Monday, November 29, 2010
A friend recently sent an email and asked for a suggestion for a mantra she could use for meditation. I thought about this and could think only of one mantra I could suggest. The Ajapa (total awareness with the least effort) mantra. The mantra of the breath.
The aliveness that has mesmerized me for all these years seems to be inextricably linked with the movement of the incoming and outgoing breath that weaves it's way through the little rivers of the body - and the complicated web of thought.
Have you had the opportunity to spend some time with your breath?
Sometimes it feels like sitting down with an old friend. Old in knowing - and in connection to you. Never tells you what to do - in fact makes you listen very keenly in order for you to pick up any sort of clue that illuminates the present moment. Speaks in riddles and also knows how to uncover very old emotions and patterns in you. Somehow wants only the best for you, there is a very warm and tender undertone that is the current to each cycle. Grandmotherly.
I recently spent some time in the desert in Moab, Utah. I was there while a storm hit Indian Creek. I could watch the tumble weeds coming from afar, one after the other, and following them small dust tornadoes and the wall of darkness. The scene reminded me of the mind. The tumble weeds being the thoughts, the dust storms being the turbulence of the uneasy breath that preambles a storm of anger or sadness in the mind. Coming out of this storm it settled me knowing that the earth has these conflicts.
I once heard that the quality of the mind is just like the wind blowing through the trees. Completely random, coming from all directions. Completely natural.
After the storm the wind calmed and the breath of the mother settled and there was this tangible sense of peace.
Even the earth has short and long breaths and she embraces both her darkness and her light. She realizes there is an undercurrent of tenderness and love underneath. She IS that undercurrent. The sound of silence between all the sounds that is always there... the quality of the equanimous blue sky that is behind all the weather patterns.
It is all beautiful. It is all happening.
1.Breathing in long, know breathing in long.
Breathing out long, know breathing out long.
2. Breathing in short, know breathing in short.
Breathing out short, know breathing out short.
3. Breathing in, experience the whole body (sabba kaya).
Breathing out, experience the whole body.
4. Breathing in, calm the body-conditioned breath (kaya sankhaara).
Breathing out, calm the body-conditioned breath.
5. Breathing in, experience joy.
Breathing out, experience joy.
6. Breathing in, experience happiness.
Breathing out, experience happiness.
"Blow firmly and very slowly into the hole of the thunderbolt with a suitable hollow stalk to allow air movement."
Hatha Yoga Pradipika