Meditation and the Bhagavad Gita part 2

 

 

The Bhagavad Gita is full of affirmations that can help you to positively create a successful life.  Each verse or sloka has a lesson that you can learn from if you know how to interpret it.

The Dru Bhagavad Gita Online course can be a handy resource for your meditation if you choose to bridge it in.  The course is a step-by-step guide to interpreting the messages of the Gita and it explains how to apply them practically in your life. The course is particularly helpful if you want to take your explorations of the Gita to a deeper level. And this is perfect for the meditator who wants to use the truths of sacred scripture to meditate on.

Of course you can use other scriptures, but the Gita is a quantum spiritual scripture because it helps you to lead a material life and at the same time shows you how to be spiritual.

Perhaps you would like to know what the Gita says about the practice of meditation itself? If so then Chapter 6 in the Dru Bhagavad Gita is for you. It recommends how to sit for meditation and also what to also focus on so that you can enhance your meditation experience.  It gives various details to optimise your meditation practice but remember to take on just those things that work for you. These instructions are just guidelines for you to consider.

Chapter six also says that meditation is the most important tool you will ever be given, because it is the only way to transcend the body/mind and to find your real Self.  As soon as you touch who you really are, then everything you are not melts away. Thoughts, emotions, ego, personality and intellect are all transcended.

Meditation also brings everything inside of us into alignment. From this point of balanced awareness we can enter into each day confident that we can meet any challenge with our minds positive and clear.

Sloka 19 of  Chapter six says ‘Just as a lamp in sheltered place does not flicker, the controlled mind, absorbed in meditation, remains ever steady’.

And this is the aim isn’t it? To have a steady mind through all of the events that unfolds in our lives.

 

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Meditation and the Bhagavad Gita part 1

 

Meditation blends perfectly with one of the greatest yogic scriptures of all time – The Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is a success manual for life and its’ teachings are appropriate for you regardless of what religion you follow.

There are a couple of ways that you can use the Gita in meditation. The simple method is to ask for guidance for your day. You begin by holding the Gita with a sense of honouring the teachings inside, and then you randomly pick any page and sloka (or verse) of the Gita. Read the verse aloud (three times if you up to it) and then quietly contemplate on the meaning of the verse in your daily meditation.

You may find insights come to you as you sit in silence. Ponder these insights and then let those thoughts go and allow yourself to slip back into stillness again. As another insightful thought arises repeat the same process. You will soon discover how reading a sacred text can enhance both your life and your meditation.

If you can read the Sanskrit of the verses phonetically first then that’s great! But don’t worry if you find that challenging because you can just read the English version instead.  However the 3-part book series – the Dru Bhagavad Gita has an appendix at the back that explains how to pronounce the words in Sanskrit so they may help. You can also access some Gita sloka audio recordings from the ebook version of the Dru Bhagavad Gita.

What you read of course also guides your consciousness so as a seeker of truth or even as someone who wants to live a good life, it is important to choose high input for the mind.  When you read the Gita you will recognize a lot of truths that can guide you in your day and help you make good (satvic) choices.

For example chapter five versus 27 and 28 can be used as guidance to calm and center the mind and emotions.  These versus instruct you in how to use a potent stress relieving technique – equal ratio breathing. This technique is particularly good for overcoming frustration and anger.

Shutting out all external sense objects, focusing the attention between the two eyebrows, equalizing the in-breath and the out-breath, thus controlling the mind, senses and intellect, the sage whose highest aim is freedom and from whom desire and anger have departed is forever free.’

Sounds pretty good really. But the best thing to do is to try it for yourself.

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 One of the most powerful ways to meditate is through the use of mantra. Repetition of a mantra is called japa.  There are various reasons for doing japa meditation. Japa meditation is one of the most effective methods for balancing emotions and achieving emotional maturity through better control of the mind.  

  Meditation in general helps you to develop acceptance and emotional objectivity so that you respond to life rather than react to it. But Japa meditation, which uses the repetition of a chosen thought, breaks unhelpful patterns of the mind and therefore it releases us from habitual actions. It helps to remove the straightjacket of our outmoded habits.

  Japa also utilizes your emotional energy to attract the very essences of the think you are repeatedly saying. This works on the principal that you energetically attract what you think about. So if your chosen word to repeat was ‘potatoes’ you could possibly draw a lot potato salad towards you. If you focus on a word that is more enlightening like ‘love’ then you attract love. If you are repeating one of the names of God, then you are attracting the highest of all.

