Sadhana Journal: Meditation Part II

My books serve me as my most devoted friends, they are my dopamine when I need to regain focus and bliss. This is one of many places where I turn to gain insight when I need it the most. This is a space for me where I can drop everything around me and just be in a world that is much kinder because the books do not judge how we should or should not think, it presents ideas or facts from scientific findings (I love to read Buddhist books that also integrate science, one I love dearly is Buddha`s Brain – The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom by Psychologist Dr. Rick Hanson) When I flip through the pages between my fingers I feel eager to endeavor into a new world of letters and also opening new worlds within me as well.

It`s now 05.53 in the morning and I hear the residue sounds of my oven I turned off as a background noise, it makes clicking noises and I have my fresh oven-baked bread beside me. I have my sadhana journal here too, in the first part of this book I have written down my insights that I get straight after meditation, which I thought about sharing with you + I also took the creative freedom to add additional embellishments from what I’m thinking regarding the subjects I have written about.

If interested, you can read more about my notes from Sadhana Journal: Meditations Part I in my other post Mindful Motivation: Plant Gardens in The Minds of Others!

Day 3:

June 3rd, 2017

I`m in love with this personal kriya called Meditation: Ganpati Kriya I’ve got from my Kundalini Yoga Teacher in Stockholm as a personal assignment. (I continued this meditation for 70 days). It was as she actually knew exactly what I needed, and that I am very thankful for. The Kriya is extremely powerful and allows me to let go of the attachments to the mind through healing and transformation. When I do Ganpati Kriya Meditation I remind myself to breathe even deeper, to intensify the sensation that will come as a result after and in-between pranayama practice. (Pranayama = breath control) I`ve started remembering to tune-in with the mantra Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”  (We use this mantra to link ourselves to the Golden Chain of past teachers and Gurus.) and tune-out with 3 long “Sat Nam” at the end. I used to forget this a lot before but now it’s blending itself within my sadhana. Mentally I feel like I’m digging deeper into my own self. I have sensations of fear as well when I am in total silence. If I think about the reason why I’m scared of this stillness is maybe its because there is so much to confront, our mind holds an enormous archive from where quadrillions of synapses fire each and every minute. In Kundalini Yoga we are undoubtedly examining our minds in a profound way, we can say that we are spring-cleaning in the subconscious mind. I can have mental images pop out from nowhere affecting me in a way where I see things I usually don’t see outside my meditation practice. Our Beta brain waves occur when we are awake and most of us are are thinking in a beta state. But it’s different when we meditate, then we can over time see more emissions of Gamma waves which occur when we are hyper-alert and perceptive to our surroundings and information around us. During emotions like fear, I usually bring my focus back to reflecting on dharana – which is concentration on a particular object or subject. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali one of the sutras (threads) in the 3rd. chpt. of Vibhūti-Pāda – The Chapter of Powers, explains dharana like this;

The Power of The Brain
1. दशे फिणित्तस्य धायिा ॥ १॥
Dharana (concentration) is holding the mind on to some particular object, either in the body, or outside the body, and keeps itself in that state.

Day 6: 

June 6th, 2017

In the beginning of the Ganpati kriya, I noticed how my thoughts would shift from “Am I chanting to loud, maybe my neighbor will hear me and get irritated?” to a complete bliss and focus while practicing. I have learned now that I have been very self-conscious about my practice when including mantras in my daily sadhana, maybe it’s about how I feel insecure about taking up to much space? hm* I have always been a very quiet person most of my life and suddenly go from quiet to chanting is a big leap for me. But mantras in general also help to activate and balance our chakras, particularly our Visuddha (throat chakra).  Some of the common signs of a throat chakra blockage are that you may find yourself holding back on expressing your needs or desires. This was me to the point, I have worked on this so much during our Yoga classes at school and also at home.  I`m trying hard to reconnect with my inner voice and also chant and reach every corner of the Meditation Hall at school.  It`s clearing up a great deal as I’m voicing my opinions on a much larger scale, I have gained more faith in myself and that my ideas and my message has valuable information. This is a huge change for me.

Visuddha
Copyright © 2018 Tiaga Nihal Kaur

I noticed I had a slight smile forming on my lips as I chanted the Sa Ta Na Ma, Ra Ma Da Sa, Sa Say So Hung Mantra with my eyes closed and in the deep meditative state. I feel stronger, more clear mentally because when we are meditating we are working on creating new neural pathways in our brains.

The practice of mindfulness can train our brains to have a new default. Instead of automatically falling into the stream of past or future rumination that ignites the depression loop, mindfulness draws our attention to the present moment. As we practice mindfulness, we actually start wiring neurons that balance the brain in a way that is naturally an antidepressant.  – Elisha Goldstein PhD, from her book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Even though I have barely let in a gap of light through the door of full awakening, I have noticed I do reap more benefits now than ever before, from mindfulness.  When I apply my new ways of thinking and how to relate to subjects at hand, I feel it is with a more compassionate outlook than I had before, which again makes me feel a lot better about myself. I read this quote yesterday on Instagram, which underpins the true goal I have in Yoga for my personal journey to accomplish, through Discipline, Devotion, and Dedication. 

