Bali in 28

Style: Restorative
Teacher: Anne Pitman
Studio: Santosha Westboro

I've been slacking on my meditation practice. I skipped a day or two. Or five.

As the Sun began to set in the horizon I made my way back to Santosha in Westboro. Tonight will be another first. Restorative yoga. The goal is to experience a total surrender to gravity as your body is deeply supported by various props and blankets. Feeling like I could use some restoration, I decided there was no better time than the present to try it out. It's an unbelievably relaxing process. Time becomes abstract, the body lets go of accumulated tension and the mind is set free. It was exactly what I needed. I floated out of the studio and back home, absorbed in immaculate comfort. I would have fallen into a deep sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, but there was still something I had to do.

Taking a seat on the floor and tying my legs in a bow, I close my eyes and breathe. Meditation is hard. For the past few days I have completely avoided it. I feel like I'm back in high school and I haven't done my homework lately. The mind is too untamed. It's a wild ape with attention deficit disorder. Shawna left me a comment on yesterday's post:
Personal growth is a pretty intense thing and can knock you off your spiritual feet. To counter this I suggest the following: remember your commitment to meditation and consider the following mantra, "Om Namah Shivaya". While there is no true translation of this mantra, the commonly understood meaning is "I honour that which I am capable of becoming". Whatever you come to be, you'll still be you.
Closing my eyes, balancing and deepening my breathing pattern, I slowly start to settle in to the moment. There are endless techniques used to enter into a meditative state. I usually close my eyes and breathe. I focus on the slow exhalation, the inhalation and the subtle spaces between. As thoughts arise, I interact with them as little as possible and bring my attention back to my breathing. When I catch my mind mid-wander, I let go of the thoughts and again I return my attention to the breath. When I was at the Sivinanda Ashram, it was said that you are eventually given a mantra to repeat and to focus on. Before that time, you would use the Om. Every now and then I would imagine the vibration of Om being generated inside me, a sort of silent internal hum. Somehow it seems to slow down the energy of thought, holding you in the present. Shawna's message is the closest I've come to being given a personal mantra, so I decided to experiment with it. I adore the meaning behind the words. It completely sums up exactly what I need to hear at this point in my life. Gently playing with the sounds in my mind, I repeat the mantra soothingly, hypnotically. Eventually I start feeling like I've been enveloped in its vibration, becoming part of the wavelength itself. Soon I'm encompassing the entire electromagnetic spectrum and expanding my awareness beyond all sound, light, and colour, all time and space, past the furthest limits of reality as we understand it. Then my alarm goes off.

Unfortunately, the alarm clock is down the hall in my room. My legs have gone completely numb and have lost all feeling. I'm talking way beyond pins and needles. I am one hundred percent paralyzed. With delicate care I manually unwind my legs and recline onto my back. Blood is being pumped back into my legs and I can feel some life returning, but I definitely can't move yet. As I lay frozen across the floor staring at the ceiling, the digital alarm clock continues its sonic attack and I am powerless to defend myself as it unravels all the work I put in, scaring away all the enlightened vibrations. Note to self: when meditating, the alarm should always be within arm's reach.


Anonymous said...

that was funny... the arm's reach part...

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