Meditation and the Elements – Earth

Ever had that feeling like you are not quite here or are a bit floaty? Or perhaps you feel a bit scattered or are noticing that you are losing things or injuring yourself. Or maybe you are stressed and just rushed off your feet and can’t slow down. Often these occurrences can be symptoms of simply not being grounded! What is being grounded you say?

Well it’s when you feel centered, you mind is clear and you are anchored with vitality in your body. Your thinking is focused and it’s not drifting in to the past or in to the future but your thoughts stay in the present – so you are grounded in your body and in the present moment!

One of the best ways to get grounded is by connecting with the element of earth in meditation. It may seem to be an oxymoron to get grounded in meditation but actually good meditators don’t float away. The are instead aware, very, very aware of everything. They just may choose to harness the power of concentration (or dharanam) to be aware of that which takes them deepest into meditative states. ‘That something’ could be an object, a mantra (a sacred word repeated), or even their body and the sensations it holds.  And of course the object of meditative awareness can also be an element of the natural world– even the most solid of them all– the earth.

You will learn more about the power of concentration and dharnam’s on our chakra dharanam CD’s or in our Dru Yoga Teacher Training courses. But if you want to experience the penultimate of earth meditations, that try our Dru Meditation DVD that has an earth meditation for its first track. Remember this DVD specifically focuses on the elements in nature to help you meditate.

Even in the brief nine minutes it takes to do the meditation from this DVD you can relax and unwind from a busy day and then feel peaceful, strong and empowered. Why does the focusing on the earth help you feel that way? Lets look at a few of the qualities of the earth:

  • still/peaceful
  • balanced/solid
  • strong/enduring

When you concentrate on taking your awareness down to the earth – you first take the focus away from the wafty thoughts in your head to the more tangible feelings in your body. Then when you focus on the earth itself these qualities of strength, peacefulness and solidity become imbibed into you as states of being. Goodbye scattyness, hello feelings of calm and being centred and secure.

Like to try it for yourself?

Short Earth Meditation

  • Sit on a chair and begin to slow down and deepen your breath. Allow your awareness to sink with each slow breath in.
  • So breathe in and feel the air in your nostrils fill your head.  Then breathe out. Now breathe in again a little deeper and fill your chest with oxygen. Breathe out and your chest sinks.
  • The next time you breathe in see if you can sense the diaphragm lower while both the chest and belly expand. Breathe out chest sinks, naval draws in.
  • Breathe in once again this time really noticing the abdomen extend and on the outbreath relax and sink into the chair and notice the solidity of your pelvis and buttocks on the seat.
  • Breathe in again and take your focus down the body and even down the legs to the feet. Relax the body even more on the out breath.
  • Lastly breathe in taking your awareness down the body, notice those parts of your body touching the chair and the floor and relax so much that it is if you sink further onto the solid earth beneath.
  • Feel the solidness of what lays below you – it lies still and peaceful. Allow that stillness and peace to permeate your awareness. You feel solid, heavy, and unmovable like the earth. Enjoy being here for a moment.
  • Then when you are ready breathe in and slowly bring your awareness back up your body to your chest. As you gradually increase the speed of the breath you feel your lungs with life giving oxygen and your body with energy.
  • And when you are ready open your eyes and stretch

In the Dru Meditation Teacher Training the whole first module helps to retrain you to focus on your body and to really be aware of the sensations there. There really is no point in moving to the higher levels of consciousness until you feel comfortable and grounded here because the physical layer is your foundation. Being acutely mindful of your physicality is the reason Mindfulness Meditation is being used so successful in so many arenas now, because it takes your awareness in to your body where you find the same earthy qualities of stillness and calm while guiding you to observe and not be attached to what you sense. And with practice you cultivate the abiding mind that the stresses of the world cant touch.

But what is even more useful to know is how you can build on this physical awareness to actually redesign your physical body, emotions and mind and in fact your world!  But I’ve jumped the gun a little, as the secrets for that are revealed later in the Dru meditation training. Perhaps I’ll see you there!

Posted in Meditation Posts | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Meditation and the chakra’s part 3 – balancing heart to head

 

The journey between head and heart is one of the most important journeys of all and reflects our personalities acceleration to a more refined consciousness.

When we enter the zones of the chakras above manipura our consciousness isn’t as laden with unconscious impulses. However, out of balance even these chakras can create some interesting experiences in our lives.

