Saturday, August 9th, First Full Day of Classes - Learning How to Meditate More!
I like to meditate. Now, I even enjoy it more! Meditation, or the cultivation of stillness, has become something that I do frequently throughout the day. Yesterday, at Kripalu, I learned that there are basically two types of seated meditation, Yanta, where your mind makes this loop, and Mantra meditation where you only focus on one word or phrase.
Mantra meditation is what I am accustomed to incorporating into my day. I start off with an intention and create my word or phrase, "Peace in, calm out." Often, I tap with my mantra, "Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby, Spirit of Truth." I must admit that counting does not work for me. My mind thinks, "One." Then, it strays to One something, like one banana or one more thing to do. "Two." Two more people to call. "Three." Three is the number of my Jennifer, Jay, and Jeff. As you can see, my mind is fascinated by numbers and their associations. I do not find much stillness there because by "Five," I am off in running to finish my "to-do" list of five more things. Mantras should be started at the intention and kept for the continued time. In my class yesterday, I meditated on just one phrase for 60 minutes. It was "I am" on the inhale. "God's child" on the exhale.
The looping kind, Yanta, is probably more appropriate for my busy mindedness. I start off with "I am here" then my mind loops over to all sorts of other directions and comes back home again to "I am here." This type of meditation reminds me of a bee buzzing around a beautiful flower or a hummingbird headed back to the feeder. Yesterday in my second class we used Yanta meditation, and I found it far less judgmental than before in meditation back home. I didn't criticize myself for not being a good meditator. Very simply, I watched the flight. My thoughts always came back to my beginning, rested, and then often took off on another vein. We practiced this for about 45 minutes, and I felt rested, relaxed, and at ease. It was so simple, just be with your thoughts as an observer. Perhaps, our teacher said, your mind has some unfinished business that can only be dealt with in this fashion, quietly, and without judgment.
Try both of them. All you need is a comfortable position. Turn off the distractions, outer sensations, sound and just "be." The benefits are totally amazing.