Tuesday Teachings to help you learn to thrive, and this is the second part in my series of easy-to-understand things about meditation’s astonishing power to heal : the first part is in my blog Meditation #1.
There are so many, many definitions of what Meditation is, and of course there are many systems of teaching Meditation technique. The Yoga approach is one of the most well known and structured ways to learn. The Zen way, of sitting zazen, is one of the least structured meditation practices: all passed down to us by the Ancients.
What is astonishing to me as a teacher is that the Ancients knew what to do for healing. They tapped into a natural inner wisdom deep within the human experience of “self” and they were able to understand this, interpret it and teach it by turning this wellspring of inner power into a codified system which could be passed down through generations.
Let’s talk about natural wisdom
In our Zen sangha (the group that comes together to sit zazen meditation) we often talk about healing and Meditation. And one of our group, David, is an artist and Master Potter, a retired art lecturer with experience in Jungian psychology and brain physiology (what makes brains work!) David’s insight into the Yogi’s experiences and knowledge was that they probably could “see” light.
The Ancients were much more sensitive than we are nowadays, after centuries of closing ourselves down energetically: the ancient Vedic Yogis could probably see energy, see the light in the breath, see blocks in the chakras, and knew the healing power of self-mastery and unification with the divine. And this sensitivity meant they could probably see and feel bliss. Zen Masters lived in daily flow of the “golden-ness” of life seen thro the eyes of the Mystery of Existence [Divine or Goddess Mother].
My own Meditation teacher, Sam Singh, had a traditional Indian training in Vedanta (liberation is oneness) himself and he taught the esoteric healing principles of Yoga. A fabulous education that I will always be grateful for.
This is what the teaching is:
Meditation is a state of higher consciousness in which we find ourselves after much practice of inwardness and awareness. It takes you to the state where you can dwell in the essence of yourself, the bliss state. In Yoga, each soul is potentially Divine (Jiva is Shiva), and you carry within you the Seeds of Divinity. In Meditation practice you are actively realising your Divine Self . . . your own true creative nature.
As for systems and styles or forms of practice, this is what my teacher said to me: stick with one thing. As a teacher myself, I have always interpreted that as meaning: find the way that suits you, learn and stay with it. You’re already on the journey . . . and there is no goal, only being and being well.
And my approach to pain and the journey to healing with Meditation is “Jiva is Shiva” – each of our individual souls is potentially Divine. We are far more powerful than we think we are, and far stronger as human beings, we just need self-understanding and self-mastery and healing will happen.
Here’s a version of my “Jiva is Shiva” spoken word teaching
As a teacher of many years experience now, I know very deeply that if you teach a person self-understanding and self-control, give them positive guidance, and let them feel the amazing benefits of wellbeing resulting from Meditation you give a person health and vitality for life – to enjoy life as we’re supposed to, to our full potential, our shining self: uncovering and revealing the natural true genius you rightly are!
Here’s a Refresher on “thrive” . . .
When you think “thrive”, think of all the seemingly small, but necessary daily elements of life as nourishing the miraculous organ you are as a human being. At our essence we are a living organism, on a living Planet, in a living Universe. So, here’s something else I’ve been teaching this for over 20 years : the miracle of our self as an organism, and how we help it maintain balance [or some kind order in the chaos of living]: silence is essential – the teaching never changes, results of practice are always the same . . .
All we are on a physical level as a human being is air, water and food. And physically, our body’s 10-13 trillion cells replace themselves every 100 days [just over 3 months]. How about that for a “slow flow”? And how do we help our organism to replace and renew?
Why we do what we do to thrive: learning to be “you”
I’m a teacher, so repeating myself goes with the job! Small steps, small changes . . . one day at a time: in 100 days from now you’ll be a new you! I’ve said this to you before, I’m sure there’ll be many tellings again. [ Read more about this in my blog . . . thrive | Rest and Relaxation #1 ]
And, so, let’s talk about repetition and commitment as well as practicalities and practices: we could take the attitude of “What’s the point in showering we’re only going to get dirty again?” or “Why bother washing up when we’re only going have to redo it when we reuse the dishes.” Come to think of it, what’s the point in eating, when we’ll be hungry in a few hours time? And of course, sleeping’s unnecessary, too . . . we just always end up feeling tired again, don’t we? I don’t think I need to say anymore, do I? Some things in life just need to be repeated: and diligently.
A single change doesn’t always effect a permanent transformation. But taking things one step at a time in your day eventually leads to trillions of new cells of “you-ness”. You could try my very simple program “Steps to Silence” : a 7 day short program in spending more time in silence for your meditation.