At this point we are beginning  to connect in with the higher and some would say more spiritual realms. It’s through these chakras that we experience unconditional love, a vision for our lives and can listen more to the needs of others.

As a pre-requisite to any meditation on chakras one must as matter of course start with meditation on the Ajna centre for a few minutes (this is the point between the two eyebrows also known as the third eye centre) and then go on to focus on the lower chakra centres. To complete the process it is best to rest in Anahata, the heart centre, for a short time before coming out of your meditation. For a great experience of this try our Chakra Dharanam 2 CD.

Anahata (heart chakra)
Our ability to be generous, to love, and to have compassion and kindness, all emanates from the flowering heart chakra. So often someone’s heart is hardened when they don’t express these qualities. But this hardening can also apply to a person who closes their heart in protection when they have been hurt. It is important to cultivate a strong heart that is able to stay open to life’s experiences.

One way to balance Anahata is to imagine in your heart a beautiful green leafy garden lush and overflowing with life and see rosey pink flowers blossoming amongst the greenness. In this garden feel the fullness as you appreciate the sheer beauty of the love that is inside of you.

VIshuddhi (throat chakra)

Whether we can communicate effectively is often dependent on the shape this chakra is in, as does the clarity of the discernment that we need when making choices.  When the throat is not constricted by things that we can’t accept, then we can feel a sense of freedom in this chakra. To balance vishuddhi imagine turquoise blue water washing this chakra clearing away anything that stops you speaking your truth or any thing that you feel you have to swallow because you cant accept it in your life.

Ajna (brow chakra)

In this centre you can discern your life purpose – and develop the inner vision to intuit the most appropriate courses of action in your life. To help you develop these qualities and balance this chakra, you can imagine an indigo night sky creating a sense of vastness in this chakra. As you focus on the indigo colour between the brows notice how detached your feel as you rise above any emotions to a place of stillness. And as this chakra opens up allow a sense of knowing to arise regarding any situation that you need clarity on.

Sahasraha (crown chakra)
As mentioned in the first blog, at the crown centre there is no separation and we have an innate knowing that we are all connected as one. This chakra of unity can never be out of balance – it’s just that we are not conscious of that unity. Perhaps the best way of connecting to the crown is to imagine a many petaled white lotus blossoming at the crown. You might even see the petals reaching out all around and that through it you connect with everything and all beings.

Once again simply taking our awareness in to these higher chakra areas for just a few minutes can help us to transform. So incorporating these techniques in to your meditation will not only enhance your practice, but your life.

To experience more of the wonderful world of the chakras check out Dru’s Chakra Dharanam CD available at our shop online http://www.druworldwide.com. And if you would like to explore the chakras on much deeper levels try our Dru meditation and yoga teacher training courses for both personal and professional development (more info also on the Dru site). These courses will guide you on a journey to get to know the chakras that reside within you. So have fun making the inner journey!

Posted in Meditation Posts | Leave a comment

Meditation and the chakra’s – balancing the first 3 centre’s

 

The last time that I spoke about the chakras and meditation I talked about them as regions of consciousness through which we shape the experience of our world.

Now just think about the potentiality of that statement! It means that when we work with our chakras we can actually start to design our lives as we want them.

You can learn techniques to optimise your chakras – the power centres – on our latest Dru Meditation DVD available at our online shop. But through the power of visualisation there are some things you can easily do yourself.

Lets look in more detail at how we can use guided imagery in meditation to create not just peace of mind but success in our lives.

There are various ways to meditate on your chakras but here are some basic suggestions to include in your meditation practice. Even three minutes focusing on balancing each chakra with their key colours can change a lot in your life.

As a pre-requisite to any meditation on chakras one must as matter of course start with meditation on the Ajna centre for a few minutes (this is the point between the two eyebrows also known as the third eye centre) and then go on to focus on the lower chakra centres. To complete the process it is best to rest in Anahata, the heart centre, for a short time before coming out of your meditation. For a great experience of this try our Chakra Dharanam 1 CD.

Mooladhara (base chakra)
If you find that you are having financial troubles or are having difficulty getting settled in a home then it’s a sure bet that your base chakra is out of balance. This centre gives us our basic sense of security and also groundedness. Take your awareness down to the area between the coccyx and the perineum. Imagine a beautiful red flower blossoming there pulsating with life. Feel yourself connected with and supported by the earth and as you do, know that all aspects of your own life will be supported also.

