The 7 point posture of stillness
Find a tall sitting position and prepare the body to come from action into stillness. Focus on your seat or feet as you either sit in a chair or on the floor. Identify with what is in contact with the earth. Connect with the legs and feel rooted. Connect with the spine and feel tall and straight thinking of the skeleton as the up then the muscles relaxing down. Lift the arms then sink the elbows to the sides of the torso relaxing the hands palms facing upwards as you place them either in the crease of the leg near the belly or further down nearer the knee. Wherever is most comfortable. Imagine the neck as a continuation of the spine keeping the head in and the chin soft. Think of the roof of the mouth being level with the horizon. Rest the tip of the tongue behind the top teeth. This focuses the breathing in and out through the nose grounding the mind and consolidating the energy. With eyes softly shut focus outwardly to an imaginary horizon about a foot in front of the closed eyes. If the mind wonders bring it back to the horizon or the breath and as you feel more steady and calm, on each out breath feel a sinking and release……….Bring the focus back into the head space and as you glance through closed eyes at your imaginary horizon, bring to attention a shining glowing light that is your god or guru or the universe. Bring love and light to that focus as you open yourself to the stillness and being with your universe your guru your god. Listen to Deva Premal as you rest in the stillness.
Reflection and meditation on Trust. Inspired by a talk from Tara Brach on Self Compassion
Please feel free to read this first to help find a place of trust within yourself then listen to the music. The Mantra ” I love myself the way I am” Sit in a quiet place to reflect. Consider the art of self compassion. As you sit comfortably with a straight back palms facing upwards resting on your lap come into stillness and take a deep full in breath and out breath. As you begin to settle feel the sensations as you exhale. Feel this body breathing…… then take a moment to notice how you are feeling……………… Do you feel at war with yourself or with a situation. Judging yourself or your behaviour or the behaviour of others? Think of the trance you get into…………… The mind state that you are falling short or they are……………. Perhaps you don’t feel loveable, something is not right………….. Begin by recognising this is just trance. Allow it to be……………………… Investigate why you might feel that way. Just sense it without judgement…………….Feel your body and feel how it is when you aren’t in a good place. Connect with body…………… Sense the vunerable part and sense what it needs. Does it need to be seen and loved, understood, held?………………………………… When you find that feeling just lightly put one had to your heart and say “I love myself the way I am” You can say “I care about all suffering” if you feel inclined you can look to the divine for his love and compassion. Feel light warmth and the intention to offer care to yourself inwardly. Simply notice who you are if and when you are able to believe nothing is wrong. Tenderness, openness and compassion, when we are not at war……… Each time you judge yourself you break your own heart….. Live and celebrate the goodness that you are…………………. Reflect as you close your eyes and listen to TRUST
TRUST. Composed by Jenny Newman
Reflections from the talks and life of Ram Dass
Bring yourself to quietness. Feel presence ….in the moment. Focus on your guru, god, or just imagine the universe. Go into the moment…identify with that presence and connect. Remember inside of you you have love, compassion, peace…joy. You can have those…you can be those. Just be….. We are all loving awareness. Everything you experience you can love. Feel the joy of the universe. The joy of nature. Joy everywhere you look and in all that you feel. In this moment…joy…joy of living spirit….joy of being here together……..You know the universe. You know a star you know a tree you know from inside yourself inside to outside. The whole universe. The sky, the earth, the atmosphere , the cosmos…know it from within yourself. You are a part of it all. You are one with it and we are all together as one. Peaceful, loving, joyful and wise.
Be the hero of your life. Even in dark times. Take comfort that it is all out there to be learned. No mistakes just being open to change. Accepting that old ideas can be changed into new ideas about yourself and the world around you. Follow what sustains you and gives you bliss. Let go and accept the possibilities. Listen to the call of spirit and remember you are peaceful, loving, joyful and wise.
