For the month of August, the Ottawa Yasodhara Yoga Teacher group invites us to explore the mind as a sacred vessel. Dive into this exploration of the mind, inspired by Swami Radha’s words (from a talk about creativity):
Lots of things don’t turn out right away, but with practice, with inspiration, it gets better. You become acquainted with yourself…. My objective is that you become acquainted with yourself, accept yourself, shake hands with yourself and say; “I start. Today I begin. Where it will lead, where it will end I don’t know yet. But it doesn’t matter. One step will lead to the next. One time I may just take a big leap. Sometime I may just stand still and let inspiration saturate me.
Many thanks to Joan Gamble, Erna Herwig, Robin MacDonald, Paula Richardson, Marcia Bamber and Lorraine Burke.
EXPLORING THE MIND THROUGH HIDDEN LANGUAGE HATHA YOGA
1) “No one ever told me that the mind could be a vessel of sacred things. So when I was introduced to simple practices such as watching my mind, chanting mantra or visualizing Light, I recognized that my mind had other abilities that could lift me up rather than pull me down.” (Living The Practice, Swami Radhananda, p 57)
Do the Spinal Twist, staying connected to the movement in your spine and look at where your mind has pulled you down. Repeat the pose and this time look at where your mind also lifts you up.
Chant and ask yourself “How can I make my mind a vessel of sacred things?”
2) “Understanding why you chose to be doing what you are doing can bring meaning to your life. You may start to wonder: Why am I here? What is my real work? What am I preparing for?….We have to do what we are here to do. This means facing the battlefield of daily life with the courage to do what is before us.” (Living The Practice, Swami Radhananda, p 66)
Stand in a Warrior pose and ask yourself:
- Why am I here?
- What is my real work?
- What are my battles?
- What am I preparing for?
3) “Lots of things don’t turn out right away, but with practice, with inspiration, it gets better. You become acquainted with yourself…. My objective is that you become acquainted with yourself, accept yourself, shake hands with yourself and say; ‘I start. Today I begin. Where it will lead, where it will end I don’t know yet. But it doesn’t matter. One step will lead to the next. One time I may just take a big leap. Sometime I may just stand still and let inspiration saturate me.'” Swami Radha from a talk about creativity.
Stand in Mountain and take one step forward. Notice that step and ask yourself: What is the next step I need to take to accept myself, become acquainted with myself?
4) “The other part to consider is that changing your mind takes a long time…it is a seasoning process….there is real commitment involved….If you take up the challenge, how then does the mind turn into a sacred instrument? …First of all it has to be a conscious desire, a clear decision that you are going to change. An ideal to change the mind can be set out. Say to yourself, “This is what I am going toward.” It takes determination and sincerity.” (Living The Practice, Swami Radhananda, p 59)
Sit in a relaxed position and repeat five times with conviction, “I am Ever Growing Into Divine Light”. Ask yourself:
- What am I going toward?
- How do I want to change my mind as I move forward?
- Describe how commitment, determination and sincerity each plays a role in making this change.
5) “Our imagination can run faster than we can walk. We can run to that part of ourselves.” Swami Radha from a talk about creativity. Sit and imagine yourself filled with Light. In your mind’s eye see yourself running toward the best in yourself. Write.
THE POTENTIAL WITHIN
6) “A very important pair of opposites is the power of positive thinking and the power of negative thinking. Negative thinking exerts such a strong power because of the pushing up of the emotions, which are controlled by the ego. The power of positive thinking needs to get its push from repeated (cultivated) visualizations of ideal responses to situations in the mind’s eye.” (Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Sivananda Radha, p 145)
- Sit quietly, breathing in for 4, out for 4.
- Bring a situation that you are dealing with in your life to mind.
- Reflect on this situation with the above quote in mind. Notice how you respond.
- Stay relaxed and visualize an ‘ideal response’ in your mind’s eye to this situation.
- Spend time repeating and cultivating this visualization of your ideal response. Write.
7) “Through spiritual practices we contact the Light that is indeed ours. It is like washing off the mud of selfishness, self-centeredness, self-gratification—letting all of that ‘self” go and becoming selfless.” (Light & Vibration, Swami Radha, p 158)
- Do the Divine Light Invocation. At the end stand still and be receptive to the Light.
- Ask yourself what practice you would be willing to commit to for the next 40 days.
- Write your commitment to yourself and your practice, being as specific as possible.
Can you activate the best in yourself? Can you uncover the Light within? …And as you clean up what covers the Light and come in contact with the hidden place within the mind, the Light will radiate its power.
(Light & Vibration, Swami Radha, p 157-158)