Swadhistana (sacral chakra)

Some of the most prevalent issues that we face in our society are relationship difficulties. The sacral centre shapes not only our relationships but also our attachments to others or things and this includes addictions. Whether these attachments are healthy for us or not depends on if this centre is in balance. Imagine an orange sky before the sun rises in the region below the naval or in sacral bone region. Feel your relationships harmonizing as you focus on this orange glow or perhaps allow any unhelpful desires to melt in the warming orange dawn light.

Manipura (solar plexus chakra)

Are you feeling a bit low in self-esteem or having difficulty manifesting your dreams? Balancing the naval or solar plexus centre will help boost your self confidence, assist you with manifesting what you need, and it will also enhance your zest for life. Imagine a radiant yellow sun just below or around the naval area. Feel the yellow golden flames of the sun invigorate you with energy, strengthening your resolve to create the life you want, and empowering you in all that you do.

We will leave the top chakras for next blog. In the mean time would you like other potent meditations for designing your life? Try the new Dru Meditation Course Online that has been recently made available in the UK. http://www.druworldwide.com/meditation/online_meditation_course .

Or go another layer deeper again and try your hand at the Dru Meditation Teacher Training course. Whether you want to teach or not, this is a brilliant in-depth course into Meditation but this time focusing on the koshas and like any in-depth meditation course, it will indeed transform your life.

Posted in Meditation Posts | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Meditation and the light part 2

flame that transforms Using light to experience meditation

Light has the power to captivate us whether in its’ form as sunlight, moonlight, starlight or fire. Every culture on earth has honoured the light, worshipping not only its vital practical place in our lives but also its greater mysteries.

When something fascinates us, it can be used as a very potent tool for meditation. And why is this so? Because it’s always easier to stay focused on something that we are interested in, something we like. When we have that level of one-pointed focus then we actually can become at one with the object of our fascination – this is when we experience true meditation.

For example, last time I spoke about light I encouraged you to stare at the brilliance of a golden candle flame. With practice you can fill your whole awareness with this flame. This one-pointed focus stills the mind as the mind’s whole attention becomes harnessed.  But if we take this further and are so absorbed that we become the object of our attention (the flame itself) then suddenly we become a living flame of light ourselves.

What we focus on we become

The ancient texts say our real nature of being is much closer to the light of a flame in our structure than our physical bodies. The fact that so many sacred scriptures allude to our light of being not only highlights why light is such a good subject to meditate upon, but it also shows that we should be wise where we focus our attention.

If we become focused on negative events from the past or are fearful of things that may happen in the future, then that is where our minds can become stuck. If so much of our minds are focused on the past, then through the law of attraction we may simply repeat the same even if we didn’t like the events last time, as the mind acts as a subconscious magnet. And if we focus on our fears of what is to come rather than the possible solutions to our worries, then we might just draw to ourselves the very things we are afraid of for the same reason.

The science of manifestation is based on universal laws such as the energy you put out is the energy you will get back. So the more of what you think about is the very thing you attract. This phenomena was unveiled in the film The Secret and it shows the power of the mind to create our world. It hands back much of the responsibility and the power for creating the outcome of our lives.

The light beyond all lights
All the great traditions talk about light as a metaphor for consciousness or our highest potential of consciousness. Science also talks about a unity consciousness in terms of the quantum mind or the holographic field. This is the same collective field or light that we have been talking about.

So if you are serious about seeking the truth of your being then you will be discerning about placing your attention only in to places of unity consciousness. So meditating upon the light of a flame can open a doorway of realisation in to the great light of your real being. Sound like a good idea?

For more information about using the power of light in meditation why not read The Flame that Transforms available at our Dru shop http://www.druworldwide.com. It not only has empowering and inspiring stories about the light but also other ways to use the light of a flame in meditation too.

For those who have done some Dru teacher training and who want to move beyond the tools taught there to even deeper spiritual realization then Dru’s new The Steps to Enlightenment Course is for you. It’s aim – to take you to a place where you will know that great light within all of the time! If you want to know more about this course please email us.

Posted in Meditation Posts | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Music and Meditation

Music is a powerful mood enhancer

You know how the right piece of music can help you feel really good sometimes?