God as Light (for those who prefer “Universe as light”)
In stillness find the posture we spoke of in the 7 points. Skeleton up muscles down. Tongue on the roof of the mouth with tip touching the back of the top teeth. Neck as an extension of the spine sitting tall but soft. Palms facing up. Consciously feel the body relaxing. Leave aside all thoughts of the world. Let go of all cares and concerns and feel the peace within. Visualise yourself as being surrounded by God (universe) all pervading light. Repeat to yourself
“Blazing light. Awaken my heart. Awaken my soul. Ignite my darkness. Fill me with joy”
As you focus outwardly with closed eyes on an imaginary horizon of sea and sky. Look at the light and forget the darkness. You are a wave of light. A ripple of peace floating on the surface of the sea. As a wave moving on the ocean of light you picture yourself as a small part of this all pervading light. As a wave of peace you are part of a deep and wide ocean of peace. Reflect on the thought “I am a wave of peace”. Say to yourself “I am a wave of peace”. Feel the vast ocean of gods peace …the peace of the universe. Rest in the stillness as you reflect and meditate.
Now repeat three time ” I am submerged in eternal light that permeates every part of my being. I am living in that light. Divine spirit fills me from without and within”.
India Arie “I am light”
Letting Go (taken from Tara Brach The freedom of awake aware)
When we are caught in stuck we are hooked. A habit of obsessing or over eating getting gripped with anger. We all have habits that we know if we could get over and let go of we’d have more space to be in the presence…more space for love. Often we add the judgement of ourselves for not being able to control that stuck feeling when we think we should be able to control. If you have resonated with these words and you know you have a habit that you feel if you could be free of it you would be happy then what is it you wish you could let go of? ….Is it limited self belief….being judgemental….being anxious and worried? what would you like to let go of. What makes it hard to let go…..Do you judge yourself…maybe you find a positive in feeling you are learning from the experience… or do you find it difficult?
When existence takes place as living beings life holds on to living. It’s supposed to. So therefore holding on is what we need. It’s the locking in and the stuck that happens when needs are un met. Needs are not being met. Needs of safety, connection and bonding. Without these we grasp and we defend. To know this is the beginning of knowing that it isn’t our fault. We can then begin to explore our needs.
Close your eyes and focus in on the 7 points of stillness and as you settle and release all thoughts of the mind and breath bring to mind “I let go of what has passed and I let go of what may come. I let go of what is happening now. I won’t try to figure anything out. I won’t try to make anything happen. I will relax and rest……….
She let go without a thought or word. She let go of the judgement and she let go of the opinions. She let go of the indecision and she let go of all the right reasons…..completely and wholly. Without hesitation or worry she just…let go. She didn’t ask advice or read a book on how to do it. She let go of memories that held her back, anxieties that kept her from moving forwards. The planning, the calculations……she made no announcements, no public message. No one was there when it happened. No one praised her or thanked her. Like a leaf falling from a tree…..It just was what it was and she let it all be. In the space of letting go a smile came over her face and the sun and moon shone.
With yourself, the world and others. Even when social and physical distancing is happening we can send ourselves, the world and loved ones thoughts of kindness. As you come into resting and settling into the 7 points of stillness go through the body to see if anything is tense. Feel the shoulders dissolving and melting. Allow the hands to relax…..relaxing any resistance and opening to the flow of life widen to feel the whole body…the space you are in…..let the senses be wide open…Tap into your source…..intuition…,love….and in the quietness as you rest in the presence ….in the now….just say “yes” to whatever waves of thought come. Just say “yes” and allow them just to be. Allow them just to be with loving kindness and clarity. ….Bring your presence to the heart….If you like, place your hands on your heart space….sensing anything in you that might need care and attention. …..some message you might like to give yourself. Some gesture of kindness. Some wish for your own wellbeing…whatever resonates at this moment. ……………….Bring someone you love and care about into your heart space. Imagine you are holding them there in your heart. Say to yourself “may you be safe and protected…may you be happy and healthy….may you be filled with loving kindness.” ……….Now feeling your heart space joined snd belonging to a collective heart space that wishes us all….our world…healing….peace…..joy…..freedom.
Remember that what ever we are unable to embrace with love imprisons us. If we are at war we are in prison. If I can accept myself the way I am I am then free to change. Accepting and recognising what is going on inside and offering up deep unconditional loving tenderness is the prerequisite to change.