Yogi Bhajan

What if everyone just got planted this insight overnight, think about how the world could become even more compassionate, loving and more attuned to helping each other dealing with our emotions. The benefits of meditation open up a whole new world of possibilities and assist us to deal with life on a much greater scale, regarding that we build upon gaining more attentiveness towards each other and also ourselves. This is really how all relationships improve. How many times have you responded to another person with frustration, aversion or even anger because you didn’t realize that this particular person actually reflects everything he says outwardly, with his state of mind? How a person speaks and all the words that he says is how he or she communicates with himself. F.example let`s talk about bullying for instance. I was bullied for many years when I went to secondary school. There was this boy in my class, he used to call me names and treat me pretty bad at times. When I got home I used to cry and I felt like I wasn’t good enough and I was suddenly filled with a lot of anger. I transcended his negative behavior on me, it became my own reflection of how this affected my own thought patterns and it made it spin circles of unhealthy patterns, for years. If I knew then, what I know now, which is that he didnt have the best upbringing and most likely felt he needed to vent his emotions and negativity on someone. These lessons are very important to think about and it would be very helpful to revolutionize how the school system could apply more compassion instead of punishment. I’m a strong believer in the right way of thinking and it is no good or bad, there is only balance or imbalance in this world. And if we apply new regimens for how we apply new acts of kindness with the support of a new way of thinking-pattern, we might actually be closer to peace within ourselves and in relation to the world more than we might think.

After light meditation, we are usually in a state of Alpha brain waves which is a current of 7-14Hz. This state of Alpha waves is optimal for reprogramming your brain for success.

Alpha wave biofeedback has been shown to be a useful tool for treating anxiety and depression. Because alpha waves are linked with relaxed mental states, an increase in alpha wave activity is the goal of most biofeedback training. – Psychology Today 

 

delta-theta-alpha-beta-gamma-brain-waves

It’s fascinating to know that we actually can rewire our brain and it’s also possible to alter our molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression. This is a groundbreaking research, published in Frontiers in Immunology and based on over a decade of studies analyzing how the behavior of genes is affected by mind-body interventions (MBI`s) such as meditation, Yoga and breath control (Pranayam)

 

Still, there are so many layers in our sub-conscious mind that need to be “peeled off” with mindful practice to dive more deeply into the ocean of self. Going beyond the illusions that we are fed with on a daily basis by our mind. These goggles are just a clouded window to a world which is not real, either it expresses itself and its “truths” internally or externally or even both in worst scenarios.

In reflection, my mindfulness practice needs a new birth of understanding different from how I used to converse with my mind. Before when I had a set of thoughts that were inclined towards the negative side, I would review them as a fact. It was my truth and from there discussions, arguments, and disagreements would arise. Just think about this for a second, wouldn’t it be wonderful to live a more balanced life? By changing your thoughts, you change how you feel and as a result, you act differently. When you have these hurtful feelings when someone has treated you unkindly,

you automatically respond emotionally due to your set ways of thinking.

This can also change with meditation, because in mindfulness when you concentrate your mind on a particular subject, you will be able to see the existence of how it came to be. Negative thoughts usually don’t just pop out of nowhere, they exist because it’s in relation to something. And that depends on what created this internal conflict of mental chatter in the first place. Because something has reminded you of a previous trauma or similar situation that you are going through. This automatically fires your habitual way of thinking from how your neural pathways are structured, unless you change the basic fabric and replace it with a new pattern of thought.

Your mind is responsive to how you direct your energy and focus during meditation. Buddhism gives me great relief that nothing is in a constant and persistent state, everything is ruled by the law of impermanence, (Anicca). This Buddhist doctrine asserts that all of conditioned existence, without exception, is transient, evanescent, inconstant. All physical and mental events, come into being and dissolve.

anicca

For me its quite uplifting to have this insight, because I have experimented with this subject myself in regards to my anxiety and fearful moments of panic attacks. The thoughts that we have during a panic attack is so irrational that it’s painful to even think about that we have established this as our truth, but the thoughts can actually change in respect to how we direct our new awakened awareness and how we can apply new techniques with the understanding that everything is transient. All thoughts have a beginning, a continuation, and an end, luckily. All things will die, all things are in constant movement. The point is that when we are in a state of mind that focuses on negativity we believe these thought patterns that arise from our own mind to be the ultimate truth. As I have explained this to my best capability above, I do believe we can change ourselves to the better and live more authentically, with right perceptions, then, as a result, the right feelings which birth the new awakening of a more balanced you.

 

We all have these conversations with ourselves running through our head non-stop, but when we give them compassion they actually do change their tonality.  As a result, they respond back with more solutions to life’s challenges, creativity starts to blossom, your intuition becomes sharper and your overall mental health reaps the benefits of practicing attentive observation in meditation.

The sorrows of duty,
Like the heat of the sun,
Have scorched your heart.

But let stillness fall on you
With its sweet and cooling showers,
And you will find happiness.
~Ashtavakra Gita 18:3

Yoga Sutras
अभ्यासवैयाग्माभ्यां तणियोध् ॥ १२॥

Thank you for stopping by. If you liked my post, make sure to leave a mindful* comment below or ask questions about whatever comes to your mind.

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Thank you for reading!

With loving kindness,
Tiaga Nihal Kaur.
Namaste ॐ

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