Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 102 - Importance of Smooth Long-Term Meditation Routine
Date: Sun Feb 1, 2004 1:52pm
Q: I’ve been struggling with the meditation and it has been about 6 weeks now. Could I just have a lot of ‘cleansing’ to do before I add the breathwork? I am not really reaching ‘bliss’ yet at all. Still, I’ve been devoted to the 2-20 minute intervals and find that I am subtley more calm but I still have many ‘episodes’ during the day where I am not that calm…
Nonetheless, I am still very appreciative that you’ve initiated this group and enlightenment of many. Just 5 years ago, I felt so alone in this world… that my spiritual beliefs were not shared by many because there were just too many that revered the Almighty Dollar over Spirit. I used to pray almost daily at that time to have more like-minded earth angels (or warriors as some like to call themselves) and happily I can say that I’ve started to have much more Spirit in my life and it increases every day.
A: It sounds like good things are happening, but a more comfortable ride would be better for you. It is uncommon for meditation to be rough on an ongoing basis. It could be a lot of obstructions coming out, which is good, but more smoothness in and after meditation is necessary if you are going to be motivated to stay with it for the long haul.
Roughness could come from forcing the mantra, coming out of meditation too fast, or maybe meditating too long for your constitution. Ask yourself the following:
1. Am I picking up the mantra easily, not forcing a particular pronunciation of it? Am I fighting with thoughts to go back to the mantra? We want to be gentle with the process, just easily favoring the mantra when we realize we are off it. It does not have to be a clear pronunciation. In fact, if it goes naturally to a very fuzzy pronunciation, that is just right. That is the mind taking us naturally to stillness.
2. Am I getting up too soon at the end of meditation? If we get up too soon, we can lock up obstructions coming out during meditation, and that can give rise to roughness in activity during the day. So we always take at least a few minutes of quiet with no mantra at the end of meditation. If meditation has been rough with a lot of thoughts and emotions coming out, then lie down for five or ten minutes, however long it takes for the roughness to settle down. That can make a big difference in our experiences during the day.
If smoothness in meditation still doesn’t come, try five minutes of spinal breathing before meditation. If that does not bring some smoothness into meditation, then back off the breathing. Try five or ten minutes of yoga postures before meditation. That can help smooth meditation too.
If none of the above helps smooth things out, then consider trying fifteen minutes of meditation twice a day instead of twenty minutes.
These are just suggestions on different things to try. Experiment with it and see if you can find a smooth rhythm. The ideal routine will have asanas, pranayama and meditation in that order. The times can vary a bit, but typical would be 5,10 and 20 minutes in that order. You have to find your own balance and comfort zone. Once you do, then you can go on with your routine for many years, adding on additional advanced yoga practices along the way. Then much progress is assured. You are tasting inner silence now. That is wonderful. Now the thing is to grow steadily in That (pure bliss consciousness) over the long haul without falling off the track of practices due to discomfort from too much purification happening too fast. You are the one behind the wheel, so drive smart and smooth.
I wish you all success on your journey, “earth angel.” You’ve got lots of company these days.
The guru is in you.