Well music is so powerful that it can take you in to the depths of sadness or it can raise you to great heights.

Music can also play a potent role in meditation too. The right piece of music can quickly relax people and take them in to deep stillness, especially if it’s consistent and soothing.

But the wrong piece of music can be a complete distraction in meditation. Put on a piece of music that has words of a song that you know and you may find you are singing that song in your head rather than doing the meditation. Or put on a piece of music that has jarring melody and you may find yourself wriggling, unable to sit still.

Some pieces of music can also be used to anchor new states of consciousness. For example, string music can take you in to your heart, high flute music may evoke blissful feelings that help you to feel ‘at one’ while music with drums can help earth you back in to your body.

Meditation is often a journey where first people relax, then they become still and peaceful and affirmations can drop in, and lastly they become more enlivened and awake. Anyone could try changing the tone of background music during a meditation but to do this takes skill.

One of our Australian Dru Meditators, Greg Carlin, is a professional guitarist. He has been playing background music to relaxations and meditations in some of the Dru Yoga Teacher Training courses. He uses live music skillfully to tone match to the words of the person leading the meditations – first in a relaxing way, and then he changes the mood to take people to stillness. When people are being brought out of a relaxed state the music becomes livelier. Some of our students have said the gradual shift to uplifting and rousing music at the end has helped them to come back in to their bodies and to be more enthusiastic about doing it!

So you see, your choice of music can powerfully affect your own meditation experience as well as those of anyone you may teach. So why not experiment and see for yourself. And any time you come across some good meditation music, do ask about it, and let me know how you go.

There are two pieces of music that I use to help people go in to deep relaxed states. And believe me these CDs work as people often ask me what was playing. The CD’s I use are:

music for meditation CDs

Here are some excellent music for meditation

Posted in Meditation Posts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Meditation and Mantras 2

Between 1990 and 1992  I was part of project called Friendship without Frontiers where a group of three people travelled to over 41 countries connecting with other projects that were making a difference in every field of  human endeavor. I was one of those three people. One of our jobs was to publicize all the amazing things that were happening towards the sustainability of our planet and its people. One such visit we made was to a Yoga and Peace conference in the Pocono Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania where there was a gathering of amazing spiritual teachers and traditions.

Here I met an amazing young married man. We struck up a conversation at the conference reception desk because I shared them same name as his wife. We got talking and went to our first workshop on sound and mantra. A famous Swami  in America started chanting Bija Mantra’s (which are seed sound vibrations that when chanted correctly can manifest the thing they represent so, for example, Ram is a bija mantra that brings the power of light into being so in the old days some rishi’s used  this sound vibration to light their fires!)

The young man was sitting beside me started moving slightly oddly. I wasn’t sure what was happening to him at first, I asked him softly whether he was alright. He replied the bija mantra the swami was chanting was having an effect on his chakras. We left the talk and went out in the garden where he explained  to me about his spiritual awakening. He asked me to chant some mantras and asked me  to perceive where they resided in his body. His body took a particular mudra as I chanted the mantra. I am no psychic, but I could easily perceive where the mantra and the deities lay in the body which surprised me. He then showed me charts of drawings  he had made showing the psychic anatomy of a human being which were revealed to him in his meditations and he compared these to the Yogic texts and realised that what  has been written  a long time a go was indeed true! His teaching to me was – Rita don’t ever doubt the scriptures, yogic texts for they are true! My very small experience had already etched that truth in my heart.

I use bija mantra’s for health and harmony and  also share these with people I mentor where appropriate. A well known Bija mantra is ‘Om’ which is good one to chant before sitting down for Meditation. David Frawley in his book Ayurveda and the Mind has this to say about Om:” Om the most important of all mantras.  It represents the divine word itself. It serves to energise and empower all things and processes. Therefore all mantras begin and end with Om”.

If you would like use the Om chant as a meditation practise then chant om loudly, visualize it travelling up from the base of your spine  up to the third eye centre several times.  Then chant the om silently within with the same visualisation and then sit in silence.

Posted in Meditation Posts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Meditation and Mantras

What is a Mantra?

