Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21st, 2016

I'm sorry I've been absent from this blog for so long. I keep wanting to wait for inspiration to strike, to have the perfect theme and words to write, but I think that oftentimes the action of writing itself inspires.

I want to commit to blogging on here for the next 21 days straight. I am doing a 21-Day Meditation Challenge through the Chopra Center that started today and so I wanted to write about my experience doing that. As I write, I hope to incorporate aspects of my daily life, my journey into meditation that began last November 1st, and hopefully throw in some other topics, musings, and fun features such as movie reviews.

In the interest of time, I will keep my initial musings on meditation brief. I was one of those people who thought meditation was something that hippies and old people did. I struggle quite a bit with idle time and more than that, I struggle with feeling unproductive, ineffective, and lazy. My sense of self worth often teeters upon the shaky precipice of productivity, as though doing is the only way to justify and perhaps absolve my existence.

The idea of being rather than doing evoked contempt and a visceral disgust and disdain in me. Yet, given my circumstances at the time, I was led to meditation for a number of reasons. Beyond the science backing the various benefits of meditation, I think that I finally decided to give it a go when I have reached the end limit of despair, desperation, hopelessness, and helplessness in my life. My days were filled with anger, frustration, misery, self-doubt, and a sense of utter confusion and anxiety and fear. I was led to meditation when it felt like that was the only stone I had still left unturned. My life was no longer something I could think my way through or out of.

(As a side note, one of the practices - other than writing - that has changed my life is my gratitude practice and writing in my gratitude journal on a daily basis. I'm not sure how exactly it brought me to meditation, but for some reason I feel that it did).

I can go on and on about how meditation has changed my life in just about 5 short months. But I am not here to sell you on meditation and I am sure that each person shall reap different things from it. I also believe that meditation came to me at a time when I was ready for it. I had tried meditating many times in the past and I do not believe that I was ready for it until November. Since November, I've been meditating daily for as little as 5 up to 45 minutes. I have done a variety of different types of meditations and I find breathing and visualization to be powerful tools that I incorporate as a part of my practice.

I will share much more about my experience in the coming days and will also write about some other things that have been on my mind and in the world. I also aim to include some fun/ humorous/ interesting thoughts, links, and pictures.

First, here's a bit about today's meditation:

Day 1 – Finding the Lightness in Your Life – A Personal Journey
Welcome to our 21-Day Meditation Experience, Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body and Spirit. We are delighted you are joining us on this adventure to transform all of our heaviness and burdens in life to lightness and fulfillment. Together we will understand that “shedding the weight” is not only an issue for our bodies, but that we are also weighed down with emotional, mental, and spiritual burdens.
Today we discover that we don’t have to struggle to shed our burdens – all we need to do is expand our awareness. In that awareness we find the inner fulfillment that is our true self. This state of expanded awareness is the lightness in your life, and allows you to effortlessly let go of heaviness that doesn’t serve you.
As we continue this Meditation Experience over the next few weeks, we will explore all the ways to shed our weight, whether it is physical, mental, or emotional.

Centering ThoughtMy struggle has ended. I am in harmony with myself.

Quote"Lightness and weightiness… are both choices in life."  — Erik Pevernagie

MantraOm Laghu Bhavam (I am lightness itself)

When I am in meditation, the experience feels like what it must feel like to be on some sort of psychedelic drug. My thoughts and feelings merge and dichotomize and fuse and detach and integrate and separate, swimming and weaving in and out of each other. My experience becomes objective in the sense that I am the witness. The centering thought and the mantra both spoke to me in a way that is hard to put into words. I connected with the lightness that is within me independent of my weigh. That energy and vitality and brilliance that is often observable in young children. The idea of being in harmony with myself was a difficult one to consolidate within myself but I slowly and then deeply allowed my body and mind to experience my life without struggle or strife. Without willfulness and resistance. I practiced separating my thoughts from my Self. I practiced letting my thoughts be the contents while keeping my mind the vessel. My thoughts are the chess pieces and my mind in the board. Even though disharmonious thoughts can and will arise, I know that ending my "struggle" has more to do with how I respond to what shows up rather than trying to control what shows up.

I am sorry that this post hasn't been too fun in nature, but do expect some more (a lot more) of that in the future. In closing, I wanted to briefly acknowledge this meditation's theme: Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body and Spirit. While I do not need to shed any physical "weight" from my body, weightiness, body image, and related issues are things that I've struggled with and hold a unique place in my life. I believe that I need to shed a lot of weight in terms of mental, physical, and spiritual "baggage" and ama*. I will keep you posted on this

* Ama = In ayurvedaama is the concept of anything that exists in a state of incomplete transformation.

PS Here are some cool links and goings on that I wanted to share:

PPS Happy National Poetry Day!

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