One can learn just about anything on various topics on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. I personally have learnt a great deal about many things, one in particular are quotes and poems through these two specific platforms. As a yoga teacher, it seemed that the formula for posting a picture must always accompany a quote of some kind. I am not sure why or who started this widely practised trend. Somehow attaching a positive quote to a post makes it feel complete.
Here’s a very profound one “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself,” by Rumi. You see as a teacher we want to serve and help others all the time. We want to educate, assist and help you feel better, wiser, freer etc..etc.. Honestly, it’s a commendable attitude or even a positive mantra that we carry as teachers, which does have its drawbacks at times. However, before we can truly teach, help or assist anyone we must first work on our individual self. In Mahatma Gandhi’s words, you have to “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. How do you create, implement and execute such change? well let Norman Vincent Peale’s words inspire you, he says “Change your thoughts and you change your world and Albert Einstein explains “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” One of the best practices for achieving such change is the practice of meditation, the word meditation means to attend to and to pay attention to the whole. A daily practice of meditation will strengthen awareness of your thoughts, speech and actions. This can lead to much needed positive changes in our life.
How does one start the practice of meditation? here are a few key points:
Find a comfortable, relaxing and still position, then draw your awareness to your breath, why? it is a scientific fact that if the brain and mind are focused and present on the breath then it cannot be lost in thought. A very simple pranayama breath practice to prove this fact is called alternate nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhanam. Once the mind is focused we continue to breathe normally and rest our awareness either on the feel of the breath in and out of the nose, or on the heart, or the region around the centre of the mind, the pineal gland region. If you’re familiar with the chakras, awareness can rest at the Ajna, brow or Sahasrara, crown chakras.
They are probably hundreds or more medically and spiritually proven facts on the healing and transformative powers of having a regular meditation practice, a google search can list thousands in seconds. You can also find just as much information on how to go about meditating. Here’s my recommendation on where to find factual information, visit the webpage of the Himalayan Institute (www.himalyaninstitute.org) the institute is operated by one of the best, knowledgeable and experienced faculties in the world. They are one of the leading experts on teaching meditation. The Himalayan Institute is committed to the teaching and practice of meditation and is opening a specific place to meditate in, on July 16th 2019, called the Sri Vidya shrine, in Honesdale PA. They are unrolling a free program called year-long meditation (www.yearlongmeditation.org), this will be the third time they are offering this program. The intention is to learn and practice individually in order to collectively impact positive change in the world, in the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.“ The details to join in the year-long meditation are listed on the above websites, you will also have access to free content that can show you how to sit, focus on the breath, practice Nadi Shodhanam and much more in order to achieve effective meditation.
If you join up to be part of the year-long meditation program, you will be part of the goal of achieving one million and eight hours of meditation over a year. You can choose to commit to five mins per day, maybe twice or three times per day. Any amount of doable time you want to try, it’s up to you and as the year progresses you may find some days you can meditate longer than or less than the time you committed to. The intention is to create a habit of daily meditation, that your day would not feel complete having not meditated. In Mother Teresa words “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples, this is one of the intentions for being part of the year-long meditation. Individual intention for positive change will help achieve collective positive change. I will leave you with this last inspirational quote from R. Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. I encourage you to join this year-long meditation program and see what changes may occur in your life for an upcoming year.