I was surprised when the daughter of the family opened the front door, dressed in pyjama’s and robe. “Oh have I come at a bad time?” “No no come in, it’s just that we always feel so relaxed after the class we are now in the habit of going straight to bed. To sleep a dreamless sleep and wake totally rejuvenated. We thought to save time we will meditate in our pyjama’s.” She took me to the lounge room, the family were seated in the cross-legged position on the floor, Dad on a chair, wrapped like Tibetan monks in their blankets.
I was invited to teach meditation and yoga to the teachers and staff of the local State School.Teaching can be a stressful job, so I began and ended the class with relaxation.Classical yoga begins and ends class with shavasan the yoga name for lying your body still.
At class end the school’s secretary asked me would I come to her home to teach her family relaxation. She also inquired if meditation would help to build her son’s confidence, could Meditation help her husband deal with the stress of a demanding job?A resounding yes to all her questions. We organised a four-week plan to learn basic meditation techniques.Gathering in the evening after the family meal I chose to seat us all, back straight shoulders released, as I felt the temptation to relax or even dose at day’s end after a meal was strong. As this was a basic introduction to meditation,each week a different technique. Remember different styles suit different people. The husband suggested as my voice was so soothing I make a relaxation CD. Yes I have but that’s another article.
This family varied in age from 17, 19, 40 and 45 You are never too young to start to meditate
In fact it is a good technique to learn when you are studying . It clears the mind and aids in concentration.And teaches you focus and one pointedness no matter what is happening in your life. These are the basics for confidence. at conclusion of our meditation practice I would invite the family “maintaining your inner silence, lie down, cover yourself with a blanket” and I would talk them through relaxation, each week a different style. By the second week I would let myself out the door, leaving them wrapped in their blankets.Meditation is the flower of relaxation. Think of a bud, an immature structure, to flower and bloom to our true potential we bypass the body that is relaxed and enter the mind, stilled, so we can sit with eternity for a time. The opened flower is mature, aware and responsive giving and receiving beauty.
It is impossible to mediate when you are tense.
Meditation is a practice that requires some discipline too relaxed will lead to drowsiness. The mind needs to remain alert and so we sit the body straight, this way it will not interrupt your meditation,with twinges of discomfit. But if you approach meditation uptight and tense your mind can only reflect that back to you.If you do fall asleep in mediation, do not worry, it is just your body’s way of telling you to relax more and get more sleep. Learn first to relax, body mind and breath, My teacher Shanti Gowans in her book Calm the Mind
created the The Sutra of Shanti Yoga
Sutra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘thread’ or ‘string’. When inspiring phrases or words are put together, they are like a garland of flowers or a rosary woven together by a common thread the Divine Essence of their expression. Shanti means peace, Yoga means union. Shanti yoga is the yoga of Peace.The Essence of Meditation is encapsulated in the Sutra of Shanti Yoga.
Slow down, Expand your Heart, Still your mind, Nourish your body, Honour your soul.
Slow down– slow your breath down. Your breath is the intelligence and power of your body. Expand your heart – This is the reason you are to share the Love that you are. Still your mind- step back from the world and get off the merry-go-round. To live in a circus is not conducive to deep peace. Nourish your body – It is your temple. It is the temple of God. Honour your soul- Your soul needs to rest in it’s spirit- the Spirit of God.