 There are laws that act in our universe and the law of attraction is one of them. The law of cause and effect (karma) is also one of these laws e.g. as you sow so shall you reap.  According to eastern philosophy, karma is the law that states your life is a reflection of the actions (good or bad) that you have done in the past of this life or even a previous life.

  One of the most important effects of japa is that it can release you from the law of karma because of how it frees you from your habit patterns. Even something like depression, a mood state that you may have for no apparent reason, could be a result born from your past karma. So you see the effects of japa are very powerful.

 Ultimately in japa meditation we aim to practice ajapa japa, or uninterrupted inner repetition of a mantra. Most people won’t be able to do this at first, and so we recommend that you begin with whispering.  This is done by just moving the lips and barely making a sound.  You should not be heard when chanting in this manner; however moving of the lips enables you to keep the mind focused on the chant. 

 With practice you can progress to manasic japa where you repeat a mantra silently in your head. Often japa is practiced on mala or rosary beads as they can empower your mantra and beads also assist you in counting.

Mantras are generally chanted in multiples of 27, 54 or 108 but the best guidance is to just do as much as you can.

  Mantras can be used for health, wellbeing or spiritual growth. There are various types mantras that you can use in meditation though. The Dru Meditation Teacher Training delves into how you can choose a mantra for meditation. With the right mantra, given with the right energy by a teacher, you can soar to great spiritual heights in a short period of time. 

 But as an introduction you might like to try any of the following eastern mantras:

·      Om is the great word that means consciousness and light

·      Om Sri Ganeshaya Namaha to remove obstacles

·      Om Namoh Bhagavate Vasudevaya builds devotional energy

If you want a mantra from a different tradition try:

·      Om Mani Padme Hum – a Tibetan Buddhist mantra that invokes compassion for all beings

·      Ave Maria – a Christian mantra that brings an awareness of Gods presence.

  Of course you can choose your own mantra like peace, peace, peace or love, love, love.

 Be assured, your meditation practice and your life is bound to be enhanced by whatever japa mantra you use. But do keep in mind that a teacher will guide you in the highest way in your journey with japa meditation.

If  you are interested in meditation, sound, japa there is a fabulous event coming up in Australia . https://druyoga.com/ignite-your-dreams

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Meditation and the Art of Calling your Power Back

 Ever felt drained in energy after an emotional event or if you’ve been around someone that you feel you have given your power to?

 When you invest energy like this it means that energy is not available to for you to use each day. Calling your power back means releasing blocked energy from the past and making it available to you again.

 You can create less turbulence in the mind once you have resolved issues where you have given your power away. Meditation becomes easier because your mind is not being pushed or pulled by turbulent torrents of life so your mind becomes more equanimous. And as a result it is easier to sit in silence.

 A potent key to releasing blocked energy and refilling your energy quotient is to practice the Dru Energy Block Release sequences found in the Dru Meditation Teacher Training or Dru Yoga Teacher Training course.

 Deep relaxation is another key to calling your power back so we encourage you to practise relaxations regularly. However you can also use specific meditations as a technique to call your power back and to create a successful life.

 The following meditation relaxation is from the Dru Meditation Teacher Training course. You can use it call your power back and enhance your meditation at the same time.

 Calling Your Power Back Meditation

     Light a candle and sit down to gaze at it.

  • Then in front of the candle bring to your mind any events where you may have given your power away.
  • Set the intent that you are calling your power back from that time. You can visualise a TV screen with the event playing out in front of you. But don’t indulge in the event or the emotions and thoughts surrounding it.
  • Instead bring the light from the flame in front of you to the event itself. See that event filled with light and then consciously draw your energy, your power, back via the flame.
  • This is a powerful exercise to do. Your body may even shudder because the energy is coming back in. Don’t worry if that happens because your energy is coming back through the power of the light of a flame – your challenges are clearing.
  • Then say the word ‘peace’ four times cleansing your physical, subtle, causal, and turiya levels of your energy system – these are the different states of your Conciousness.
  • Then lastly pause and rest in stillness.
  • This may be all that is needed but if it is a powerful event for you then by all means repeat the exercise another time until you feel a sense of strength and empowerment return to you.
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Meditation and the Elements – Air

 Breathe in deeply. I mean it – take a breath and breathe in deeply so you can feel the air flow past your nostrils. Then breathe out and feel your chest sink and your body relax. Now  do this again until you have done it three times before reading any more…..

