My spiritual journey includes meditation and lots of it. When I brought “Bliss of Being” to life in February, 2015 with a community grant my intention was to bring meditation to everyone, to the community, to people who had not had the distinct pleasure of experiencing this inward journey. All too often I have heard from people “I can’t meditate, my mind is too busy” well so is mine. We all have busy minds, we all have EGO’s who fight us all the way as we attempt to dive into the deepest recesses of our mind. I wanted to show people that meditation is not just sitting in lotus position with your thumb and index finger touching and emptying your mind of thought. This is not possible, it is the complete opposite. Meditation is the training ground, its an opportunity to sit with your buzzing mind and practice watching your thoughts float by while not engaging with them. Each and every person who sits in meditation has thoughts, it is in the non engagement that we begin to tap into the edges of the etherial world, bliss, ananda, nirvana. We all have more capacity than we know. I will never forget the reaction of my sister when I suggested to add meditation into her life; she said she wanted to punch me in the face upon my suggestion. I have also had this reaction from my daughter who frequently says to me is “don’t tell me to meditate”! Many people have expressed their aversion to meditation but I can’t help continuing to put it out there and share it with people because its so damn good and it is the one sure path to helping pave the way to this life of happiness we all so crave.
Meditation can be many things, it can take many forms include chanting, breathing, dancing, healing touch, listening to music, making love, visual stimulation, aromatherapy and walking by the ocean; but the most common and the most widely practiced is sitting in silence with yourself and your mind. It is a practice. I always say that meditation is like putting money in the bank, the more you do it the more equanimity you will create in your life. Who doesn’t want equanimity?
After many years of practice, this space still comes as a rarity but when it comes and I have a fraction of a second where there is no activity and a connection to my unconditioned self. I want more than anything to live in this space more and more and more often and each time I tap into it it paves the way for another step out of the my conditioning and grants me a little bit more compassion, forgiveness, peace of mind and my intuition whisper gets a little louder, a little clearer and little more powerful. Sometimes in meditation I don’t even get close to the space between the thoughts because the thoughts are bombarding me, I notice them, try not to engage in them (not always possible) and sit through the meditation knowing that this too will add to my bank account. These meditations reinforce the fact that there are no good and there are no bad, they change day to day and that each meditation will add to the foundation I am building whether I slip into the gap or not.
It is through meditation that we receive “inspiration”. It is where we can distinguish between thought and inspiration. A thought is just a thought, its an empty message from our EGO but an inspiration is a message from the source something that moves us into action, we feel the difference. We just know it is not from our own mind we know it has comes from somewhere else.
Like I said before, meditation can be experienced in many different ways, with many different lineages and it is my belief that if you want to experience meditation try many different types to see what fits YOU best. It is not a one size fits all affair.
See Bliss of Being for blog posts and teacher bio’s for more information on a variety of meditation styles and techniques.
Guided meditation is a good way to start.
Deepak Chopra who describes meditation as dismantling the notion of the self to arrive at a higher being. Meditation is a process of calming the mind and an affirmation of the individual relationship to the universal.
Deepak offers a 21 day meditation challenge every couple of months for FREE. In fact, there is one going on right now: https://chopracentermeditation.com/
Dharma Ocean offers free guided somatic body meditations.
Reggie Ray says that meditation is the simple yet profound practice of awakening to our most fundamental self. Opened by this process, we are able to engage our lives with tremendous clarity and warmth, so that we see and appreciate this sacred world and are able to love others in a way that is truly selfless.
Anand Krishna says that meditation is not sitting in silence but living dynamically, facing all challenges with a smile and never losing one’s cool. Meditation is not a serious affair, it is living joyfully and sharing both the art & science of living; first and foremost to develop inner peace. To face life’s challenges with a smile and gain inner satisfaction which is the prime cause of true happiness. Bliss is our destiny. Inner Peace, Communal Love, Global Harmony.
Life at the Ashram couldn’t be any more different than life in Colorado at the Dharma Ocean Winter Meditative Intensive, not one better than the other, just different. It seems to me that wether it is a Buddhist Lineages or a Religion, such as Hinduism all lead roads are leading to the same home. They are all essentially saying the same thing. The basic message is to love oneself first, to find inner peace, to calm the mind and come into our true self. It is self love to become selfless love. It is all about the self; releasing the mind of the EGO and dropping into who you really are, loving and cherishing yourself so in turn you can turn around and give it to others.
WINTER MEDITATIVE INTENSIVE:
Meditating for 9 hours a day, in silence, following the teachings of Reggie Ray & Trungpa Rinpoche, a Buddhist meditation master who introduced of the Vajrayana teachings to the West. Vajrayana, the tantric corpus of Buddhism. Reggie Ray created the Dharma Ocean Foundation.
THE DHARMA OCEAN FOUNDATION is to embody, unfold, and widely offer the unique path to awakening and human fulfillment taught by Trungpa Rinpoche, Reggie Ray, and his senior students, creating a living continuity of the practicing lineage in our time. Dharma Ocean’s activities aim to express the essence of this lineage, namely:
- The fundamental goodness of the human person — our own and others’ inborn enlightenment and inherent perfection;
- The sacredness of all of life and experience — that everything that arises is an expression of ultimate wisdom and a potential gate to immediate awakening;
- The everyday practice to “never turn away” — to develop an attitude of complete acceptance and openness toward all experience, finding in it the transformation, fulfillment, and ultimate realization that so many of us seek today.
A message from this lineage:
Man is to be known in three ways:
As inferior, mediocre and excellent.
He who by any means whatsoever
Provides for the pleasures of Saṃsāra
For himself alone,
Is called an inferior man.
