100 Days of Yoga, Day 22

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September 12, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam

What’s in your backpack: Greed? Envy? Anger? Resentment? Deprivation? Drama? We all get something, right? We all have these heavy rocks on our backs that we are forever toting around. Don’t you wish there was a way to just take them off our backs for a little while, set them by the side of the road, and just keeping going. At least for a little while?

It would be nice to think we can magically start shucking the rocks out of our backpacks. Early in my practice I really thought I could. I’d give up anger, but then I’d feel resentment. I’d give up resentment, but then deprivation would sneak back in. I went around and around with this giving up stuff. But I could never permanently lighten my load. How come?

You’d think the answer would be simple, but it really isn’t — at least from the ego prospective. The best way to handle these “negative” emotions is to, first, stop thinking of them as negative; and second, accept them as part of you … like the color of your eyes. These things are all inside of us and well, yes, we can give up some of them, but when we do, something else is going to come along and take its place. It’s the human condition.

The goal is to stop the suffering that accompanies these conditions, and I don’t mean by becoming a sociopath. I mean by total, radical, self-acceptance. Like in: I accept myself exactly as I am. No “if only’s,” no “buts,” EXACTLY AS I AM. With that acceptance in hand, then and only then can you start the work of following your path, of finding your purpose in this lifetime. Of actually making substantive changes in the way you tread through life. By now you know your purpose is NOT to make a bunch of money, or become the Emperor of the Universe. There is a reason you took this particular incarnation, a reason you were born. It is not random, it is not by chance any of us are on earth. Ask Cee Lo Green, if you don’t believe me:

“who do you think you are … ha ha ha, bless your soul …” (a nod to the wisdom of Eli B. for this one.)

So if we can’t get rid of all the stuff in our backpacks then what are we suppose to do? To start with, I need to clarify my first point. You can get rid of some of the stuff, but the deal is, really, when you push something out, something new has to come in to take its place. You know, like that weight thing: one person loses weight and another person gains. It is all simple physics, right? Collectively we weigh x amount. (duh …)

So when you push out anger, what comes in? Well, for a while judgment maybe, and then you push that out and what takes its place? Lying? Sarcasm? Eventually all this conscious juggling around of emotions will start pushing out the undesirable things and start allowing things like, love, hope, peace, contentment. And here is how you get them to not weigh as much in your backpack: MEDITATION. Really?You didn’t see that coming?

Meditation allows you to remove the weight on your back, check the bag at the door, and set down your heavy load. Meditation allows you to relax, to let go. Meditation takes that crazy, swirling ball of a brain of yours and turns it off, not permanently,(at least at first,) but long enough to do you some good. How many studies would you like me to provide showing the benefit of meditation? If you have time, you can hit the old google and check for yourself.

I know you’re thinking: I am a busy person. I don’t have time for meditation. Really? Do you have time to complain; to watch television; to criticize another; to bore someone with endless recitations of your greatness? How about an extra three minutes a day? If you can make three extra minutes each day, you can meditate. Here is what William J. D. Duran has to say about this very important topic:

As we fine-tune our concentration and become more aware of the nature of reality we perceive that the world is unreal. “The only reality is the universal self, or God, which is veiled by Maya (the illusory power). As the veils are lifted, the mind becomes clearer. Unhappiness and fear – even the fear of death – vanishes. This state of freedom, or Moksha, is the goal of Yoga. It can be reached by constant enquiry into the nature of things.”xvii Meditation becomes our tool to see things clearly and perceive reality beyond the illusions that cloud our mind.

OR …

“The soil in which the meditative mind can begin is the soil of everyday life, the strife, the pain, and the fleeting joy. It must begin there, and bring order, and from there move endlessly. But if you are concerned only with making order, then that very order will bring about its own limitation, and the mind will be its prisoner. In all this movement you must somehow begin from the other end, from the other shore, and not always be concerned with this shore or how to cross the river. You must take a plunge into the water, not knowing how to swim. And the beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are, where you are going, what the end is.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti

OR …

“By letting go of even the thought ‘I,’ what is left? There is nowhere to stand and no one to stand there. No separation anywhere. Pure awareness. Neither this, nor that. Just clarity and being.” ~ Ram Dass ~

To those of you who carry the heaviest loads, I wish you the gift of meditation. It allows you to take a break from the chaos. It is like a good night’s sleep. You simply turn off the brain and let it rest and rejuvenate. Every single inspiration I’ve ever had has come through meditation. In the darkest places I’ve been, meditation has been what has gotten me through. Meditation keeps me inspired, mindful, grateful and in a state of Grace. If you were a meditator, help yourself — pick up the practice again. If you don’t know how to meditate, find a book, watch a free video, go to a class. There are so many people available to teach you.

There are no requirements as to time. It is crazy to think you’ll just plop down and meditate for an hour or two. We all start where we are and if that is just eight breaths, so be it. Eventually meditation will become addictive and you’ll want more and more. If there is a secret to a good life you think everyone else has except you, then here it is: meditation.

Of course, don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself. If it works, well …

I hope by now you’ve found a breathing practice that works for you, one you use in traffic, or before a stressful meeting, or just because it makes you feel good. Today I will use the alternate nasal breathing. With the changing seasons, I find I start to get a little congested. This practice assures I am breathing deeply through both nostrils.

For Asana today I’m headed to youtube:



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