A Meditation on Meditation

305983_4473619951943_132189164_nOne of the things I love the most about the style of yoga I do — that I’m now trained in — is the alignment principles upon which it’s based. They are amazingly simple when you break them down, and they make perfect sense in the body. They make every pose feel better, deeper, even easier. The best thing about them, however, is that they are more than just physical actions; they also translate mentally, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually.

I urge you to check them out or ask me more about them. They truly changed my life.

It’s been a tough few months for the Anusara community, to put it mildly. Much has been abruptly changed, knocked off-balance, destroyed. In such a situation, the only thing to do is find the center again — to focus on the practice.

I’m somehow in a place where I’m really in love with my practice and deepening it in new ways. I’ve made a few breakthroughs lately that are really exciting. I’ve been practicing more consistently with a few new teachers, even while I miss the influence of a teacher whose schedule changed and whom I don’t get to see as often. I feel like I’m kind of riding things out right now, and it actually feels good. But there’s more, and I think I’m ready to focus on something that it’s taken me a while to really look at — meditation.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and paging through Sally Kempton’s book Meditation for the Love of It, which my yogi sister lent me. I found an amazing and inspiring section about madhya, or the space between the breaths. I’m going to sit down with this book and take notes on it in my own meditation journal, and then see how I can translate what I learn into a meditation practice.

I just finished reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which, despite its reputation as an “obscene” book with shockingly dirty words in it, turns out to be pretty interesting and relevant. D.H. Lawrence feels it’s vital for men and women to find the balance between their body and mind — when it comes to sex, yes, but also in general. The society of 1928 is diseased, out of touch, and “counterfeit,” he says in his notes on the book. People are getting away from what’s important, which is connecting with themselves so that they can truly connect with others. “Life is only bearable when the mind and body are in harmony, and there is a natural balance between them, and each has a natural respect for the other,” he writes. (It reminds me of the mantra of another of my favorite writers, E.M. Forster: “Only connect.”)

Now that I’m fairly adept at finding my calm, quiet, steady center through asana, I’d like to focus on being there in meditation and really finding that balance in a new way. I’m open to advice and encouragement. And I’ll let you know how it goes.


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