Yoga Sūtras (III.2) tells us “A steady, continuous flow of attention directed towards the same point or region is meditation (dhyāna).”
Zen is the Japanese way of saying the Chinese character 禅 (Chan). This in turn is the Chinese version of the Sanskrit word Dhyāna, which refers to meditative absorption. The same concept can be present in a different word as knowledge is passed down. Don’t be confused by labels. Learn to look at the essence!
Spiritual practice is the understanding of living and dying. One form of spiritual practice is meditation. The attainment of health starts by strengthening the body. A strong sharp mind can help us reach the goal and meditation helps to attain such a mind.
The mind, like a horse tends to wander here and there. It is very hard to yoke. Yoga is the art of yoking. Meditation practice is a very important form of traditional Yoga practice. Let the mind observe and perceive information from the body, as to awaken the connection between body and mind.
Most of us don’t like to practice meditation. We might see a lot of stuff in the mind and we are pulled in different directions. When we see our mind wandering around, that’s actually a good sign for meditation. This means we begin to be aware of what’s going on in the mind rather than neglecting it. When this awareness begins, then it’s possible to do the next step. Through the exercise of meditation, we learn how to guide our senses instead of letting them be in charge and gradually we are able to concentrate on the goal we choose even in a critical situation.
Meditation is a way to sharpen the mind and strengthen the 6th Chakra – the Brow Chakra. When this Chakra is firmly established, the brain will have a bigger capacity to receive more information and we will have better memory. It also helps us broaden our perspective and enable us to identify signs from the body, so we know what we can work on.
· Sit in a comfortable position. (Sitting on a folded blanket helps to keep the pelvis in neutral position.)
· Start at 5 minutes and gradually extend to 10 minutes. Keep face and neck relaxed.
· Repeat “May I be free from anger and anxiety” in the mind a few times to settle down.
· Observer the breath; let the mind follow the breath.
Listen and practice
For more information about mindful breathing please see Thich Nhat Hanh, The Blooming of a Lotus: Guided Meditation Exercises for Healing and Transforming.
By Ivy Xie-McIsaac, E-RYT200, YACEP
The liver corresponds to the element Wood and the season Spring.
The liver regulates blood circulation and acts like a cleaner to clear the toxins out of the body. When we are resting or sleeping, the liver is filtering, detoxifying and storing the blood. When we are active, the liver exports the blood. Part of the functions of the liver include clearing harmful substances in the blood, resisting infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream. When the liver works well, we will have a clean internal environment. The free flow of Qi (life force) in the Liver meridian will ensure the free flow of blood.
Sleeping too late (after 11pm) or getting up too early (before 3am) as well as alcohol use will over stimulate the functioning of the liver and cause severe imbalance in its function. An imbalance in liver function will cause a person to anger easily.
For the body, spring is time to change a heavy diet to a lighter diet, by eating even more vegetables. Spring is also the best time to detox. Lemon juice plus honey helps to cleanse the inside of the body. We can also spend some time to clean the house to create a nice environment.
Walking in nature or gardening helps us to be grounded. In Spring, the wind is the main cause of disease and known as the Evil wind(邪气) as the cold from winter is still in the air. A Chinese proverb tells us “In spring, it’s better to overdress rather than underdress even if the weather looks warm.” (春捂)
A direct experience can give us improper perception. In the story of The Blind Men and an Elephant, all the blind men believe they know what they are touching, but they don’t know they are touching an elephant. Traditional Chinese Medicine emphasizes to look at the full picture and find the root of the disease instead of treating only where the symptoms appear.
The liver’s opening is the eyes. An eye problem can be a liver problem manifested in the eyes. When we know the cause of the symptom then we can be healed faster.
Wishingtree Yoga is offering a 50hr Yin Yoga Teacher Training starting June 10, 2019.