of I.Q. and Wisdom Factor. E.Q. stands for Emotional Quotient. An intelligent person may not be wise. But a wise man will always be intelligent. An intelligent person having certain level of positive emotions can be said as wise. An intelligent person lacking wisdom will turn autocrat. A wise man will always be a democrat who respects others existence.

    Some may raise doubt that how could be the Wisdom quantified? The answer is simple -if Mental Age of I.Q. can be quantified then Wisdom can also be quantified, of course, comparatively with more efforts. Wilhelm Stern had given the formula of I.Q.. It is, Mental Age/ Chronological Age x 100. Spiritual Quotient (S.Q.) leverages both E.Q. and I.Q.

    Radha Soami Faith is a branch of Religion of Saints like Kabir, Nanak, Paltu. Soamiji Maharaj is the founder of this Faith. You may call It a New Wine in Old Bottle.

    Maslow has given Hierarchy of Needs. At the top of it is need for self-actualization or self-realization.

    In our society we should learn To Live and Let Live and help to satisfy others need. When the lower order needs, physiological and sociological both, are satisfied then only a person think to satisfy need for self-realization in true sense. Else he/she may spend all his/her life to satisfy at the most the need for self-expression instead of self-realization.

    It is, therefore, the duty of every responsible person, at the least, of our society to give serious thought over it.

    For the satisfaction of need for self-realization i.e. establishment of harmony of individual consciousness with that of universal consciousness we need following three things:

    1. Mater or Guru (A Self-Realized Soul)
    2. Secret of Levels of Universal Consciousness
    3. Method for traversing the path.

    Anirudh Kumar Satsangi


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