Sunday, July 24, 2011


"It is only in still water that we can see"
-Taoist Proverb

In Friday's classes, we talked about silence and the importance of slowing down enough to quiet the din of daily life. When we slow down, we open ourselves up to quieting the mind (which is called meditation or 'dhyana' on sanskrit). Meditation is the stilling of the movements of the mind. It is bringing the turbulent sea of the mind to a state of flat calm. This calm is not lifeless, motionless or static.  It is a deep tranquility full of all the potential of creation. 

Although the two can be practiced separately, it is often said that yoga is meditation and meditation is yoga.  Yoga releases us from the world of material possessions, events, and noise - which can ruffle the ocean of the mind - and brings us back to the point of stillness and placidity before the ocean was ruffled. Meditation is not laziness or lifelessness (tamas-inertia), it is luminous and aware (sattvic).

When we arrive on our yoga mat or meditation cushion and practice with intention and mindfulness, our movements become meditation. 
"Meditation is acceptance. It is the acceptance of life within us, without us and all around us. Acceptance of life is the beginning of human satisfaction. Transformation of life is the culmination of divine satisfaction." (
Sri Chinmoy)

In meditation we stop fighting with and against ourselves.  We stop struggling with and against the world.  We simply accept each breath, each sensation, each moment as it is without needing to add anything else.

Swami Chetanananda said it best when he said: "Your work really begins when you release struggle. To let go of struggle initiates a change of vibration within you. This change puts you in touch with the flow of life itself, which is essentially what you are. To cultivate your awareness of this flow is your real work.

When you're in touch with the flow of life and feel your heart and mind open, you'll note that a certain presence starts to assert itself.  This presence changes your physical chemistry, your feelings, and your mind.  It is  the spirit itself, starting to inform you about yourself, about it, about life, and about God.  It's simple work."
Meditation can be practiced anywhere any time.  Simply releasing struggle and opening to acceptance will help still the waters of the mind and allow the divine to be reflected in the clear, calm waters of the spirit.

Until next time...

To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem.
To meditate means to observe.
Your smile proves it.
It proves that you are being gentle with yourself, 
that the sun of awareness is shining in you, 
that you have control of your situation.
You are yourself,
and you have acquired some peace.
- Thich Nhat Hahn

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