Posts Tagged ‘yoga meditations’
i was just thinking yesterday that the english words “meditation” and “medication” are separated by only one letter. they both come from Latin:
[Origin: 1550–60; < L medit?tus, ptp. of medit?r? to meditate, contemplate, plan]
[Origin: 1615–25; < L medic?tus medicated (ptp. of medic?re), healed (ptp. of medic?r?). See medical, -ate1]
my theory was there existed an original similarity, but in honesty i don’t see it.
what interested me was discovering that the original meaning of medicated is defined by one word, “healed.” i wondered at that point how many people taking medication today feel healed by the medication they take.
that line of thinking led me further to ask the question i ask my energy clients all the time:
what does it mean to heal? to “be” healed?
one conclusion: if we meditated more, we’d medicate less.
last night in yoga class with john schumacher at unity woods, i noticed in meditation how the eyes either help or hinder.
i meditate almost every day. as with last night, i often catch myself in a thought or series of thoughts that i can immediately map into an experience of stress or discontent in my body. worry is a big one: i suddenly realize i’m fretting about a conversation i’ve just had with my mother, or thinking about finances, and i can feel tension in my shoulders and a swirly, uncomfortable heat in my solar plexus.
but last night, noticing myself running along one of these stress roads, i experienced the eyes. they, too, were, running all over the place: rolling around and looking for more and more images as my mind produced the thoughts.
we are creatures of habit and, to support a system designed to live on patterns, the eyes mimic the patterns our eyes follow in response to thoughts during our waking days. indeed, if you watch someone sleep, their eyes roll around to mirror the images the brain produces in its yin state.
so, in meditation at the end of class last night, i observed my eyes relaxing, and poof! at least for a few minutes, i forgot to think. this created a state of calm i observed for some time after.
on chakra one, muladhara, in yoga class
experienced in a yoga class, the first chakra comes alive in the legs, eyes, and inner ears. the stronger and more tubular the legs, the more relaxed and receptive the eyes and ears (and, by association, the rest of the senses).
try it. in your standing poses this week, imagine your legs waking up like as though they were controlled by that game litebrite some of played as kids, and see how you feel. post here to tell me what happens.
the other tuesday,
i read in my day-by-day calendar, insights from the dalai lama:
only human beings can judge and reason; we understand consequences and think in the long term. it is also true that human beings can develop infinite love, whereas to the best of our knowledge animals can have only limited forms of affection and love. however, when humans become angry, all of this potential is lost. no enemy armed with mere weapons can undo these qualities, but anger can. it is the destroyer.
peace in struggle
i just finished a great book, all about love. in concluding both the book and a story about the bible’s jacob, bell hooks (who is also from kentucky: represent!) quotes two other writers who address the way we can stay peaceful in the midst of strife:
in that calmness we begin to understand that peace is not the opposite of challenge and hardship. we understand that the presence of light is not a result of darkness ending. peace is found no in the absence of challenge but in our own capacity to be with hardship without judgment, prejudice, and resistance. we discover that we have the energy and the faith to heal ourselves, and the world, through openheartedness in this movement.
this, from soul food: stories to nourish the spirit and the heart, by jack kornfield and christina feldman.
’tis the season to remember these words, eh?
knowing a place
thanks to the new york times article last week, i’ve reconnected with several old friends. one, from my hometown of louisville, reminded me of some conversations we had at least 10 years ago about getting to know a place. at the time, we contemplated what it would be like to stay in a place for a long time, versus traveling a lot of places to live, or stay, for only a brief while.
we can look at this concept in asanas. while my friend suggests the idea is to stay put, to look around, really, and to understand the climate, topography, and personalities of a place, my idea was that traveling was so important: how can you know anything if you don’t expose yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, to a lot?
now i see the merit in both approaches. since the body is the only landscape we’ll ever know, why not try traveling through it quickly, alighting with the mind to experience a place–the abdominals, the calves? then, in your practice or through the classes you choose, stay for a while in a pose. try a forward fold for, like, five minutes and see what happens.
it’s this comparative, internal experience that we have right here inside us that offers myriad lessons, easily extrapolated to the outside experience. and once we realize that neither experience is actualy different from the other in the end, we begin to understand yoga, union, oneness.
veternarians consider pigs as intelligent as dogs. dogs are considered as intelligent as the average two-year-old child.
from the new york times today.
ending a class with a quote
i took one of my trainees’ classes the other night, and she ended it with this quote from deepak chopra. it it useful to think of your yoga practice this way, and even to meditate on how giving and receiving feel.
“Every relationship is one of give and take. Giving engenders receiving, and receiving engenders giving. What goes up must come down; what goes out must come back. In reality, receiving is the same thing as giving, because giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And if you stop the flow of either, you interfere with nature’s intelligence.”