If you have ever felt frustration about not having enough time to meditate regularly or do the things you think would bring you a deeper sense of connection with life and your inner wisdom, don’t despair.
We live in a busy world. There are so many things competing for our attention, and it’s easy to think we’re all time poor. Yet, in fact, I believe we already have our own unique ways of accessing that sense of inner connection, even in the midst of busy life. You just might not call it meditation, or mindfulness, or anything in particular. I’m writing this article to highlight the opportunity to make your unconscious reaching for that connection more conscious, and thereby alleviating some of that sense of frustration or inadequacy that we feed ourselves when we don’t live up to our own expectations.
There is a beautiful book I’ve enjoyed reading over the past year called “The Radiance Sutras: 112 Gateways to the Yoga of Wonder & Delight”. This is a modern-day and beautiful poetic translation by a meditation teacher of many years, Lorin Roche. The translation is based on an ancient sanskrit text known as the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, which is set up as a conversation between two lovers, Bhairava and Devi. They discuss the 112 ways of yoga meditation.
What occurred to me as I read and reread the various sutras and their interpretations and applications detailed so beautifully by Lorin Roche, is that there are endless ways to meditate. All it takes is an openness to be here in this moment, and follow the thread of what is ‘up’ for you right now. This is not mysterious – you don’t need to hold your body a particular way, or breath in a particular way, or wear special clothes.
Yet, you might do all of those things too.
The main point is to bring your heart into the picture in a few mindful moments. I feel there is an innate intelligence in each of us that is connected into a much bigger picture, a bigger source. When we simply open our heart, whether in a formal meditation session of sitting quietly, breathing consciously and taking the attention inwards OR as we take the dog for a walk and notice the crispness of the autumn air, the sights and smells, and tune into the movements of our body – we can access this innate intelligence any time we choose. And the more often we NOTICE these moments, the deeper and more consistently we feel that sense of connection with innate intelligence.
We each have ways of meditating, whether we call it that or not. Our body is a rich source of information, and each of our senses can be used to access a sense of mindful connection to life. To me, this is an incredibly liberating thought and validation of my own wisdom. Below is my version of a ‘Listening Meditation’ that you might like to try… I fit it into my day several times on a regular basis and always enjoy the sensation of it.
Right now, whatever you are doing, just listen. Keep doing what you’re doing while (as much as you can) letting your thinking and interpretation of the sounds around you subside. Let your ears be radiant organs, and just hear what you hear, without interpretation. Clink, swish, clunk, tap tap tap, tweet, swoosh, hmmmmm. Let the sounds be present and feel into your body as you listen. What do you notice?
There, you’ve just had a mindful moment. Easy, isn’t it?
Now, in the week ahead, notice those moments where you’re feeling connected into life, and see… what form of meditation are you creating right now? Which of your senses is most engaged in this activity – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell? A combination of all these senses? Likely there is a path for you to follow here, simply trust that your inner wisdom guides you perfectly and beautifully. Enjoy the exploration!
My friend Tina Shettigara, who is the director of the yoga studio I teach at in Torrensville, Yoga Spirit Studios, has recently written an excellent blog on Nada Yoga – Self–Realisation Through Sound that you might find of interest. It all just highlights to me that we are marvellously made, and opportunities to access our deepest sense of wellbeing are right here, at our fingertips, even in the midst of our busy busy lives.