 Do you feel any different? And do you feel better? When you breathed in did it feel like the air was blowing away the cobwebs in your brain? And when you breathed out did you feel yourself relaxing, letting go?

 Most of us have fond memories of walking outside in nature on a beautiful day and feeling the breeze blowing through our hair.  You know those times when you can just stand there because it is like the wind is blowing all your cares away. It feels purifying, vitalizing and relaxing all at the same time. Well welcome to wonderful element of air!

 Of course you can’t see air. You can watch the clouds blow across the sky or the trees sway in the wind. And the fact that it is not as solid as the other elements hints at its mutable and less stable qualities.

 Air surrounds us all yet it does not hold anything. As mentioned you can’t see air but you can feel it move. Air can move fast and so is virtually impossible to grasp. So it’s not surprising air is associated with thought, communication, travel, intellect, abstract thinking, detachment joy, laughter, and freedom.

 ‘Airy people’ are quick and animated and tend to intellectualize their feelings and expectations. They also apply their energies in very diverse ways. So if you are feeling bogged down and can’t come up with the right ideas why not tune into the element of air in your meditations to inspire you.

 If you would like to connect in with the balancing healing qualities of the element of air try out the ‘Air’ track on our Dru Meditation DVD, which aims to help you feel calm and tranquil. It draws on pranayama to take you into deep relaxation.

 In Hinduism the word for air is vāyu and the word for wind is pavana. The Sanskrit translation of vāyu is “blower”, and prāna is “breathing” (viz. the breath of life). This is interesting because the deity that is known as the spiritual son of Vayu (air) is known as Pavana (wind) Suta Hanuman. Hanuman is strong and plays an important role in the Hindu’s spiritual life and it’s not surprising that he is associated with pranayama (breathwork).  And pranayama is one of the most important tools in the toolbox of both the yogi and meditator.

 Pranayama-the ancient yogic science that deals with the control of the life-force within our bodies, is achieved by the control of the breath through the practice of various breathing exercises. And its benefits are many.

 The ancient yogis knew that the length of life is not determined by the number of years, but by the number of breaths that we breathe.

 Pranayama also helps to balance the emotions and bring calm and clarity to the mind. But most importantly for the meditator, it prepares you in a focused way to go deeper in to the stillness of meditation. I highly encourage you to explore practicing pranayama before each of your meditation sessions.

 You can learn more about pranayama for meditation in the Dru Meditation training course, at our Dru Meditation retreats and in our Dru Meditation Online Course.

If you would like a calm clear mind for the New Year here is a simple technique:

MEDITATION FOR A CALM CLEAR MIND

  • find a quiet spot
  • sit in a comfortable position – chair or floor
  • close your eyes
  • back straight shoulders relaxed
  •  relax by visualising a smile flowing upwards from feet to head
  • become aware of your breath in and out and focus at third eye centre
  • breathe in 4: pause for 4: breathe out 4: pause for 4
  • do this several times then sit in silence for a few minutes

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Meditation and the Elements – Fire

 When you think of the element of fire and what it represents, what springs to mind for you?  Do you associate fire with passion and creativity, burning hot anger or perhaps energy and willpower?  And when you think about fire do you visualize a still silent flame or the power of roaring undirected wild fire?  Do you ever crave the light and warmth of the sun or enjoy the flames of a dancing campfire?

 As you can see fire can have many meanings and memories attached to it and each of us will relate to fire in different ways according to our temperaments. But often fire energy is seen as the element that gives as get up and go and even passion to reach for our dreams.

Culturally fire and the flame have always played an important role. Fire was the lifegiving force that brought warmth and cooked food in the hearth. So often this element was at the heart of a home. But the signficance of fire far goes beyond a tool of survival and socialisation.

For Hindus fire is a very important element for their spiritual practice. Agni, the god of fire, is said to be the messenger between God and so many offerings are given to Agni in sacred fire ceremonies called yagnas.  Flames also made in divas or diva lamps are offered to other deities with great love and homage. Outwardly such offerings symbolize an inward giving to a higher awareness.