“Mantras are specially energised sounds or words. They may be simple single sounds like Om or special phrases or prayers intoned or sung in various ways. Mantra is the main and the most direct ayurvedic tool for healing the mind, from its deepest layers to its surface actions…. The word mantra means ‘that which saves the mind” Dr David Frawley

Thomas Ashley-Ferrand says “Mantra is a sanskrit word that describes a spiritual formula. This formula is exact and has been tested by ancient rishis (sages) of old India. Mantra formulas work in specific ways, bringing energy and consciousness into the spine, the shushumna, and to chakras located along the spine for a specific purpose, producing a specific effect. Mantras can also be used in all sorts of ways for health and healing, increasing abundance, aligning one with soul purpose, clearing obstacles etc. Mantras have been used for 1000’s years to awaken one to the highest level of consciousness which is our soul purpose – to live from the highest and the best in us.” There-in lies our true fulfillment.

Did you know that your breath is a mantra? if you listen carefully you can hear ‘ha’ on the in-breath and ‘sa’ on the out-breath.

Mantra’s are one of the most effective tools to penetrate and our purify our kosha’s, and align us with the deepest in us.  Sound penetrates all the kosha’s. This fact is well recognized even  by the medical profession, nurses are trained to talk to patients who have gone into deep states of coma as the sense of hearing is still present.

We are ‘sound’ bodies. Einstein’s famous equation E=Mc2 amongst many things, proved that not only is energy and matter interchangeable but at the very core of creation, all life is a pool of energy. This energy vibrates at different rates and that is what creates the differences in forms. What makes a table different from a wall is the oscillation of this pool of energy. All life is created of this vibratory energy. Therefore sound can effect change in creation. Human beings are walking sound bodies. Sound vibration can effect change in human beings.

The yogis discovered  through their meditation practices that the spiritual anatomy of a human being consists of energy centres called chakras and energy pathways called nadis (which correspond on the the physical level to our endocrine and nervous system). Mantras work directly in the chakras because there is a relationship between the sacred language sanskrit, chakras, and mantras. There are fifty letters in the sanskrit alphabet. Each solitary vibration of each letter is attuned to a petal on one of the chakras. If you add up the all the petals on the six major chakras located along the spine you arrive at the total of fifty: the same number of letters as in the Sanskrit alphabet. This is no accident. Each petal vibrates in resonance with one of the the petals on one of the chakras. Therefore I state again we are “sound” bodies. We can use mantras to align with the deepest part in ourselves and live in our power.

Which mantra to use as there are so many?  You will find you will be drawn to mantras that you need. There are some general ones that can be used by all. The one I am going to focus on is the Gayatri.

The Gayatri mantra is one of the better known mantra’s here in the west. In India it is taught to children at a very early age to sharpen the intellect and illumine their minds. The Gayatri is unique in that it is a prayer, a meditation, and a praise of the Supreme Lord in the form of a light, all rolled into one.

My mother Lakshmi intiated us (my brothers and sisters) into it when we were children about seven years old.  Since that time I have chanted it for many years morning and evening.  However I did not realise the efficacy and power of it until I was in my early thirties.  One night I had a  horrific nightmare and I woke up sweating and in shock. I started chanting the Gayatri mantra as if in automatic pilot. I felt a light rise from my feet  through my spine to my head and it totally cleared away any negative feelings, emotions and the fear I had just experienced. I felt totally in my power and strong in my heart. I couldn’t believe the transformation I had undergone in those few minutes. I realised that all those years of constant practise of the Gayatri had come to my rescue! For the first time I  realised the power of mantra meditation for myself. Not surprisingly, mantra meditation forms a strong basis of my own personal spiritual practise.

The Himalayan institute say this about the Gayatri Mantra: ‘Gayatri is a mantra of physical, emotional, and mental healing, purifying the subtle karmas, protection from the onslaught of obstacles, and of spiritual awakening or Self-realization’.

Om Bhur Bhuva Svaha

Tat Savitur Varenyam

Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi

Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat.

A beautiful translation  of the Gayatri mantra I came across  is in the book  ‘The Secret Power Of Light’ by Dr Mansukh Patel:

‘We contemplate on the adorable qualities of the sun, the earth, the sky and the heavens, that we may be absorbed in their great light and energy. Please stimulate and inspire our power of spiritual perception and lead us in the way of the great ones to do great and noble deeds’.

The Gayatri mantra is a universal mantra of light, may it bring illumination to your lives.

Posted in Meditation Posts | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments