Welcome friends! OM Shanti!

People come together in all kinds of ways, what matters is that they get together.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Meditation with Sister Sunshine - Fourth & Jackson Art Space

1-18-11 Second class of workshop, first experience running the meditation series.  So far teaching has been such a postive blessing in my life.  The students are inspired to practice and I had to fight a smile during  the first Om, as the volume and confidence have doubled and intensified in only a week.

 Six weeks of Meditation with Sunshine #2
Six week workshop designed for the introduction and integration of meditation.
Learn chanting, breathing techniques, and meditation practices.
Come one - Come all. Love all - Serve all.

ॐ नमः शिवय गुरवे
OM Namah Sivaya Gurave
OM The Guru is Auspiciousness.

सचिदनन्द मुतयै
Satchidananda Moorthaye
Embodiment of Truth, Knowledge, Bliss.

निसपपचय शनतय
Nishprapanchaaya Shaantaaya
Salutations to the One who is beyond the worlds.

निरलमबय तेजसे
Niraalambaya Tejase
Peaceful, Independent, and Radiant.

What is Yoga?
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras - A sacred and ancient yoga text written in Sanskrit sharing the essential teachings for attaining liberation. The Yoga Sutras are commonly known as Raja Yoga, the Royal Yoga, because they present spirituality as a holistic science, universally applicable to people of all faith traditions. These are teachings that are alive, that resonate at the level of our inner spirit, awakening memories of our True Identity. Many translations are available.

1.2: Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha -Yoga calms the mind-stuff. Yoga - goal of union or to yoke; Chitta - individual mind; Vritti - whirlpool of changing thoughts and labels we create for all things; Nirodha - restraint or changing direction of the mind.

1.12 Abhyasa Vaiagyabhyam Tat Nirodha -Through regular practice and non-attachment we gain power over the mind, the endless track of our mind - vritti - slows down and becomes restrained.

1.14 Sah Tu Dirgha Kala Nairantarya Satkara Asevitah Dridhabhumih - Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break, and with enthusiasm. Theory without practice will not completely satisfy and the benefits of yoga are experienced through regular practice. Regularity is the key!! A little bit everyday goes a long way.

Yoga is based on 8 limbs
1. Yama = abstinence                    5. Pratyahara = sensory withdrawal
2. Niyama = observance                6. Dharana = concentration
3. Asana = posture                        7. Dhyana = meditation
4. Pranayama = breath control       8. Samadhi = Self-realization

What is meditation?
Meditation is the art of staying in this present moment. Through concentration we bring the mind to a state that is peaceful, clear, one-pointed. Concentration becomes meditation after unwavering attention towards an object of meditation lasts for at least two minutes. The techniques prepare for stillness in meditation.

1. Sound 2. Breath 3. Visualization 4. Introspection.
Choose any object for concentration as long as it is uplifting and you like it.

Distracting Thoughts
Ahimsa = non-violence, harmlessness. Ahimsa is the King of all Yamas - the touchstone and supreme of all virtues. It applies to word, thought and deed - intention and action, all human beings, animals, and inanimate objects. Be kind in thought, word and deed.

“Over time compassion gives birth to a love and understanding so pure that it lifts the mind to a place of peace beyond any tranquility we had imagined.” -Guruji

Nadi Suddhi - alternate nostril breathing - Begin with five deep breaths through the nose. Inhale four counts, exhale four counts. Form Yoni mudra (right hand - thumb and index join) and Vishnu mudra (left hand - peace sign touches third eye with thumb on right nostril and ring and pinky fingers on left nostril). Breathe normally through both nostrils and begin with an exhalation on the left. Inhale left, switch and close off left nostril, exhale right. Inhale right, switch, exhale left. Continue several rounds and end with normal breathing. Observe. Mind is calm.

Sound - Mantra - continuous Om. Om is the primordial cosmic vibration from which sprang the entire cosmos and all of creation. A + U = O in Sanskrit. AUM = OM. A represents creation, u represents evolution and m represents dissolution. The waking, dreaming and dreamless deep sleep states. When you open your mouth to make a sound, it is "ah" a prolonged sigh. All audible sounds start with this action. Begin with “ah” in the throat. The “u” is formed when the sound rolls forward toward the lips with the help of the tongue and cheeks, making an “o” sound. The “m” is formed as the sound comes towards the lips and brings the sound to vibrate the skull and crown of the head. Meditate on all three parts to the chanting of Om, listen to your neighbors and feel the vibrations join together as one. We are one.
Second practice included nine rounds of OM Namah Shivaya Gurave (review of beginning chant) and by the end of the meditation our voices sounded together as one.  OM Shanti!

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