A Place of Stillness Blog
I was riding home from town one day on my motorcycle back to Ananda Village in the Sierra Foothills. Winding my way along the curvy canyon road, I found a tension slowly growing in my heart. I started wondering why sometimes motorcycle rides are thrilling and freeing. During these rides, I feel a wondrous connection with nature and beauty all around me as I cruise along. And yet, there are days where a nervous tension grows as I ride, causing me to feel limited and contractive in my heart. During this particular ride, I questioned what caused me to feel one way versus the other.
I knew I had to look deeper. I searched sensitively inside to feel for the answer. As I focused on the road ahead, I zeroed in on that nervous feeling to try to understand where it was coming from. I noticed that there was a subtle stream of worried thoughts flooding my consciousness: What if a big truck comes around the next curve, doesn’t quite make the turn and comes into my lane? What if there is sand around the next corner and I lose traction and fall? On a subtle level my mind was buying into these thoughts, and as a result, I had a constant, nagging worry-consciousness in the back of my mind.
In a flash, a line from Swami Kriyananda’s Festival of Light came into my mind: “‘Give yourself into my hands,’ cried the wind, ‘and to your strength I can then add my own.’” In that poetic telling of the soul’s unfoldment on the spiritual path, a little bird, representing the soul, has been fighting against the oncoming wind using only its own power.
That day riding back from town, with my mind affected by an undercurrent of worry, I was riding alone against the wind. I was worrying about every little detail and fearing every negative outcome. It was me against the world.
I realized that when I felt joyful and expansive on a ride, I was trusting and feeling connected to a greater power. I was feeling myself as “a part of all that is,” as it also says in the Festival of Light. I was reminded in that moment that I am loved and protected by a force that brings me only what I need to experience. There is nothing to fear when you feel yourself as part of a much greater reality. Life will bring difficult circumstances, but if we feel ourselves connected to a greater reality, we can face our challenges with greater understanding and acceptance of what life is teaching us.
I had just come to a straight-away in the road, so to drive the point home to my subconscious mind, I took my hands off the handlebars and spread my arms wide as if to embrace the oncoming wind.
In reflecting on my life, I saw how often I was fighting life’s circumstances rather than working in harmony with a greater reality. We can be so much more joyful and free if we are willing to cooperate with the ebb and flow of life’s trials and victories. And we don’t need to do it alone.
The chakra system consists of seven energy centers running along our spine. Each chakra, or energy center, has qualities that are contractive and expansive. We can awaken our chakras and the expansive qualities within them by meditating on them. Chakras are made of energy, and when we meditate on them we give them more energy [...]
We’d like to share a technique and prayer for practicing third eye meditation as our Part 2 to our recent blog. To review, the third eye is our sixth of seven chakras or energy centers in our body where we can tap into higher consciousness. It is located at the point between our eyebrows.Before we [...]
In this first of two installments on third eye meditation, we’d like share with you what happens when you concentrate on the third eye during meditation. In the next installment, we’ll share specific techniques to help guide you through your third eye meditation.Our third eye is the point between our eyebrows and is a place [...]
A mantra is a sacred sound or expression, often in the form of a word or phrase believed to have spiritual power. Mantras can bring about profound benefits when repeated, particularly in meditation. Repeating mantras cultivates a sort of affirmation, allowing the mind to concentrate on the meaning behind the mantra or perhaps the steady effect that [...]
Guided meditation is a form of meditation where someone else, whether in person or through an audio recording, is taking you through your meditation. The purpose of guided meditation is generally to connect the meditator with calmness and clarity that can be found within themselves. Some guides do this by asking you to imagine you [...]
There are many types of meditation and we are here to help you deepen your practice with whichever tradition speaks to you. In previous blog posts, we have explained the basics of meditation, what meditation is and how to get started. Virtually every religion has a mystical side that uses some sort of meditation. Here, we’ll explore the [...]
New to meditation? At MeditationBench.com we want to encourage and inspire everyone to meditate, so we came up with some helpful beginner points to guide you on your journey inward with meditation. Even if you’re a longtime meditator, it’s always helpful to go back to basics!First, let’s talk about the breath. No matter what type [...]
Meditation is when the mind and body are still and the heart is open. This is one of our favorites of the many ways to define meditation, because it is so simple and concise. When we quiet our mind and body, and open our heart, we are able to reach subtler levels of who we [...]
Meditation is an ancient practice that helps calm the body and mind. Its benefits are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. To achieve these benefits and find inner peace, the meditator tries to still the body and mind, often by focusing on the breath.People want to find inner peace for a variety of reasons, and therefore [...]