Tension and Release
If the mind is narrowed or fixated the body joins in. We become tangled…our muscles tighten…belly tightens and shoulders go up. Our digestion gets effected and we become over fatigued and exhausted. The heart becomes numb and anxious and we are no longer porous and open to love.
Change….loss….uncertainty in many ways is always here…..but we try to figure these things out. We don’t know actually how things will work out. If we look back on our lives we could not possibly have known we would get to this point. When our expectation is fearful and unpleasant we remain loyal to our limited beliefs because we are more comfortable with thinking we know what will happen. Or we’ll have a childs magical thinking as if miracles might happen. We then attach ourselves to these ideas. The advanced predicting machine. We need to navigate to survive but theres a limit. We need uncertainty to evolve. If we tense against life’s uncertainty…obsessing… we stop….So each time you notice yourself obsessing….stop…observe…let go of finding answers. Pause, acknowledge and send it love……
Find the seven points of stillness. Then reflect on these words.
Awareness and love are timeless. Who we are is not the changing body and mind. We are pure energy awareness and love. Letting go of resistance is like releasing the clenched fist….. Release what we are resisting ….consciously relax around the tense places.Soften the armour to allow freedom for the heart to open. Embrace the realness of uncertainty. Soften the shoulders and the belly. Take a few full breaths………Scan and notice where you might be feeling insecurity right now….loss…..difficulties….illness……remind yourself of when you might be afraid…..unsire of your future…….afraid of whats happening in the world…….Just sense what thoughts and beliefs come up…….when you get caught in the controller thats trying to find ground…sense those thoughts then let them go……open past the thoughts to the space around you……feel into the body where there might be tightness….relax the shoulders and see if you can feel the energy flow. Let the river of experiences flow through you. Come to a sense of being beyond the flowing river…..become that tenderness in life that doesn’t need to react………When ever the controller arrives and you are caught in thinking, just say to yourself “Listen to my body….relax my shoulders….relax my belly…..release tension from my head and heart”. Imagine a sense of dissolving from ice to water and water to gas….The gift of letting go is peace. The key to finding peace in the midst of uncertainty is trusting in the universe or your god. What’s carry us is the presence of opening to what is real and knowing our true self.
You might feel vulnerable or sensitive….you might feel vibrant and alive….just notice…….it may be pleasant or unpleasant but you are opening to live as it is.
Smile into your heart….open and widen until you feel everything flowing through you. Timeless presence…vast heart space….Move forward with a beginners mind….open to the possibilities. If vulnerability or insecurity comes find wisdom in allowing yourself to let it be.
We are all flowing energy. Whether we believe it to be god given or otherwise. Turn away from separateness and ponder the thought that you are just a wonderful part of something greater than yourself.
A great Sleep Meditation can be found at www.uclahealth.org . Click on mindfulness meditation and there is a 13 minute sleep meditation as well as others. The music this week is Max Richter.
Resting in Awareness Taken from meditation by Deepak Chopra
As you sit comfortably finding the 7 points of stillness (top of this page)
observe the breath…..breath the cool air in and the warmer air that flows out….Your experience of the breath is just a sensation. It arises and it subsides. This is the nature of all experiences…..A sensation….a perception…..a feeling……an image which arises known then subsides…..You can’t hold onto your breath for long….like experiences…..you cannot grasp them you can only live them in the now. We can observe experiences as we observe the breath….we cannot hold onto them. If we grasp or cling we experience the same quality as holding the breath. We can suffocate or we can let go……bring your awareness to your heart space ask yourself “who am I….what am I….” don’t try to answer just settle into being “What do I want….what is my deepest desire…..” Again don’t try to look for answers….. ask “what is my purpose…how can I serve…what am I grateful for?” Rest in the stillness and don’t look for the answers……As you rest in stillness say your name to yourself “I am FIRST NAME SURNAME” ….say a few times….then drop the first name and just say I am and your first name…..rest in this keeping focus on nothing but your name…..then drop the name and just say “I am”….if the mind wonders just bring it back to the “I am”….when you feel ready drop the words and just rest in the awareness. DROP the “I am” and become pure awareness. No shape, no form, no sound, no colour, no time, no location…….Wisdom calls this the true self or soul. Our eternal home and resting place. Rest in the self and if the mind wonders connect with your god or the universe (the imaginary horizon of sea and sky or the image of floating above earth and looking down on the world) or just observe the breath……It is in stillness that we find the answers.
