differences, Mind

The Question is:

What makes one mind different from another?

This question is, I think, fundamental to what makes meditation possible for us. I would like to figure out how to use meditation more effectively in my yoga classes.

I know that I find it easier to communicate with certain people. I can trust that the words I say will be heard by them in the way I intended. I just feel that the way their minds work harmonizes with mine.

Other people? Sometimes it is much harder — even much, much harder.

Some people are so literal-minded that I almost can’t find words to communicate with them. It’s taken me a long time to understand that there is value in their practical approach. But I have to admit I can feel tired after a conversation with them.

Sometimes the much harder comes from my not being able to make sense of what the other people are saying. They are using English, but I’m unable to see how the words string together to tell me something I can use.

In addition, some people lie recreationally. Sigh …

If I go to a doctor and try to explain something, she can completely misinterpret what I said. It’s as though we’re speaking different languages and I have to translate both ways.

What makes our minds (and consequently our communication) different? I used to think that other people were stupid, or that I was. I’ve come to realize that these other modes of thinking have saved my ass upon occasion and that I’ve helped others see a different perspective.

What do you think makes your mind unique? What problems has it caused you in getting along in the world?

Meditation, trouble

Gem Meditation for This Time of Trouble

I can’t remember where I came upon this meditation, but back then (decades ago) it did me some good. So I remembered it. And forgot it …

… Until last night. I was lying in bed unable to let my body settle as I worried about all the businesses that are part of my life that have been ravaged by looting and riotous destruction. The bookstore I worked for for years has been burnt to the ground. People I know live close to where the rioting has been taking place. The government has advised us to bring our trash cans and patio furniture inside. The spark that ignited it all, the death of George Floyd, can seem forgotten in the midst of the chaos.

This in addition to COVID-19.

Sleep seemed like a fantastical myth, even after yoga.

And then the gem meditation came back to me. Here it is:

  • To begin, sit with your spine straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Begin paying attention as you take long, slow, full breaths.
  • Imagine that there is a perfect, clear, green emerald inside your heart.
    • Imagine that emerald growing and growing until your whole body fits inside it. It continues to grow until it extends three feet from your body in every direction.
  • Now, imagine that there is a perfect, clear, blue sapphire inside your heart.
    • Imagine that sapphire growing and growing until your whole body fits inside it.
    • As it grows, it pushes the emerald outward. As it grows, the emerald still extends three feet in every direction beyond the edge of the sapphire.
    • The sapphire continues to grow until it extends three feet from your body in every direction. At this point you have cocoon of six feet in every direction.
  • Now, imagine that there is a perfect, clear, white diamond at the core of your heart.
    • Imagine that diamond growing and growing until your whole body fits inside it.
    • As it grows, it pushes the emerald and sapphire ever outward. As it grows, the emerald still extends three feet in every direction beyond the edge of the sapphire. The sapphire extends three feet in every direction beyond the diamond.
    • The diamond continues to grow until it extends three feet from your body in every direction.

At this point, there is a faceted cocoon of gems moving from white to green extending a combined distance of nine feet in every direction. These gems act as an energetic filter against negative energy or energy that inhibits the natural expression of your own truest self, whether from within or without.

Last night I put all my focus into the rather methodical building of my own shield of many colors. I found myself in a quiet place at the center of these filters and I shifted from fear, to visualization, to that quiet place inside where real meditation happens.

I fell asleep.

Maybe it will help you.

How to, Individuality, Meditation, Mind

Argue for Your Limitations

Argue for Your Limitations and Sure Enough, They’re Yours

Quote from Illusions by Richard Bach

We create our own reality 100% of the time. If you look around at your life, everything you see is there because you created it. Or you drew it to you through your thoughts, your beliefs and the words you speak. 

You may know this, you may have heard it before, maybe many times, but it is so easy to let our knowing slide in the face of beliefs generally held by the people around us and the people on TV and in movies. 

We allow our lives to be limited by the circumstances we find ourselves in. We tell ourselves and others that we want to do something but we can’t for one reason or another. Every time we think of that trek to the Himalayas, we immediately think of how much it will cost, how impossible it would be to leave the kids with their grandparents for that long and we could never hike those mountains given how out of shape we are or because we get around in a wheel chair. 

And as we think those things and explain the impossibility of it all to our friends, we draw even more limitations into our lives just to make darn sure we never see the Himalayas with our own eyes.

But the magic works just as easily the other way too. If we playfully daydream about the Himalayas and imagine how good it will feel to meet those people whose lives are so different. If we imagine how wonderful it will feel to be breathing that pure, pure air. If we pretend in these daydreams that it’s happening now as we see ourselves tasting yak milk for the very first time, we are telling the universe that this is what we want and expect. It is vital to approach these imaginings joyfully.

