Join our International Day of Yoga
Celebrations on 21st June 11am Kuwait Time
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(Meeting ID: 860 2156 2389 PW: Yoga)
Raja Yoga Meditation
I am sending you all a big Om Shanti (greetings of peace) as we look forward to the International Day of Yoga on 21st June, 2021.
Yoga and meditation have many principles in common. Yoga, tends to deal with exercises that stretch and strengthen the body, and meditation focuses more on the spiritual aspects of life, and strengthening the soul. For each modality to be successful, one has to learn how to control the mind.
Taking the Breath
We talk about the breath of life… and yes, this works on a physical level… without breathing there is no life! But what is the breath of mind? At a spiritual level the breath of mind relates to the quality of our thoughts and therefore our experience of life. Inhale positive and powerful energy, and breathe in love and peace. As we generate those higher vibrational thoughts, then we are more easily able to exhale and expel those negative and stressful thoughts and emotions. We definitely don’t want those toxins to linger in our body or mind in any form.
Breathing for example is a recognition of the presence of the life force… the soul… the being… and that ‘I am the soul’, the one who is experiencing life through matter, through this body. But what does it mean to breathe spiritually? It means to take in every moment that we spend with quality thoughts like love, appreciation and gratitude as these will be both powerful and energizing for the soul.
Only that which we take in with love, will be nourishing for the soul, just as with the food that we eat. Both the body and soul can more easily digest that which is both wholesome and healthy, this will enable us to grow and flourish.
Anything toxic that we take into ourselves will only damage us. It is very important for us to spiritually breathe with our soul lungs, just as we breathe with the bodily lungs. Therefore, we have to be very mindful to maintain our good health in body, mind and spirit.
Learning to Sit in the Silence
So, right now I would like you to take a moment and ‘just be’ in total appreciation of everything around you… take a good look around you… be grateful that you can afford a place to live… have family around you… the comfort of your home… food in the fridge… water flowing easily from the tap… air to breathe… that you can afford a phone or a laptop… and breathe in appreciation.
The poses of Hatha Yoga are there to make the body physically flexible and adaptable… malleable… these postures help us to build up our muscles; to tone the body and increase our overall stamina. Likewise, meditation makes the mind strong and healthy and makes us tolerant and adjustable. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to both our diet for the body and our mind.
When we use the innate virtues and powers of the soul, this helps us to become more adaptable and resilient in life. The practice of the eight powers of Raja Yoga Meditation are like attitudes of mind.
Here are some of the powers:
- The power to withdraw; learning how to become introspective and silent when needed.
- The power to pack up; to leave behind the unnecessary.
- The power to tolerance; this includes resilience power.
- The power to adjust; to really have a flexible nature.
- The power to discern; to see clearly without experiencing ‘brain fog’.
- The power to judge; having the ability to make the wisest choice.
- The power to face; this relates to being strong and courageous in meeting life’s challenges.
- The power to co-operate; to bring my talents and qualities to the table when needed to help others in different situations.
Each power is like a different mental pose. We can say they are like postures of the mind, each one enables us to use these spiritual tools at a time of need.
The power of silence enables the soul to take time out; to re-adjust and become re-centred; and to find our natural poise and balance. Just as with the physical yoga, many postures require the soul to have great focus, and to concentrate the mind with determination. These are admirable qualities used to balance both the body and mind.
For example if we have the power of easiness; the power to tolerate; the power to be light and have fun, then everything in life will seem easy and not difficult at all. Through meditation we also enhance and increase our spiritual strength and powers. We tone up our spiritual muscles so to speak.
Right now I would like you to ask yourself which is the most valued power you have and how do you exercise it? It is probably a power that comes most naturally to you…
Let’s look at the power of tolerance, which is so often misunderstood. Some think tolerance is to be passive and let everyone walk all over you, but actually in spiritual terms, this is not the case. From a spiritual perspective tolerance allows you to stay in your self-respect, to speak and act when you need to and not to be emotional and over-reactive.
Within true tolerance, there is a reserve of deep inner power, a resilience upon which the soul can draw at a time of need. This is definitely not the state of being an ostrich with your head in the sand. No! True tolerance puts the soul in a position of power, knowing how and when you need to act decisively.
So, how can we see how much tolerance we have? Well, just check yourself: How much do you feel under pressure? How reactive are you to people and situations? If you can keep your emotions in check and stay cool and calm, then that is a pretty good measure of having the power of tolerance.
Keeping the Third Eye Open
This is the inner eye of understanding. Where we are looking from deep within, from that dimension of spirit. As we become familiar with our inner wisdom, then we will begin to live more naturally from this spiritual place.
When we appreciate and value the practice of meditation, the yoga of the mind, it means that we will be careful to pay attention to the nature and quality of our thoughts through-out the day. We will check and change those thoughts when necessary, because our aim in life is to maintain clarity and balance. Ultimately, we have a desire to be peaceful, healthy and happy.
From a spiritual perspective, and as a spiritual being, I know that innate virtues and specialities form the foundation of ‘who I am’. When I practice affirmations, it is like I am breathing life back into these virtues. When I remember my original nature of the ‘self’ as a spiritual being, as pure energy and light, then I can experience some of these eternal truths.
I am love….
I am light…
I am peace…
I am happy…
I am joy…
I am wise…
I am strong…
And that eternally… I am…
Om Shanti… I am a peaceful soul…