Align: Day 13 (About Meditation)
Moon in Shravana + 13th day of waning cycle to dark moon in 2 days
Today, I’m sharing a written Q&A with a media person (written by me on Friday).
Q. Can you tell me about meditation and how it helps with relaxation?
Me: Meditation as we talk about it usually refers to techniques, tools and practices that lead to a state of meditation, or another way to say that is a state of presence. A state that can only be found in this moment...now. There are no worries of the future or ruminating on the past in this state. Only Being. Only Now.
In this state of presence, any agitations running the show (agitations are popularly referred to now as traumas) are dormant. So there is clarity of mind, clarity of emotional nature, clarity of desires and the impulse to act, create, share is pure and sound.
This is our natural state. A relaxed state. A state of ease and peace.
Learning to meditate and actually doing the practices of meditation helps you land and stay in this state.
Many people experience the state of meditation when they are horseback riding, hiking, golfing, quilting, writing, creative work, gardening, etc. They refer to it as getting in their zone.
Q. Are there any techniques someone can do at home or in situations where they feel themselves needing to relax?
Me: The best thing is to develop a regular practice, 5 minutes first thing in the morning and before going to sleep. Pretty much all of us need it but because agitation is running the show, we are not aware of it. The whole system (technology, keeping up with the Jones) keeps us in agitation.
What I share with beginners is simply following the breath in and out of the nose. Feel the temperature of the air around the nostrils and as it goes in the nasal passages until the two streams become one, and then back out and notice breath along the nasal passages. Do that for 5 minutes and see what happens.
This can be done any time, anywhere and in any circumstances...if only you remember. And that is where the 5 minutes a day morning and night creates a new habitual groove you can turn toward when needed...for instance when driving on I-64 and you get caught in traffic or someone cuts you off.
Q. What services do you offer?
Me: I offer gentle, accessible yoga as well as restorative yoga three times most weeks. (Yoga IS Meditation, at least from my lens)
Monday 11-noon online (accessible and gentle)
Thursday 3:30-5pm in-person (accessible and gentle)
Tuesday 6-7:30pm in person (restorative and long guided relaxation)
I also offer a variety of advanced workshops organized around Yoga, Ayurveda and Jyotisha.
Jyotisha is also known as Vedic Astrology and it helps someone align with their innate nature as imprinted upon them at their time of birth. It is absolutely transformational. NOTE: This is not astrology as we've come to know it in the west.
In all of 2022, I am hosting Wisdom Workshops that have fellow teachers sharing the following workshops:
Sassa Wilkes - Sound Immersions
Nichole Webb - Moving Through...Emotional Self Care
Mary Jo Perdue - Reiki I, II, III (energetic self care and healing)
Jennifer McComas - Workshops for Parents and Grandparents in supporting their children in these challenging times
Lacey Connelly - Chakra + Restorative Yoga
In April-June, I'm hosting Restorative Yoga and Ritual Rest Immersions, to draw a clear line in the sand from 2020-2022 and move forward as whole as possible.
September 30 - October 2, I'm holding a large retreat at Camp Mad Anthony Wayne (I held the last retreat in 2015).
In March, I'm hosting an online FREE workshop series called Yoga for the New Student which explores the 8-limbed system of yoga. Many people think of yoga as stretching or exercise and really it is just one step of an 8-step system to peace and presence. Meditation is the 7th limb and the Poses/Stretches are the 3rd limb. The workshops are 10:30-1pm ONLINE via Zoom: https://thewisdomsanctuary.as.me/yfnsFREE (feel free to share away). There is also an in-person option which is not free.
Q. Any advice for someone wanting to start meditation?
Me: Start with the 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening following your breath and see what happens. Notice the resistance to actually doing the practice. Make it a special time and priority for your own self care.
Seek out a seasoned meditation practitioner to help you customize a practice that is perfect for your emotional/mental temperament and your lifestyle. All these things matter tremendously. What helps one person is different for another. That is why there are countless meditation systems, tools and techniques.
Meditation is a lifestyle and something to be integrated into daily life. It is not just a once-a-week practice or workshop at a studio. It is a determination and willingness to take steps toward inner peace and only you can do that.
Q. Anything I might have not asked that would be good information for people to have about meditation?
Me: The state of meditation happens through alignment to the natural rhythms. Usually we start with the breath rhythm. The ebb and flow of the breath. Sometimes by counting the breath. Sometimes deepening or moving it to different parts of the body and feeling it. Or how the in breath turns to the out breath and vice versa. These are just techniques to bring you to this moment. Breath uses the physical body.
We can look at the subtle body too, the realm of emotions and thinking. Meditation can be more subtle as we watch thoughts come and go, like clouds moving through the sky. Ever-changing. And also moving awareness to different energy portals in the body, or visualization and imagination. This subtle realm leads us to our portal of creativity. Uniqueness. Is-ness. Of Being.
There is a audio practice last week, teaching this particular meditation, if you’d like to practice it and also learn to share it with the people in your life.
For those following the astrology, I know it is tough times. I’m here for you. Hang in there. ❤ (If you didn’t watch the video last week, you should.)
PS…Wisdom Sanctuary Members: Be sure to watch the Parenting Through Strong Emotions of our Kids (for parents, grands, caregivers, etc). The replay link will go away soon. This was an amazing workshop and much needed. Next on deck will be Parenting Kids through Grief. There has been so much grief over the last years.