Tuesday, August 12, 2008
"Everything that happens in your mind is reflected in your body," says T.K.V Desikachar.
Meditation is something very alien to me even as a yoga teacher. I haven't quite got used to the idea of being able to sit more than 15 minutes without feeling sleepy or restless. So, today, I decided to look up on it. There's a meditation book by Jack Kornfield call ' Meditation for beginners'. In it, he encourages the reader to focus their attention back onto their breaths should their thoughts interfere with their meditation.
I have used 'Ujayi' breaths as my point of concentration. However, I still encounter thoughts slipping into my head. Worse still is when I feel tired or having a 'personal crisis'. I just feel more restless inside.
I then came across an article by Carol Krucoff. In it she talks about Desichakar, how he believed meditation acts as the way medicine does, transforming the mind's agitation to peace.
Yoga's true power lies in its ability to harness the mind for healing and spiritual development. Meditation can also result in extraodinary powers, called artharta. One fine example is when Desikachar's father, Krishnamacharya stopped his heartbeat and breath for several minutes with no adverse effects. Krisnamacharya died in 1989 at age 100.
However, not everyone is prepared for meditation, especially if your mind is very distracted. When your mind is agitated, try asana and breathing practices to bring the body and mind into stillness.
Desichakar's practice of meditation to positive healing is to actually fill the mind with an object of inquiry. You can meditate on virtually anything: a natural object, such as the sun or moon, a flower, tree or mountain - or on a person, sound deity, even a color. Or focus on the body or breath. The main idea is to choose an object that is both appealing and healing: " The key is transforming the mind in a positive way, so healing happens. Because whatever happens in the mind, happens in the whole system"
Do remember if you choose an object of healing, it comes from the heart rather than the intellectual mind. Another point to remember is, instead of letting disturbing thoughts whip your body and mind into tension and despair, you can choose to substitute positive thoughts that will bring peace and calm.
Also, you don't need to spend an hour to do meditation. Something I have always thought you had to. Instead, just 5 minutes will do. As you feel the benefits of meditation, you will gradually make time to do more.
So, here's my journey with positive healing.