The essence of this week’s theme, Tip of the Nose, is captured in the photo above. This child is still, focused, captivated, and fully present. Perhaps the outer environment is crowded and hectic, and needless to say, the plane is moving 600 mph… but no worries there because from this perspective, there’s nothing to do but receive what the moment brings.
Making ourselves available for meditation is the primary goal of the first few steps of The Practice of Living Awareness. What do we mean by available? The picture offers a clue… receptive, curious, present and engaged; wholly available in body, mind, and spirit. In our meditations, the “smile and a long, slow deep breath” cues the music and we are afoot in a subtle dance with these three aspects of ourselves. The body reports, the mind observes and the spirit generates awareness as your being sways to the meditative rhythm. So that’s what we’re going for, one step at a time.
The Yoga Sutras, written two thousand years ago by the great sage Patanjali, offers us supreme guidance in this process of getting to know our inner-most selves. It describes eight practices which help to still the mind and reveal our innate light. These are called the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which translates as union. When the body, mind and spirit are unified, or brought together without experiencing resistance, we take on a “lighter” state than before. Cultivating a state of focused concentration, or dharana, is one of these eight limbs. This allows for clarity and presence in the now. Along with pratyahara, another limb which means withdrawal of the senses, dharana serves as a doorway through which we are made available to experience the subtleties of the inner world and to delight in our noticing that which is usually not noticed.
Downloadable Podcast: Tip of the Nose – Day 2