January 2019 – New Beginnings
I wanted to start the year with the big announcement of my Patreon page starting! However I’ve run into a little hiccup that being editing videos is hard work! Learning to edit videos is even harder. I’ve got a new start date of February 14th just to iron out a few of these video bubbles I and my editing team have run into. Wit that being said I thought it was still good to offer some insight for those of you curious about what to expect.
This is my introduction level one monthly meditation.
This journey of my Patreon with something deep like dedicating our first month of our time together to Stillness or Silence. After trying to write for a good couple of weeks I had nothing and that is when I realized that I was starting from the wrong place. I had as I so often do rush ahead. I had put the idea of New Beginnings to the side thinking to myself it’s just so trite. Everyone starts the new year with a fresh new outlook or new beginning. I’m not like everyone else so of-course I can’t start with new beginnings that just silly – or so I thought in my own mind.
But then I remembered not everyone even knows where to start when it comes to the practice of yoga, and if I can’t remember that what kind of teacher am I? So we start with New Beginnings – a very good place to star to quote Ms. Julie Andrews the original Mary Poppins.
Let´s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-be-see
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi
In his book ‘Meditations from the Mat,’ Rolf Gates starts by saying our journey into yoga is much like us stepping into a canoe for a trip down the river of life.
More traditional Kriya-yoga (or the practicing of yoga through work) talks of our journey starting with the body. “The organs are the horses, the mind is the reins, the intellect is the charioteer, the soul is the rider and the body the chariot. If the horses are very strong and do not obey the reins and if the charioteer has no discrimination then the rider comes to grief BUT if the horse, the organs are well controlled by the reins the mind and the charioteer possesses discrimination then the rider, the soul reaches the goal.” * Raja – Yoga by Swami Vivekananda pg 143
Our goal being Samadhi – the state of union of the self to the divine or greater consciousness of the universe. That journey doesn’t start in stillness or in silence that journey starts with action and taking the steps into a new beginning.
Our first steps together are to pick a book of daily meditation that calls to you. This year I am using “Alchemy 365 A Self- Awareness Workbook one full year of dedications towards your own Self-Empowerment and Authenticity” by Brenda Lightfeather Marroy. Last year (2018) I used three books “Yoga’s Devotional Light, Living your Bhakti Practice” by Julian Lynn, “Earth Bound, Daily Meditations for all Seasons” by Brian Nelson and “Meditations from the Mat Daily Reflections on the path of Yoga” by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison.
There are so many books on daily meditations out there pick one or three until you find one that sings to you. If reading books is not your thing there are websites like Daily Om that offer daily readings sent to you via email A few years ago I did their Year of Rumi quotes. Loved that they were sent into my email and they became the first email I would read that day.
Did I read from these books every morning? No there were some mornings I had to get up early, or mornings that started in chaos that kept me from sitting and reading first thing. This is the practice – we don’t have to get it right we just have to practice. That means that if you miss a few days or a few weeks that you don’t use your internal monologue to punish yourself for life getting in the way. You just start back up with whatever day of the year it is. You can always go back and read the other days later or next year or the year after that. So you miss the whole month of May because of birthdays, anniversaries, travel or illness – no big deal try to start back up in June.
The second step pick a second book. The second book I would like for you to find is one that calls to you spiritually or scientifically – something to expand your mind. This is a book that you will read just one or two pages from each day depending upon the book. A book about quantum physics, about the physiology of the mind or how emotions work, a book about your favorite god or goddess and their mythology. This year I was torn between “The Greek Myths book 1″ by Robert Graves or “Karma- Yoga and Bhakti-Yoga” by Swami Vivekananda. Right now I’m leaning to the Karma- Yoga book but I might change my mind, because this is all about practice not perfection.
The third step is to pick a time and place for you to read. You want these books in a place where you will constantly see them. That might be next to your computer, or maybe you have a dedicated meditation yoga mat space in your house. As funny and weird as it may be for some of us the bathroom is a spot to read or on the nightstand next to your bed.
In Yin yoga we talk about consistency of practice and resolving to remain in the pose. The same will play true to your time spent reading these books. Consistency in finding a place and time to read and resolve in getting back into the practice after you have given yourself time to fidget. Allow for that self-sabotage that we do when we talk our self out of the pose before even getting settled. The same applies to a meditation practice. Just be gentle with yourself.
The fourth step for us is to create the space to grow. Once you have picked your books, picked your place and time to read, then pause. Take the time to make this a special moment for yourself. Be mindful of who what when and where you are. Work to set up a space and time that will work so if that is early morning for you make it early morning, if that is evening for you make it an evening routine. If you are someone who hates rules and being told what when and where to do something then you can be more scattered in your reading times and location. My only suggestion is to make it a special sacred time for you. Light a candle, brew a fresh cup of coffee or tea, create a sacred altar space for these books. Take the time to fluff the pillows of your chair or bed, remove the wrinkles from the blanket, brush the cat litter off the bottom of your feet. Make this as special and ritualistic as calls to you.
We are practicing together to find a home for our soul be that a canoe, a chariot or moped or some other vessel. This is Duryona Yoga we are finding our home.