MEDITATION: any form of a family of practice in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit. Meditation is generally an inward oriented, personal practice which individuals do by themselves.
I’m just NOW getting to the point to where I’m saying to myself, “Maybe I should consider meditating.” I have been progressing rather nicely in the physical aspect of yoga, the asana. But after two years of yoga, I feel like I’ve been dragging in the philosophy and spirituality department. I think when I first started, I was really just trying to focus on the poses themselves. And plus, considering myself Agnostic, I wasn’t trying to hear about Gods that resembled Elephants. As far as I was concerned, there should be a separation between Spirituality and yoga mat. Naturally, I found that the two were always connected in some way, and there was no way around it. You ultimately can’t have one without the other. I mean, I guess you could, but it would be rather boring.
I’d say things like, “You want me to do what? Sit for at least 30 minutes and listen to..myself? Nah, I’m good.” For someone who has to take a Xanax to fall asleep sometimes because his mind is racing; this did not sound sexy at all! I thought of it as a waste of time because I never thought I would ever be able to relax and just…be. You know, like the Calvin Klein ads. But I tried it a few times and I was quite shocked as to what I discovered.
The last couple of times that I meditated (as is my understanding), I laid on my back. This is not a very traditional position when meditating. But, not very traditional either, so…I did what I thought would be beneficial for me. I typically make my bed, lay down with my head towards to the foot, closest to my Nataraja. Yes, my Nataraja! I’ve come a long way! Then, I put on my “Yoga Mix”, and quieted my mind. Surprisingly, I’m able to block the sounds from my annoying neighbor, the street traffic, and my cat scratching in the litter box. And, then it’s just me.
I’ve heard of crazy things happening during meditations. It’s one thing to hear stories, but it’s another to experience them. The last two times that I’ve mediated, I was in and out of consciousness. I wasn’t asleep, though. It was something else. And, I swear to you, I felt like I was floating. Yes, floating. It was scary when I first experienced it, but comforting at the same time. If any of you have felt this, then you know what I’m talking about.
My most recent experience was just like the one prior…but with a twist. I was about halfway through my meditation, when something different happened. Shantala’s song, “Hanuman Chalisa,” came on, which is one of my favorite songs to hear when I’m meditating. Shantala’s music is a type of Kirtan, and it’s just amazing. The entire song is in the Indian language and I have no idea what she is saying, but I know the song very well. Anyway, as she’s singing in Sanskrit, she then switches to English. And, for a short time, she is weaving back and forth from Sanskrit to English. But, somehow the lyrics made sense and all came together. It was a really interesting experience. I have heard that song many times, and that has never happened.
But, after the mediation was over, I felt amazing. I was able to connect to…myself. Which, if I understand correctly, is the sole purpose of meditating. Again, I’m still new to this whole thing, but I plan on continuing. I still have a lot of learn, but with some guidance from my friends and teachers, I’m sure I will get to experience the full effect one day.
If my recent experience was just a teaser…I can’t wait to see what’s next!