Meditation and Breathing Ram Dass
Meditation provides a deeper appreciation of the interrelatedness of all things and that part each plays as a whole. The simple rules are honesty with yourself about where you are in life and learning to listen to hear more deeply to how it is. It is in stillness that we find the answers. Meditation helps quieten the mind, enhance insightfulness and give a sense of inner peace. Developing the part which is quiet….. exploring ….wondering….notice the thoughts…watch them exist….cultivate awareness…..witness without need to act…watch them exist…rise….then fall away.
Come to the 7 points of stillness. As you rest and quieten breath through the heart space then out through the heart space doing this a couple of times then when you are ready on the next out breath squeeze the stomach towards the spine as you empty the lungs. Inhale filling the belly and expanding the waist. Exhale relaxing the shoulder and drawing the belly to the spine. Repeat this a few more times….Inhale and elongate breathing in to the belly the ribs the chest the shoulder space. Exhale from the shoulders….chest…ribs ….belly. Repeat this a few times……come back to the regular breath. Now focusing on the forehead breath in drawing the gaze inwards….keep the gaze inwards as you breath out then on the next inbreathe imagine a white light filling the area behind the eyelids…as you breath out imagine the white light melting down though your body. Breath in the bright light to the forehead then breath out the light dissolving it down through your body sinking to the feet. Repeat this a few times and as you rest in the stillness if the mind wonders bring it back to the breath or the light. Say to yourself “I am light” and repeat as you calmly observe and rest.
Meditation on Peace Mooji
Parmahansa Yogananda said Peace comes from the soul and is the inner environment from which true happiness unfolds. Peace is not something we can acquire from outside of ourselves…we must learn to discover it within. ..becoming centred in the stillness and joy of our own essential nature, the soul…finding divine peace in the presence of the universe or our god. The peace beyond all understanding……
Find the 7 points of stillness.
As you sit in mediation posture remember all you need is a quiet environment an object to dwell on a passive attitude and a comfortable position. Inhale and hold tension in the body and as you exhale release and relax with a double exhalation. Repeat this 3 times then one last time with no tension. Now forget the breath and say to yourself ” I sit in the stillness of peace and joy”. Bring your attention to the horizon about a foot infant of your closed eyes. Image a sea and sky…..Watch and feel the waves of rippling peace as you imagine yourself floating on the sea. Watch the eternal circles of waves and peace surround you…………draw the feeling inwards to the forehead and behind the eye then feel the waves of peace float down as you send the movement to the heart space and on to every cell in your body. …let the waters over flow the banks of your body feeling the flood moving on in infinite directions…..feel the calmness…..if restless thoughts come gently dismiss them and return to the feeling of peace…joy and love permitting your whole being. Enjoy the stillness as you go into deeper meditation…….
Say to yourself “Peace in my body, peace in my heart, peace within and peace without…..peace everywhere……..infinite peace surrounds my life and permeates all of my movements….peace to myself….peace to my family…..peace to my nation……peace to my world…..peace to my cosmos……
Rest in the stillness and if the mind wonders bring it back to the feeling of peace…joy and love.
Reflections on Equinimity
When you respond to a persons suffering you feel pain in your heart if your heart is open. Some deal with it intellectually but if you deal with it from the heart there is true pain. Another level is that suffering is a route to perfection. So is to be compassionate and live with equanimity both? Allowing it to be what it is but also wanting to reach out and do something or react. The human heart is not able to deal with all suffering so it switches off. It can starve itself to death if it closes itself from the universe. So the art is to keep your heart by cultivating an existence in empathy without having to understand or judge. The ego has to get out of the way. You can be a part of the machine of healing and compassion and equanimity if you are no longer a part of the drama. You can be a part of the rhythm of all of life.
Equanimity…..calmness and composure in a difficult situation……cultivating a balanced heart…..