And the universe begins to arrange things for us. We find ourselves walking by the building that houses the passport office and on the spur of the moment stop in to get that ball moving — just in case. We begin walking more often, just because we feel like it. Your favorite uncle invites the kids to stay with him at his ranch for the summer (which is something they’ve been dying to do). A friend mentions a rich friend who wants to go to Nepal but doesn’t want to go alone and will pay the way of anyone who can be ready to go in three weeks and a married couple would even be better! 

Then, all you have to do is say, “yes”. 

The trick is weeding negative thoughts and negative speech from our activities and infusing joy into our imaginings and replacing them with positive, even joyful thoughts and speech. I know this is hard. I’ve been working on it for years, since my first Seth book (by Jane Roberts), in fact. Even when we are doing well, those we love draw us back into negativity with their tales of woe. Sometimes they are insulted by our positive stance. Sometimes they are worried about us taking a fall by having unrealistic expectations. Self-made millionaires and many, many famous people got that way through imagining the best possible tomorrows in the face of well-meaning loved ones reminding them of “Reality”. They simply wouldn’t listen to that kindly advice. 

That’s why “Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours” from Illusions is one of my favorite quotes. It is a powerful reminder that we create our own reality out of the cloth of our thoughts and the stories we tell ourselves and if we keep telling ourselves (and everyone else) that we can’t do something and exactly why we can’t, that is exactly the reality we experience. At least we get to say, “I told you so.”

We need to teach ourselves to think differently. We need to reprogram our thought patterns. We need to begin policing our thoughts and speech and, when we catch ourselves thinking and speaking in a limiting way, we can stop and reframe our thought or speech. For example, instead of thinking, “I’ll never get enough to go to France,” think about how much fun it will be to sample wine from every vineyard. Use your imagination to feel the bliss of an Autumn day in the Noir Valley. 

I’m not saying it’s easy. If you need it to be hard, it will be. This challenge is about reversing a lifetime of learning and allowing the love out of which all being is made to flow through you. Coincidentally, the details of your life will become kinder, more beautiful and more abundantly supportive. 

Here’s a meditation to start the ball rolling:

Begin by breathing and paying attention to your breath, how it feels in your body, how the body moves with the breath. Let go of yesterday and tomorrow and let the breath carry you deeper and deeper inside yourself. 

Feel the wellspring deep inside, the very source of your being, fill you with joy and possibility. See your heart’s desire come true. Feel the way that wellspring of creative impetus fills out the image. This inner knowing is truth. If fear or doubt comes up to challenge the vision, feel the energy of love and possibility rise up to wash them away.

Stay with this beautiful feeling of love and possibility. Let it flow through you and fill you. The vision of your heart’s desire is contained in this source energy welling out of the very center of yourself. You are free to let go of the details and ride on the wave of joyous feeling. And, perhaps, out of that well comes a phrase or vision that you can bring with you as you gently bring your attention back to the sensations of your body and the sounds and sights of this time and place.

Make a point of recalling the phrase or vision that came to you often. Take a moment, right now to write it down so you can bring it back to mind if your memory fails you. Write down the feeling and the vision of your heart’s desire as well and keep these things always close at hand. Use them to create affirmations and visualizations for yourself, and, most of all, to bring you back to that feeling of love and abundance that is your birthright. 

Practice some version of this meditation often. Let the joy and possibility become normal.

Let us know how you make out!


A Small Experiment With Mantra

Mantra is for some a path to meditation. It is the intentional repetition of a word or phrase for at least 108 times.

It is said that if you repeat a mantra 125,000 times you reach a critical mass of Omness and something wonderful happens. I’m not sure what sort of thing. It could be enlightenment. Or do you just win the lottery?

It takes weeks to say even aum so many times. The purpose behind prayer beads is to count the repeats. If you have an old rosary, you could use that (it’s said that Catholics got the idea from Hindus). Reciting the mantra so many times also takes commitment.

So I tried the exercise at this site as my first experiment. You can scroll through 125,000 aum symbols in a few moments and see what happens. I felt like I was getting soaked in aumness. See what happens for you!

Meditation, Mind, Uncategorized

The Journey Begins

I’ve been planning to make some major changes to my website and in the process I’ve been examining the way people have been using it.

The part about leading meditation is far more popular than I expected. That’s why I decided to begin the renewal with a blog about meditation and the mind. I will move those pages from my old website here so they will still be available, but I would like to explore the infinite variety of minds that meditate from the inside out, so to speak.

In my years of teaching yoga I have discovered that a meditation that really takes one person deep can leave another counting the minutes until they can roll up their mat. This doesn’t make one person wrong and another right. It just means their minds work differently.

That’s why I am asking you to help me explore minds (yours and mine) and look for what makes a meditation technique work for me but not you — or for you but not me.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. —Izaak Walton