Let nothing upset you,
let nothing startle you.
All things pass;
God does not change.
all it seeks.
Whoever has God
God alone is enough.
-St Teresa Avila
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-St Teresa Avila
You may also like: Miss Me But Let Me Go
Hatha Yoga or Yoga postures are a great way to connect the mind with the body and become whole. But what next? Here the greatest expounder of Hatha Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar talks about the effect of Hatha Yoga. He says that Hatha Yoga “Opens up the channel both ways”. This means one can then glide down the channel to external pleasures or to go higher towards internal bliss. The choice is ours.
Most of us use the system of doing yoga postures to enjoy better health, improved mental balance, and greater flexibility. We then leverage these benefits to find happiness. The question before us is: do we want to find happiness outside ourselves or inside? If we are convinced that the quest for external happiness just strengthens the ego and leads us nowhere then we must look inwards. To do this we must adopt the full system of eight limbs of yoga. Our focus then moves from just doing yoga postures to the full system including life-style changes, breathing exercises, and meditation.
Related: The Light Of Yoga
Credits: This is a You-tube video.
1. Pick an environment that is quiet and comfortable. Shut off all distractions including music and phones.
2. Sit comfortably. Keep your posture as straight as comfortably possible.
3. Breathe normally.
4. Close your eyes. If you wear glasses or contact lenses you may want to remove them before starting. There should be no harsh lights on your eyes.
5. Pick a short phrase, something that matches your belief system. Here are some examples: “The Lord Jesus is my shepherd”, “Hari Om”, “Shalom”, “Peace”, “Love”, etc.,
6. Repeat the selected phrase in your mind with each out breath. Try and exclude all other thoughts from your mind.
7. If you find thoughts intruding acknowledge them, let them go, and revert to meditation by repeating your selected phrase. There is no need to get upset. It is normal for thoughts to intrude.
8. Do this for between 10 and 20 minutes.
9. After your meditation is over, do not get up immediately. Instead sit quietly for another 2 minutes before you revert to normal activity.
Here are some advanced/optional tips:
1. The height of the chair should be such that your feet should be touching the floor. The other option is that you sit cross-legged on the floor. But do this only if you can be relaxed and comfortable sitting cross-legged.
2. Your hands should rest comfortably on your lap. It may be preferable to sit on a chair with no armrest.
3. You should meditate no sooner than 3 hours after a heavry meal.
4. The best time to meditate is early morning before eating anything or in the evening before your meal.
5. For best results do your yoga postures first for an hour followed by 10-15 minutes of Pranayama, and then start your meditation.
6. If you find yourself dozing off while meditating it means that you are not sleeping well. First address your sleep related issues.
7. You may sit in front of an altar, or in a specially designated place for meditation.
8. Once you become adept at controlling your thoughts you can then “meditate” anywhere during the day while in the midst of activity and daily bustle. You can even meditate with your eyes open: while exercising in the gym or doing yoga, or while jogging or walking, or while waiting in a queue, or doing some mindless chore. Even 10 minutes of such meditation can be quite effective.
Benefits of Meditation:
1. Reduce stress
2. Improve sleep
3. Reduce anxiety/irritability
4. Reduce high blood pressure
5. Reduce muscular pain
6. Improve energy levels
7. Clear head and improve thinking
8. Improve emotional balance
9. Reduce weight
10. Increased awareness
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When I Asked God for Brain & Brawn
He Gave Me Puzzles in Life to Solve
When I Asked God for Happiness
He Showed Me Some Unhappy People
When I Asked God for Wealth
He Showed Me How to Work Hard
When I Asked God for Favors
He Showed Me Opportunities to Work Hard
When I Asked God for Peace
He Showed Me How to Help Others
God Gave Me Nothing I Wanted
He Gave Me Everything I Needed.
— Swami Vivekananda
When James Leininger, age 2, started babbling about being a fighter pilot in World War II, his family did not know what to make of it. James offered many specific details, and his father, Bruce, decided to research these just to disprove the whole notion that a World War II pilot has reincarnated as his son. What he found stunned him. There were too many details that were not in the public domain to make this a coincidental happenstance. Watch the video and decide for yourself.
The aim of this post is not to prove reincarnation. But the idea that consciousness is something more than an after-effect of the human brain is central to yoga (and most religious and spiritual traditions). The fact that at least some of us do reincarnate seems to provide confirmation on yogic ideas about consciousness.
If you dig deeper you will find that this is not an isolated case. Jim Tucker is the medical director and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He has researched more than 2500 cases of children who seem to remember past lives. Jim Tucker’s work indicates that some children do have past life memories that can be independently verified. He has also found it is usual for past life memories to dissipate after the age of six, with the child wanting to move on with current life rather than remain associated with a previous birth.