He who turns his back to the pleasures of the world
And abstains from evil deeds,
But provides only for his own peace,
Is called a mediocre man.
He who seriously wants to dispel
All the misery of others,
Because in the stream of his own being he has understood the nature of misery,
Is an excellent man.
An excerpt from Reggie Ray:
Right now, this moment, is the perfection of the universe, this life of mine is completely unique, unprecedented, an immaculate expression of the deepest depths of the sacredness of the universe. I perceive my world as “perfect”. Powerful statement.
ANAND ASHRAM, BALI, INDONESIA – Swami Anand Krishna
Chanting three times a day, morning, noon & dinner time. Early morning fire ceremony with chanting and washing away of our negativities, daily asana practice, daily meditation practice, Wednesday night Bhajan/Samkirtan (devotional singing), Thursday night Guided Inner Journey Meditation with Swami Anand Krishna, Saturday night is Spiritual movie night or on some special occasions Sindhi Mehfil (experience true joy and devine bliss) and Sunday night is Satsang/Spiritual Dialogue.
Swami Anand Krishna, a spiritual humanist, and prolific writer (over 150 books), Anand has been promoting Love is the Only Solution as the way to create an enlightened society by working on InnerPeace, developing Communal Love, and realizing Global Harmony on One Earth under One Sky and in One Humankind.
A message from the Hindu religion on Tamas, Rajas and Sattva.
Tamas consider God as Lord, the supreme Devine force as the bell boy in the hotel, anytime we call him he has to be there to fulfill our needs, our requirements, our wants, our needs. It’s egotistical. God is there to serve YOU.
Rajas you pray to God for something, I light a candle for you God give me a son, give me a job, very generic, oh Lord I pray to you make sure I am in heaven, you consider the benefit of yourself, your own peace.
Sattva, the commendable, the desirable where you consider others, you do not consider your own joy, your own benefit but you consider the benefit of all. He prays for peace for everyone.
Anand Krishna believes that LOVE is where its at; we can meditate and do yoga everyday, three times a day but without love you are missing the most important piece of all. We need to develop a love that is intoxicating, not a sober love but one that you cannot live without. A deep sense of intoxicating love so deep that when you reach this sense of love you cannot go back, you have reached nirvana, you experience moksha. Once you have this love you will be enlightened no more shifting in and out of awareness, no more vacillating in and out of the right decision/the wrong decision, it will always be there, it will become automatic.
Love is the missing piece of the puzzle for me. I love certainly, I love from deep inside my heart but this intoxicating love has been a mystery to me, something that I have not experienced. The closest thing to a devotional love of this kind is with the Ocean as my symbol and the Universe as my God. I feel intoxicated, wrapped up in love when I am near, I can smell it, I can feel it, I adore it and I know I am home.
The big difference in the Hindu faith and the bliss of being at the Anand Ashram is the joy and the love that shines through these people in the singing and dancing. Meditation is part of the program but the main ingredient in this faith is love. It is intoxicating when all these people come together and sing their devotion, dance their devotion and share their love.
“The journey is the path; life moves in circles, the first stop is “self” and the last stop is “self” the journey is internal, your travel is within, dance & sing to the rhythms of life” Swami Anand Krishna
I wanted to share with you dynamic meditation which I had never experienced until arriving at the Anand Ashram, Ubud, Bali. I have been fortunate enough to experience many different types of meditation but never a dynamic meditation. It makes so much sense to incorporate this type of meditation into my practice. As we are out in the world day after day after day we have moment to moment experiences all day long, it is only when we sit quietly in meditation, journal or close our eyes at night do we have the opportunity to go within, to process, to digest. Dynamic meditation helps to release all the energy that has been sitting, stagnant. How many people go home at the end of the day and process everything that has happened in the day? How many people digest their experiences day to day? Dynamic meditation can help loosen up and release past experiences that are stagnant, those we have carried around and continue to carry around and hold onto, experiences that no longer serve us in any way.
In dynamic meditation you are moving your body, breathing with vigour through the mouth, dancing, expressing your emotions freely with your body, letting go, releasing. It is so liberating to just let go, to be free, to swirl, twirl, dance, to shake whatever your body wants to express releasing all that negative energy.
Liberation is our nature.
- the act of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release.
- freedom from limits on thought or behavior.
A wise psychologist who helped me through the very darkest of my days told me “dance Jodi dance”!
The meditation goes like this:
- Breathe in and breath out using your mouth moving faster and faster and faster (15 minutes)
- Stand still for 1 minute
- Move body in any way it wants to move, punching, kicking, twirling, swirling, stomping, anything goes let your body lead the way (15 minutes)
- Hands on your abdomin, just below the navel and repeat “ya hoo” over and over and over again in quick succession (15 minutes)
- Dance freely, anything goes, allow your body to lead, release inhibitions, let go. (15 minutes)
- Lay down and be still. (10 minutes)
excerpt from my journal after my first dynamic meditation:
I felt a release, a letting go, a powerful sense of freedom, of expression, of absolute joy, absolutely FREE of judgement of self or others, a safe place where anything goes, its all welcome here, total acceptance, total love. I felt like I always imagined it would feel like to be free, to fly, a gentle breeze giving me just enough momentum, the encouragement, the push to take off, to lift off, to fly away, to feel BLISS.
Meditation can take on many forms and I encourage trying many brands through many lineages/religions until you find something that speaks to you. In my experience, I have enjoyed them all and like to have a variety of techniques and meditation styles in my toolbox so I can pull out which ever one speaks to me in the moment keeping a variety in my practice.
Mediation & Love go hand in hand!
Much love on your journey of surrendering to the all might EGO and welcoming with open arms the love that lies right inside of YOU.