You may sometimes find yourself longing to sit and do nothing, yet when the opportunity presents itself, you may not know how to enjoy it.
That’s largely because our society is very goal-oriented. We tend to always be going in a certain direction and having a particular aim in mind. Buddhism, on the other hand, has a certain respect for enlightened “aimlessness.” That teaching says you don’t have to put something in front of you and run after it, because everything is already there inside you. The same is true with sitting.
Don’t sit in order to attain a goal. Each moment of sitting meditation brings you back to life. Whatever you are doing, whether it’s watering the garden, brushing your teeth, or doing the dishes, see if you can do it in a way that is “aimless.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Begin by taking some full, deep breaths. Don’t try to force anything, just relax and breathe deep.
As you breathe, imagine yourself standing in a grove of tall, strong trees. See yourself as one of those tall, strong trees. Breathe deep and feel the ground beneath you and the sun shining down upon you. Feel your connection to the Earth and become aware that you now have roots where your feet were.
Breathe deep and on an exhale, slowly begin to send those roots deep into the ground. Down, down through the grass and the topsoil, Down through soil and rock and the roots of other plants and trees. Through water tables and bones and all the many layers of Earth. Continue to send those roots down, down in search of the Source at the center of the Earth. Begin to feel the energy pulsating as you draw near and feel the heartbeat of the Earth.
When you reach that source of energy deep within the Earth, let it take a form in your minds eye. It may be a huge crystal cluster, or the hot molten core of the Earth. With your roots, tap into that source of energy, breathe deep and feel the energy slowly begin to rise, traveling up your root.
Up, up through the layers of Earth and soil and rock. Through roots and seedlings and water tables. Feel the energy rise up your roots, through your feet, your calves you thighs. Let that Mother Earth energy rise through your trunk, your torso, and up, up through your chest and arms and neck. Let it reach your head and just fill you. Stay with this feeling for a moment and just breathe.
Now, imagine you have branches that are tall and wide and reach up to the sky. Feel the air rushing around your branches and the warmth of the sun as it caresses your leaves. Take a deep breath and with it, take in the energy of the sky and the sun. Let it tickle each leaf before being drawn into your branches.
On another in breath, take that sky energy deep into your tree and feel it flow down through your head, your shoulders, your arms and chest. Breathe it into your torso, hips and legs. Feel it mixing and mingling with the energies of the Earth. Stay with this feeling for a while and just breathe.
~ Sacred Path Reiki
Shea requires body heat (or some other form of heat) to be used. You may find that taking a little time out to reflect, meditate, or pray while melting your Shea is a way to combine plants and spirituality daily. This meditation is also an excellent way to ground and center during autumn.
Sit down in a comfortable position. As someone who enjoys yoga, I do the padma asana; those of you who practice yoga might find it natural to sit this way as well (legs folded and flat to the floor). For those of you who are not so limber, simply sit in a comfortable position.
Scoop out a quarter-size amount of Shea butter. Place into your receptive hand, then put your dominant hand on top. Now bring the hands together to your chest, squeezing them together in the prayer position. In the Buddhist faith this is called namaskara mudra (The Gesture of Prayer).
I like to do the namaskara mudra while warming my Shea butter because it reminds me to be thankful to those who processed the precious healing butter so I can use it. I also think about what power is held in the hands as I warm the oil in my palms, reflecting and hoping my hands will make a difference in this world.
To try a Shea Mudra meditation:
Close your eyes. Take deep cleansing breaths. Scoop out some Shea. Put your hands together, bring them overhead pressed together, then slowly down the path of your center stopping at your chest. Rub your hands together, gently and slowly to encourage the butter to melt. Concentrate on your breathing, your hands, and your thoughts, as well as the affirmation or prayer if using. As an affirmation, try this:
I am whole, I am sound,
I am free to give with these hands in the name of spirit.
Do this type of reflection for about five minutes a day, to release anxiety, stress, and insecurity. When you are finished, use the Shea as an emollient body treatment, rubbing the melted butter on areas that need softening.
From: Four Seasons of Mojo
If you could shift
your point of view for just a moment, as you
now grow still
and silent within,
without a thought or care,
without a thought of worry or desire,
then you might just begin to feel:
A power tingling in your fingertips,
a breath that draws to you
a part of all there is, of which
you are a part,
and that surrounds you, buoys you, nourishes, protects
and reaches far and wide
and further still
into the deepest blues of oceans
the deepest greens of mountain lakes
and all the creatures that reside
in forest groves, eternal deserts
the stars are dancing.
Oceans of energy
and they lie at your fingertips,
for you to navigate and learn
to know the ancient arts
of balance, deep release
and once again restore
the Even Flow,
the perfect state of being.
Silvia Hartmann, 2001
This is my favorite mantra to awaken Shakti, or the manifesting energy of the Universe, to stoke the fire of transformation within. I teach this mantra in classes, I sing it while driving in Los Angeles traffic and I have shared with with friends, family and students around the world because it’s easy and uplifting with the potential for great results.
According to the Buddhist Handbook, mantras are “highly compressed, power-packed formulas, usually of Sanskrit origin, which are charged with deep meaning and magical potency.” A mantra can be a word, sound or phrase which elevates or modifies consciousness through its meaning, sound, rhythm, tone and reflexology of the tongue against the palate of the mouth.
This particular mantra is “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha,” which can be loosely translated to “Yo! Wake up Root Chakra energy of transformation so I can move through any obstacles in my life. Hooray!” Most importantly, we are calling upon the powerful energy of Ganesh, the elephant headed deity, who is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings.
According to Kundalini yoga, Ganesh, also referred to as Ganapataye, resides in the first chakra, called Muladhara (muladhara). Mula means “original,” and adhara means “foundation.” The muladhara chakra is the principal origin from which the manifesting energy of Shakti resides within each of us. When we awaken that energy, it helps us move through the Chakras with ease to activate a strong sense of self, express Divine love, communicate clearly and connect with our intuition.
This particular mantra is important because not only is it fun and catchy, but it also represents a willingness to release and move past the perceived obstacles in our lives. We can all make excuses for ourselves about why we cannot achieve our dreams, but you will have an easier time succeeding when you choose to focus on your goals rather than your challenges. So when you make the choice to chant this mantra, you are aligning yourself with your desired outcome and moving towards it with conviction.
I suggest you use this mantra when you want to clear the Chitta Vritti, or the anxious chatter of the mind. You can repeat this Mantra 108 times on your Mala beads or follow along with a video for a minute of chanting. You’ll find a bunch of them on YouTube. Most importantly, make it your own, find your voice and have fun. Remember, this is your life. Don’t let anything hold you back because you deserve the best.
From Mind Body Green
Perhaps something in your life, inner or outer, needs repair or restoration. Life is calling you now to take action and take yourself in hand. Instead of being afraid that you can’t do it, allow yourself to feel the One Being acting through you. This pathway of the heart asks for concentrated, creative energy.
Center again in the heart.
Breathe the sound Ya JaBaar rhythmically,
bending slightly forward as you breathe out,
and back as you breathe in.
Allow the sound to rock you into action,
like the feeling of riding a camel in the caravan of life.
Allow the sound to spread first to the periphery,
and feel healthy boundaries restored.
Then gently invite all voices of your inner self to gather,
and allow the arms of the Beloved to enfold you in healing.
Continue the meditation for 15 to 20 minutes.
For best results, commit to it as a 40 day practice.
From The Sufi Book of Life
by Neil Douglas-Klotz
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