The classical definition of Yoga is yoke, but it is conventionally thought of as unity today. While the list of things Yoga might be talking about unifying, is nearly infinite, we talk about yoga as a unifier of the body and mind, as we travel the path of seeking our spiritual nature, (enlightenment).
But when we add a regular mantra meditation practice to a consistent practice of hatha postures we can find that we are connected to a reality much deeper and more expansive than anything we have ever imagined. While many forms of meditation exist, and they all have a very healing purpose, my particular form of practice has changed everything about how I deal with the world around me, because it has shown me that at the core of my very nature, I am an ageless, timeless field of vibration. And the more I practice, the more I feel my melding into the field around me with that practice.
Why do I sit down twice a day every day for at least 30 minutes, close my eyes and watch silently? Because the more I connect to this silence, the more smoothly my life seems to run, and the easier it is to stay calm and centered when life ‘appears’ to throw me a curveball. Sliding into the silence has shown me that the secret to savoring my day to day existence is to understand that flow is the key. Let it go, whatever IT is at this moment.
You can’t find your car keys? Stop. Detach from your automatic panic reaction and focus on your breath. Take a couple of slow gentle focused inhales with following your breath as your ONLY intention and wait patiently. Focusing on your breath should allow you to release your chokehold on a situation you desperately want to control. When we meditate as a practice, we end up letting go of that clutching gently, and if you persist with the practice you let go of your need to judge, both yourself and situations and this brings you into alignment with the world around you. Yes, you can align with the world around you. At your core you, and the energy around you, are made up of the same kind of “quantum stuff”. Deepak Chopra says we are “energy and information” and the physicists say everything starts from “quantum stuff”, what the Vedas used to call Akasha.
The key? Let go of YOUR need to “control the situation”, let YOUR job be to pay attention to taking care of your needs, IN THIS MOMENT, to avoid panic and locking yourself into a cycle of frustration and harsh judgement. This is one of the gifts of my meditation practice, I have let go of my need to control many of the situations in my world. My go to mantra on the more stressful days? Om Let Go Namah. Silly I know, but it starts my meditation with a gentle smile and that begins the re-framing of the moment before I even close my eyes and seek my center.
“Be the Change”, says Gandhi. What does that mean? It means live lightly. Live kindly. If you look at your life and wish it had more kindness, start swirling the air around you with kindness. You are an energy field, what kind of energy are you vibrating into the world? You need Compassion? You start. Give the world what it needs more of, volunteer your time in a hospice. Teach kids to read. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter. Being what the world needs more of, only because it feels good. By that I mean, don’t do it expecting a medal, or expecting anything for that matter. Make a positive difference because you can.
Do you feel a definite lack in the material world of riches and stuff? Re-frame your needs and swirl the heavens gently. How I found my way to what I call “comfortable abundance”? First, I defined what I needed, how much is enough? For me, abundance is enough to take care of myself and my family and to be able to help generously should someone need it. Then start letting go of your need to control the money in your life, not so far as to bankrupt yourself, but enough to get the material energy around you moving. The universe will show you the ways. There will be a street musician who makes you think, “I should give him a buck.” Don’t just think it, do it. That gets the energy moving. Shop for $15 of non perishable food and put in the food pantry box yourself. Each good deed is an energy swirl. And in a universe of energy and information when you start tapping into its power, it will come back and meet you more than half way. By giving you are making space for the new, opening your world to the new. You will find the same thing to be true in the realm of health AND relationships. Let go of your need to control outcomes, and salt your life with generous chunks of the behavior you would like to receive from others and watch what happens. Nature reaches out to you, people and experiences which nourish your soul amble into your life as if you had ordered them. Everything changes. And this is because YOU have changed from the inside. You have changed yourself at a vibrational level, and by changing your vibration you change the people and situations you attract.
I call my meditation practice the “bicep curls” which keeps me aligned with this field of energy. Much of the time I simply sit down and set my intention to be of joyous service to those who may cross my path that day, sometimes I do get more specific. And what happens when I do consistently amazes me. “Universe, I need Soul Food”. While driving the opportunity shows up to help a turtle across the road, or I see a family of deer. Whether rainbows or animals, the Universe brings me what I need if I remember to ask. And on one level that is the crux of it, we do have to ask. There is a lovely episode of “The Big Bang Theory” where Leonard sends himself into a panic attack because he has told himself Penny would never go out on a date with him. And Sheldon in his childlike wisdom compels Leonard to see that he has never ASKED her to go on a date at that point. We have to ask.
For me this seems to happen with aspects of abundance as well. As long as I stay within the realm of what I need to feed my soul and pass along my excess generously, I keep having excess to pass along. An example, I LOVE my purse. My purse carries my entire life. While I don’t think it’s a vanity, I will own that it tends to be a sensual luxury. It is big, red leather and has more than enough pockets for a disorganized Aquarian soul and for some reason or another the ones I like best tend to be from Coach. But my purse will last me 10 years, because I love it. I respect its form and function and give myself the best I can afford at any given time just because a great purse feeds my soul. And what started happening for me with purses, now pervades my whole life. The first thing that happened was I would walk into a shopping situation and there would be a beautiful purse to lure me into the shop, which was an outlet. And once I go in there ALWAYS in the clearance bin, is my perfect bag, marked down 50% from what it cost when IT was the bag in the window. I hope I NEVER take this experience for granted, but it has happened with my last 3 bags.
And it ALL started with noticing pennies and parking spaces. Energy goes where attention flows. I LOVE doing what Einstein called “thought experiments”. The speakers in “The Secret” and the physicists in “What the Bleep Do We Know” say the same thing, “Don’t believe us, do it yourself.” So I did. I started using a simple little poetic prayer to manifest a parking space. And it worked every time. When I realized this was working, I started asking the Universe questions and receiving pennies for answers. Don’t believe me, just try it and PAY ATTENTION. Ask your question, believe a penny is the answer and watch.
We are so much more than we seem. We are the Universe writ small. The swirlings of the Universe are our swirlings writ large. Tapping into this beautiful truth is easier done than said. Sit, find your breath, repeat your mantra and watch your mind find its still point. From finding that still point comes connection, and from that connection? Personal clarity was my treasure. And from that clarity, the grace that comes from knowing that I am never alone. Aham Brahmasmi.
Cpriestess trained to teach Meditation and Ayurvedic Lifestyle at the Chopra Center in Carlsbad California. She is a Sivananda trained Yoga teacher who teaches and writes on Cape Cod. Her most important teachers have included Deepak Chopra, Davidji, Krishna Das and Jean Houston. Learn More about Cpriestess’s Yoga Services.