“When the rapture of the ninth stage mixes with the polite receptivity of the tenth stage,
it creates the eleventh stage.
You become very humble.
Guru Nanak, the great yogi and saint, embodied and expressed this.
He saw the vastness of the Creator and experienced that delight.
He said he felt as small as an ant.
He was happy to be even the dust under the feet of those who walked to some sacred place to have the chance to repeat the Names of God and be elevated.
Humble, here, means a lack of pretentiousness.
You have innocence from self-acceptance.
You need no distinction other than the reality of you as a creature of the Creator.
Humility is modesty filled with the power of innocence.
Guru Nanak and other saints realized how much is unknown.
How much exists beyond the furthest horizon of the mind’s capacity to imagine.
In humility you can form a relationship to the Unknown.
When that happens, you awaken the ability to teach, heal, and serve humanity relentlessly.
Your mind gains the fearless openness that comes with true humility.”
From “The 21 Stages of Meditation”, page 186.
“You are cooked and basted. Sleep well. We begin fresh in the morning.” These are the words Gurucharan left us with at the end of Day 4. And what a day it was!
Here are some things that came up today. I felt squeezed by the morning’s kriyas…I noticed and felt old pieces of me that no longer serve me shake loose and ripple up and out of me through the chakras and the breath. And I wasn’t the only one that noticed and remarked on this phenomenon. We experienced yet more healing on top of that which we were gifted to the day and night before. This process is one that just keeps on giving. Gurucharan is a firm, but gentle, and imminently approachable guide. I will just add here that he is also a consummate teacher – he has fielded all number of questions, and with each he has given a considered, unrushed, thorough, and inspired answer. I have asked my fair share of questions, and he makes me feel safe and even appreciated as a student. I am grateful for his gracious and generous manner.
I could tell you about many things that I experienced on this day. About a whole new relationship I curried with the breath and with the negative, positive, and neutral mind.
I could detail for you how the bowing meditation series for humility challenged the weakest yet most supportive structural muscles in my body – the low back and my quads – all muscle groups that were affected greatly from my accident as I teenager, ones I have worked for a lifetime to grow and strengthen, and only until recently did this seem the most futile of exercises. And let me not forget the inner I-T bands. I just listed all of the muscles that are my weakest. And where did they get challenged directly? Right smack in the humility stage. Wow! Well if that isn’t a lesson right there, I do not know what is.
I could tell you about the 28 minutes of Breath of Fire we did – and how I was given the opportunity to meeting this challenge and climb this part of the mountain, one breath at a time. I could reveal the specifics of how I felt this activity actually massage my kidneys, spleen, liver, intestines, and lungs – even the heart – and how I developed a whole new relationship with my abdominal muscles ~ fortunately they said YES!
I could reveal to you the insights around my ever renewing and healthier relationship with pain. Practitioners of kundalini yoga will all recognize the challenges set forth in the poses where the arms, shoulders, and neck get the attention. Well, we shoulder the burdens of life, we embrace life, and we bow our head – these muscles better be ready for their appointed tasks.
And I could share with you the incredible experience of the very last meditation we did for the day in stage thirteen – the meditation for Graceful Enlightenment and Strength of Heart. The posture for this meditation was quite a challenge, but the assigned breath was Sitali Praanayam, and done quite slowly, intentionally from inhale through exhale. I could detail how intimate I became all over again with my breath and the fine negotiations my mind threw up to try to meditate and even shut down this routine.
But I will instead share with you the details of what happened ‘off the mat’ later…long after I had left the room, the presence of our teacher and this loving, supportive group of fellow meditating devotees and students.
One of the great attractions the practice of yoga has for me is the possibility of ‘calming the fluctuations’ of my mind. I am visited regularly and seemingly relentlessly by at least two of The Four Aggravations (self- doubt, negative thinking, procrastination, and resentment) between the hours of two and four o’clock pretty much every morning. I awaken with a shock to my system, my adrenals having created a wave of adrenalin and injected it into my system, and then the visitation begins. My acupuncturist tells me this is when the liver detoxifies each 24 hour cycle. Whatever is going on physiologically, I am routinely challenged by this experience. And this morning was certainly no exception. I awoke with a start and felt a great dragon rise up within me – negativity itself pervaded even beyond my physical body into my energetic body. I sensed it keenly. And was awed by it, almost overwhelmed by it. Until I remembered I had a tool – the breath and humility. I had worked so diligently in the safety of the yoga studio with a learned teacher and a supportive class of students. I had gone through all of the meditations for the day. And now I had the opportunity to put this work into actual practice. This is where I feel the value of having such a practice truly lies. Yes, I develop discipline as a result of going to class and doing my practice, but what good will it be for me if I cannot translate it into action in life itself? Well, if ever there was a time when my practice served me, it was in the wee hours of this morning. I put my attention on the breath and just stayed there. Was I ever grateful that I had such a tool, and that my Higher Power had graced me with the presence of mind to use it in this time of need. As I lay breathing consciously, I felt my heart beat become quite pronounced, only in the healthiest of ways, and I sent a blessing of gratitude to my lungs and breath and to my heart for their steadfast service to me these many years and in this moment. And I put my earbuds in to help further calm my nervous system. The words of the mantra that was at the ready when I opened the music on my phone were: “In the light of Your grace I walk on…” and as I heard these words, I felt that great dragon that had risen so greatly overhead bow down and release its hold on me. Sweet mercy and grace indeed.
Yep…cooked and basted all right! And I even feel well browned and crispy this morning as I head into Day 5. Shall we start on the gravy? It arises from the essence of the cooking after all….Sat Nam!
#AndNowYoga #Meditation #SatNam #Recovery #LivingBeyondChronicPain #FromTheMat #kippinitreal