Come to the 7 points of stillness. Tune into how the body feels. Let go, noticing any tensions. Make adjustments if you need to support any parts then mentally focus on any tensions and think ice to water water to air….dissolving….focus on your breathing….releasing the stomach and chest and softening the shoulders…..arrive in stillness…….
Is something or has something been annoying and irritating you? …….consider……how in the midst of being pulled around by worldly happenings can we wake up and come back to equanimity. Back to the home of unconditional love……Our inner sanctuary of peace. ….consider the pathway home……Rimind yourself of catching the moment when you are thrown then give it names “afraid,anxious,annoyed,nervous”……then open up to the feeling in the body….come away from the mind……Notice the quality of the feeling….is it pleasant or unpleasant….look for the wisdom to know it’s not happening to you it’s just a mind body experience………….you are something far more than this……………….we believe our thoughts but consider that your thoughts may be true but they are not real……you can honour the feeling then free yourself and stay with what is left………
Seeing the secret Beauty
Saying to someone , “Thank you for being you”. Saying “I love you” and letting someone know.
Exploring waking up the heart space. Learning to see the goodness……Begin by sitting in a way that is comfortable finding the 7 points of stillness. Softening as we breath in through the nose and exhale releasing and letting go either breathing out through the nose or mouth.
Now bring your attention to someone who is easy to love. A friend, a family member, a pet, a spiritual figure or just an acquaintance. Just stop see the goodness. Be aware of what it is that brings up your sense of appreciation……The way they show love or maybe their brightness, their humour…..now imagine yourself expressing your love to them and them receiving it………As you feel a sense of that secret beauty that loving heart…..that heart space…widening to include others……whoever comes to mind…..the light that shines…..the warmth….the glow of the heart…..the look of aliveness when someone is happy….their mischievousness….their humour….reaching into the depth where neither knowledge or sin can reach…..one is in the eyes of the divine……if only we could see each other as we really are. There would be no more need for greed or hate or cruelty………so feel tuned into that secret beauty. That expression of secret beauty. …Living life from that heart space where all beings trust and realise loving presence…..may all beings find peace….may all beings be happy and may all beings be free……
Motivation. A reflection on inviting an intention to be motivated
Find your 7 points of stillness. The feet the seat the legs (are they grounded). The spine…is it long and the skeleton holding up the body , the skin muscles melting away from bone. The neck an extension of the spine. Soft hands, palms facing out in openers. Tongue on the roof of the mouth with eyes closed or soft in gaze. As you settle just find a few moments to breath in a bit more deeply and with every exhale releasing and letting go a little more. softening and releasing tension.
If you want to do something you will. If you don’t you will find excuses. Motivation gets you started then habit keep you going. Don’t let the world make you who you are. Don’t allow pain to steal your sweetness. Take pride that you can believe the world to be a beautiful place if you want it to be.
We don’t see things as they are but as WE are.
Willingness….Perseverance, commitment and self discipline. Getting to that place. Being able to learn the techniques but then letting them go of ideals and expectations and trusting. Our human needs are in us being able to commit, persevere and discipline ourselves. We need and want choices over our behaviour and actins. We need to feel competent, we need to feel cared for by other and to feel supported. When we are positive our minds become motivated. Then we have the energy to feel engaged, creative, resilient and productive.
We can find balance in connecting and sharing with others. We can observe obstacles with curiosity, without allowing them to suffocate or sink or remove us from our path. YOU can manifest this by desiring…by being willing to dream…finding courage is the key….ask your higher self or your GOD…you source …ask for something then sit with it…………asling is a powerful step…….it helps you to project. Once you have thought and asked, reflect back by playing out how that might be……
If you know what that something is don’t be afraid to let it go if it’s not right…..explore if you get stuck…..why you might be stuck…..then just allow those thoughts to pass over you……you may be feeling distracted, unwell, going through a bad phase……there is no need to be hard on yourself…..remember….willingness to try…perseverance…commitment are good if they come from the RIGHT place.
Remember……Willingness….Perseverance, commitment and self discipline. Getting to that place. Being able to learn the techniques but then letting go of ideals and expectations and trusting.