Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meditation: The Expansiveness of Interbeing

I want to share the effects of purification, joy and connection that I am experiencing after only three days of practicing the Spirit Voyage 40 day Global Sadhana.  This is the first time that I have committed to a daily, structured meditation practice.  Usually I meditate on my own and there are certain days that I fall short and do not practice.  I love the simplicity of this particular structured practice and the 15 minute time slot makes it easier to commit and keep up.  Here is the link in case you would like to jump in and try it out at any time:
If this is something that appeals to you, I encourage you to follow the Spirit Voyage community on Facebook.  I briefly glanced yesterday at the discussion about how this 40 day practice is going so far, for many people.  I was excited to see other people having experiences similar to mine.

The practice is purifying because of the cleansing and cooling breath exercises, the mudra (position of the arms and hands) and the chanting.  I have felt a burning sensation in my solar plexus after a few minutes of the practice, and I am finding that the sensation returns several times throughout the day during my regular activities. 

I feel like the practice is already altering my characteristic energy.  I have also noticed that just as in quiet, sitting meditation, thoughts and emotions arise but I feel like they cycle through more quickly in this practice, almost as if they are falling away from my body.  I specifically feel like this meditation practice is helping me to churn through residual anger and bitterness that I carry around with me.  I am usually unaware of these feelings during a normal day, but they come up when I am driving, when I think about certain people and during certain interactions.  Meditation helps me to pinpoint these harmful emotions and to start letting them go, releasing them from my body.  I feel that this is a great practice for burning through ego, as well. 

Now, on to the joy and connection: I took extra time to do sitting meditation following the sadhana yesterday.  During that 20 minute period, I had some blissful visions.  It is a relief to the body to commence normal breathing after 15 minutes of focused effort.  I reconnected with the simple in and out breath, and said to myself several times, "Thank you, God." A line from the Foo Fighters song, Everlong, came to me: "Breathe out so I can breathe you in."  Sitting there quietly, I wanted to breathe in the Holy Spirit, the energy that fuels the cosmos and everything in it...the energy that fuels me.  I imagined the breath of Heaven, the breath of life, flowing into my lungs and filling them up.  I felt the tears on my face, and I knew that my body was shedding bitterness.  Moments like that are when we feel our hearts softening.  I felt the expansion and contraction of my lungs, and I saw the expansion and contraction of the oceans, the tides, the Earth.  In that moment I felt the inescapable connection that I have to God and all of creation.  I imagined the cells in my body expanding and contracting, my physical heart expanding and contracting to circulate blood.  I felt and heard my heart beating.  I had a vision of my heart as the center of my being, and then of the red, hot center of the Earth.  I saw the red and glowing center of the Earth as if it were the bud of a flower that kept pushing up and through, moving ever towards the sky.  Layers upon layers of glowing, hot, red petals moved up and out as new layers replaced them.  The dying petals fell back into the Earth, into black.  I felt in that moment a connection to both life and death. I did not feel separate from life, or from death.  I felt interconnected. 

“To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing." - Thich Nhat Hanh

I am experiencing interbeing through this practice. 

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