Welcome friends! OM Shanti!

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

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Meditation with Sister Sunshine - Fourth & Jackson Art Space

2-8-11  Workshop #4. 
Six weeks of Meditation with Sunshine #4
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.

Om Mani Padme Hum
A six syllable mantra of the Bodhisattva of compassion Avalokiteshvara. The Dalai Lama is said to be an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, so the mantra is especially revered by his devotees. The basic English translation of Om mani padme hum is…

"Om Jewel in the Lotus Hum" or "Praise to the Jewel in the Lotus."
However, the meaning and significance of the six Tibetan syllables have been interpreted in a variety of ways. One common interpretation is that each syllable corresponds to one of the six realms of existence and purifies the vice associated with that realm:

Om purifies bliss and pride (realm of the gods)
Ma purifies jealousy and need for entertainment (realm of the jealous gods)
Ni purifies passion and desire (human realm)
Pad purifies ignorance and prejudice (animal realm)
Me purifies poverty and possessiveness (realm of the hungry ghosts)
Hum purifies aggression and hatred (hell realm)

What is meditation in nature?
Karma Yoga - sacrifice - Thy will be done. Karma yoga is meditation in action. Lead a dedicated life filled with selfless service. With karma yoga, everything you do is for the sake of others greater harmony and good for all. The true seeker renounces everything and takes on the practices of yoga, even dedicating everything to maintain that peace. Over time even the practices can be done as karma yoga - not simply for one’s own growth but for the benefit of all others too. We can apply this to our daily jobs, activities, or possessions. Whatever you do, dedicate the benefits of any action to God. There is no selfishness in God or God's creation. Look to the apple tree. Every year it produces fruit for all to enjoy, but does the tree ever eat any of its own fruit?

All religions teach the same idea of SACRIFICE. The ten commandments teach us not to be selfish and to love thy neighbor. Lord Buddha granted us with ten virtues, five for laymen and five more for monks, similar to the ten commandments. In yoga, we have the yama and niyama system which is the code to keep the mind clean free from egoism, also similar to the ten commandments. In Islam, we learn universal friendship, as they call each other brothers and sisters. Also, in grade school, we were taught the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love thy neighbor as thy self. The paths are many, the truth is one.

This is a teaching for human beings. We can look to nature at plants and animals and follow their example, as they are already living sacrifical lives. And for who? Us! Again, consider the apple tree. Think of a flower, whose blossom's teach us about sacrifice. A tree sacrificed the flower. The flower sacrifices its fragrance. The clouds give us rain. The sun gives us light and warmth. We are indebted to nature, which is really called God. It's all God. It's all good.

Distracting thoughts
Accept who you are. Accept where you are. Accept your thoughts. Acknowledge them and move on. Learn to be the witness. Through silence you can realize the quiet witness within you. That silence is awareness. It never tells you anything, it just simply watches. To know that silent witness which is always aware you should stop trying to know other things first. Know other things after. The rest will come automatically. Know that you are That. Be silent and find the inner knowledge for yourself.

“I am not the body, not the mind, eternal soul am I.” -Bhagavad Gita

Our soul is Sat Cid Ananda = eternal, knowledge, blissful. We are Divine consciousness at our core. The witness is the one who sees and feels everything through our senses which are portals to the mind. Memories are stored in the mind; we are not them, nor are we the mind. Listen to the language. We say, “my mind..” which implies ownership of the mind. Who is the owner? The witness.

“I am not the body, nor the mind, eternal soul am I.” -Bhagavad Gita.

Apply same theory to the body now. We say my body, therefore we cannot be the body. Let us examine further during the introspection meditation.

Kapaalabhaati - the skull shining breath - In this breath, only the abdominal area will move, the chest and shoulders remain still and relaxed. Kapaalabhaati is rapid diaphragmatic breathing using a series of rapid expulsions. After each expulsion the air will naturally fill the lungs so you are ready to continue with another expulsion. These expulsions are to be done in rapid succession, first slowly and then picking up the pace. Try to feel the breath moving by putting your hands around your abdominal area. Begin with five deep inhalations and exhalations through the nose, evenly and smoothly. Upon completion of your fifth exhalation, squeeze out any stale air by pulling the navel to spine. Inhale deeply into the abdomen and begin the first expulsion by contracting the abdomen, snapping it in, and the air will naturally be released through the nose. Then the abdomen relaxes between the expulsions and the air flows back in on its own. Continue for a few rounds, each with 15-20 breaths. After the last expulsion, inhale deeply and exhale as slowly as comfortable. Sit quietly and feel the effects of the pranayama.

Introspection - Who Am I? Introspection or self-inquiry uses the mind’s discriminative capacity which involves a profound examination of the mind. During this method of meditation the limitations of the mind are recognized and transcended. A wake-up call about who we are occurs, which can lead to Self-realization.

Who am I? Am I my pinky finger? [pause and listen for answer within] Still I say, my pinky finger. Is this where I exist? [pause] No, I seem to by the owner of my finger. If the tip got cut off, would I seize to exist? No.

Who am I?  Am I my hand? [pause] Again, I seem to be the owner of my hand. I don’t seem to be limited by my body.

Who am I?  Am I my body? [pause] Again, I seem to be the owner of my body. I say “my body” therefore I am not my body but the owner of my body.

Who am I?  Am I my intellect? [pause] I can study and learn and yet I am still aware and witness to the intellect while it learns.

Who am I?  Am I the mind itself? Here I am, witnessing the mind go through the analysis. Again, listen to the language. I say, “my mind” therefore I am the owner of the mind. I am not the body, nor the mind, eternal soul am I!

I am = GOD, Divine energy within all beings. I am Jessica. We put God first even in our names.

So-Hum Breath Meditation to end. Begin with normal breathing. Tune into the natural flow and rhythm. Take five deep, slow, and even breaths through the nose. Inhale four counts, exhale four counts. Inhale So, exhale Hum.

So-Hum = I am that I am. Eternal spark within all of creation. Sound that exists already within everything. Listen inside as you breath. Silently say to yourself So (inhale) Hum (exhale).

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