And the Masai are also said to send messages through the medium of fire. They believe that when we sit in quiet communion with the flames of fire that we meet in the heart of the fire.  The fire is seen as that place where our souls and thoughts merge.  Fire can be seen then, to send our prayers, dreams and visions to the Gods.

So you can see the element of fire is very important in psyche and because of its potency it can be used to direct our meditation in powerful ways. Simply lighting a candle flame can be seen as opening a telephone line between ourselves and God or visualising a flame internally could burn away thoughts or tensions that no longer serve us.

Here is a special treat – an abridged version of a flame meditation from the Dru Meditation Online Course. Perhaps you might like to record yourself reading it out and then play it back so you can go deeply into meditation. This highly charged meditation uses the flame to help to clear the effects of anger or frustration from your body.

 The Flame Meditation for Dissolving Angerdownload as a pdf.

You would think focusing on a flame would fan the fires of anger. But you can use the element of fire in a directed way to heal and balance. You just need to use carefully chosen descriptives so that the heat of anger can be replaced with a relaxed glowing brilliance of creativity.

 For a different version using a flame in meditation try the ‘Light’ track on the Dru Meditation DVD – it uses a flame to heal your body and mind by drawing on the power of light to renew.

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Meditation and the Elements – water

 

You know how good it feels when you go for a walk by the ocean or by a quiet rambling stream in a lush forest. Well you get that feeling of wellbeing because the elements in nature have the power to clear your mind and settle your emotions. Nature has an inherent power to heal and the elements specifically can bring you balance.

Each element acts on our body/mind systems in different ways. Fire can impassion and invigorate you, the earth can ground and center you, the air can open your mind and clear your thoughts, and water has the ability to balance your emotions.

Our bodies are made up of 70 to 90 per cent water. Whatever the exact figure that’s a lot, as our bodies are mostly water.

Water and the moon
Many associate the moon with the watery element and our emotions.  The moon has the power to affect the tides of the ocean with its gravity. So it’s not inconceivable to see the connection between the moons phases and our own emotional states since the moon has such an affect on the earth’s water bodies and being that our own bodies are made up of majority of water.

At full moon when the moonlight is at its strongest, we are more likely to have more energy.  Those noticeably affected by the moon may feel heightened emotions or have many persistent thoughts.

So you can see the moon has a powerful effect on the water in our body, which in turn effects our emotions. Here is an exercise that you can do to specifically to use water and the moon to balance your emotions.

Swadhisthana Dharanam
Sit comfortably and take your awareness to your forehead and imagine that you can breathe in and out of your forehead.  Stay here for a few minutes, then follow the breath down to the lungs on an exhalation.  With each in-breath, allow your awareness to sink further – to the hips, and then to abdomen. Feel the rising and falling of the abdomen as you breathe and visualise seashore at night with the waves breaking on the shore.  There is a connection with your breath and belly, and what you see.  As you breathe out the waves break and the abdomen expands and as you breathe in the abdomen contracts and the sea withdraws.  Visualise the crescent moon rising over the ocean, casting a reflection in the sea and forming a path to you. Feel your awareness move across the sea away form the turbulent shore into the calmness of the ocean.  Focus on the crescent moo with a sense of expansiveness and then be still and silent for a few moments.  Make the affirmation “within me I already have everything I could ever want”.  To finish bend over and rest your forehead to the floor for a few moments grounding any feelings of spaciousness and then gently come up.

 

This exercise is one of the concentration techniques to be found in our Dru Yoga Teacher Training – a brilliant course that adds to one’s skills as a meditator. For more information about the course visit our yoga teacher training page at http://www.druworldwide.com.

Yoga and meditation has the power to bring balance into our lives but as mentioned previously so do the elements themselves. Water has the power to help us on many levels. Just as it cleans our body it can cleanse our minds, emotions and our energy fields. It can invigorate us with its’ movement, it can help us flow more with life. Water can cool down heated frustrations and agitated thoughts. Water also helps us come to turns with sadness and grief.

So when we focus on the element of water in meditation it can helps us do all of this and more. It can also help us flow more with what life brings us, it can settle our emotions so that we can be more still and peaceful, and it can cleanse our energy systems so that we are clearer to face life.

Amazing hey? So if you would like to experience guided meditations that use the elements to balance you, then please try our new Dru Meditation DVD shot in stunning locations throughout Australia. You can get it from our Dru shop online.  It has guided meditations designed specifically to use the elements to bring

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