Welcome friends! OM Shanti!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Meditation with Saraswati and Chitra

Friday 5.6.11 - Meditation based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Taught by Sisters Saraswati Andrea Lee and Chitra Jessica Sunshine Klein
Fridays 8-9am - Starseed Yoga and Wellness in Montclair, NJ
Sponsered by The Yoga Life Society

Hi and welcome to this morning’s class. I’m thankful to be here with all of you. We’d like to begin the class by chanting OM three times followed by the call and response opening chant.  Close your eyes and bring your palms together at heart center.  Exhale your breath; inhale your breath; OM....OM....OM


Introductions. We began this series with a basic definition of meditation which is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind through clear, one-pointed and peaceful focus. Last week we emphasized the importance of having a regular meditation practice, one that repeats over a long period of time and is done with enthusiasm. But why meditate?

Through meditation we see the truth of who and what we really are and that truth liberates us from ignorance and suffering. Yoga philosophy differentiates between the Seer, or that which is infinite, our eternal consciousness, and the seen, or that which changes over time, the world around us.

 In Book II, Sutra 20, Patanjali writes, “The Seer is pure consciousness only. Even though it appears to see by directing thought and concepts it remains unchanged by the mind’s operation.”

Meditation allows us to better understand this truth by directing our attention to the ideas, images that represent the divine Seer. A yantra is a visual representation of the truth, which makes it an ideal object of mediation.

During Pranayama we are literally drinking in gallons and gallons of vitality and immunity.  Pranayama supercharges the blood with oxygen.  Oxygen is life.  Pranayama enriches the blood with a lot of life.  With the oxygen comes prana and every cell vibrates with new life.  Prana is the best tonic, the best medicine for all kinds of poisons and viruses.  Proper breathing heals!

Kapaalabhaati Pranayama - The Skull Shining Breath - In this breath, only the abdominal area will move, the chest and shoulders remain still and relaxed.  Kapaalabhaati is rapid diphragmatic breathing using a series of rapid explusions.  After each exhpulsion the air will naturally fill the lungs so you are ready to continue with another expulsion.  These expulsions are done in quick succession as you pump the air in and out of the stomach.  Begin by breathing normally, just watch the breath at first.  As you exhale, pull the navel into the spine to squeeze out any stale air.  Inhale deeply into the abdomen and begin the first expulsion by contracting the abdomen, snapping it in, and the oxygen comes out the nose.  The inhalation will be easeful and flows into the body naturally.  Continue for several rounds, each with 15-20 breaths.  After the last expulsion of each round, inhale deeply and exhale as slowly as comfortable.  Sit quietly and feel the effects of the pranayama.
Today we will exploring a visualization technique called tradak that uses the yantra as its object of meditation.  In tradak meditation we direct our clear, peaceful and one-pointed attention to an image or physical object that reminds us of the Divine and inspires those traits within us. Tradak is grounded in the notion that where our eyes go, our attention follows.

We’ll begin with the eyes closed, deeply inhaling and exhaling the breath following its natural pace. After a three more rounds full cycles of breath, you can open your eyes and fix your gaze on your object of meditation.

Keep your eyes relaxed and not strained but try not to blink. When your eyes begin to tear close them and see the impression of the object; like a photo negative. Keep your eyes steady and try to maintain the image. Once the image of your meditation object has faded, open your eyes again and look at the yantra in front of you.

Note, though, that even if your mind wanders, your gaze shouldn't. Your eyes ought to remain locked on your object until they water.  I will signal the end of the mediation with one OM.

"Through silence you can realize the quiet witness within you.  That silence is the spirit or awareness.  Your awareness is silent.  It never tells you anything.  It is just there simply watching you.  Whether you do good or bad, right or wrong, it just witnesses.  A witness never gets involved in the case and never joins one of the sides.  God is like that, and God's creation is also like that in a way.  The Sun is just a witness, the wind is a witness, the sky is a witness, the water is a witness.  The witness is there, that's all.  And in its presence, you act."  -Sri Swami Satchidananda To Know Your Self, p. 42-43

Ending Peace Chants
Asaato Maa Sad Gamaya Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya
Lead us from unreal to Real.  Lead us from darkness to the Light.  Lead us from the fear of death to the knowledge of Immortality.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti
Lokaah Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu
May the entire universe be filled with Peace and Joy, Love and Light

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