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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Simplify

As time goes on I'm learning more and more about the benefits of simplifying. For instance, as a knitter, it's the less complicated projects that often make my heart sing. Oh, don't get me wrong, I appreciate and enjoy amazing knitted construction, and lovely, intricate lace and textured stitches. It's just that I'm increasingly drawn to the beauty of that which allows my mind to wander where it will, as my hands happily repeat that which needs to be done to complete the project at hand. These days, there's got to be a gosh darn good reason for me to embark on something in knitting that takes my full concentration, allowing no room for mental meandering. It takes a lot for me to consider subjecting my mind to such tying down.

Same goes with my own meditation and prayer practice. Over the last few years I've read a lot of spiritual and metaphysical books. Sometimes the authors go into great detail over...say, clearing and aligning the chakras. Goodness sakes, with some of them it would take an hour just to do this clearing and aligning if one followed their directions, let alone all the other things I hoped to cover in my personal prayer and meditation sessions! It didn't take me long to come up with ways to do chakra clearing/aligning, for instance, that were both meaningful to me and also got quickly right to the heart of the matter. Being succinct can be a good thing, especially when one has to catch the Moo-ver, our cow-spot-painted local bus, to get to work to substitute teach in the morning.

When I first began meditating, I practiced some elaborate steps myself. One of the things I enjoyed was meeting up with my own crossed over loved ones, such as my Ma, Dad, my brother Jack, Aunt Loraine, and even my beloved pets who have trotted over the rainbow bridge. Now I realize that they are but a thought away, so my meditation practice has gotten much simpler, given that I don't feel inclined to have a family reunion each time I meditate. My current practice includes taking a deep breath or two, as I sit very straight in a chair*, shoulders back, feet flat on the floor, my back not touching the back of the chair, tongue (at least at the beginning) at the roof of my mouth, touching the inside of my upper, front teeth (thank you Rev. Elaine). I envision the White Light of the Holy Spirit coming into my body through the top of my head. I make an 'o' with my pointer and thumb of each hand and rest my hands on my lap. I repeat the mantra, "Sat Nam," for as long as I want (usually about 10 minutes), in order to focus and go quickly within. According to information gleaned about Kundalini Yoga: SAT NAM is the Seed Mantra or Bij Mantra and it is the most widely used in the practice of Kundalini Yoga. Sat means the Truth; Nam means to call upon, name or identify with. Sat Nam means Truth is my identity and I call upon the eternal Truth that resides in all of us. Chanting this mantra awakens the Soul, and more simply means "really". It is pronounced to rhyme with "But Mom!" And when I feel ready, I begin to slowly recite the Sutras as I've been taught at school. Time slips away at this point, so it's hard to say how long this takes. In any case, my meditation time varies from session to session, with a total of 45 minutes being about average. Afterward, I either sit in the silence or I go back to chanting Sat Nam for awhile. At the end, I gently wiggle fingers and toes, count backward from 5 to 1, and slowly open my eyes.

Some things to consider: There may be more than one way to achieve what it is you're looking to achieve. You are the best person to decide what works for you or not; what is for your highest and best good. You have the right to change anything you think or do at any point, and that includes your opinion. There are authors/teachers/etc. who can help you along the way, but I love the adage we learned at Fellowships Of The Spirit (FOTS), "Take the best and leave the rest."

Thank you, Patti (Old Goat Woman), for inspiring me with thoughts of simplifying.

"Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough." ~ Author Unknown *I do enjoy sitting cross-legged on the floor, but for some reason, no matter how I try not to let this happen, my feet fall asleep after awhile. That's why I decided on meditating in a chair. And anyways, that's how we meditate at school as a group.

2 comments:

  1. The perfect message for me today. Thank you, Jenny.

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  2. You're very welcome, Nancy. I'm glad the post is meaningful for you.

    ReplyDelete