Nataraj Express

Journey to the Self

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Mindfulness and Meditation 

Awareness of Awareness is one of the meditation practices I come back to again and again.

I have been doing some kind of mindfulness practice since 2006, and although I know all the theory there is to know about how sticking to one only practice normally brings more ‘results’, my ever questioning and curious nature couldn’t do it, especially if I am in it not for any kind or ‘result’ but to just be (ok, truth is, also to understand the nature of reality and our minds).

So I have been trying many methods over the years, and every few months or so, I change it over again or mix and match.
I love Japa Mantra (the repetition of a mantra or sacred vibration for normally 108 times) as it focuses the mind on something specific, easier to maintain concentration, and I use this practice specifically to create some kind of connection to the ‘divine’ (within and without). I also feel attraction for Buddhist meditation techniques especially Zazen, Tonglen, Metta (loving-kindness) and the techniques of Dream Yoga and yoga to prepare for the Bardo (after death).

My favourite one is drifting away to Awareness of Awareness at the end of anything I practice. I start by observing my breath, sensations in the body, and once mind and body have settled in their ‘natural state’ I just stay there, observing ‘who’ or ‘what’ is making the observing. In the beginning of times so many years ago, I remember clearly thinking I was crazy, feeling there were more than one of me making the observing. I can’t stress enough how interesting this process is.

It is a very subtle practice and to be honest, I think it isn’t easy for those just starting on the path of self-knowledge, but you never know. Some people find it easy to concentrate with an actual object such as a symbol, image, sound, etc. and others, like me, find it easier or more fulfilling to observe the subtle mind.

Anything you choose is ok. There is nothing written anywhere that must change how you are. My recommendation is that no matter what, just sit or lie down to observe something at least 5 minutes a day, it will slowly start changing the way you perceive ‘reality’.

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My Notes On Meditation 10 

Yesterday, when I sat for meditation something new happened. Something that I hadn’t felt since I started my inner journey 10 years ago… I got an instant message/thought/image/feeling from… myself? intuition? quantum field? Akasha? my true self? the voice inside us?….. call it whatever you wish, but this “message” kept resounding in my mind, in my heart, in my blood and in every cell of what I think to be “me”: 

•”I dissolve without fear”• 

That was it. When I was in that moment I deeply understood this truth and accept it as mine for now, for some purpose, some reason, a new path to walk towards…. Too early to see how it unfolds, but something has shifted… 

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My Notes On Meditation 9

I’ve been meditating on and off for more than 10 years, I’ve tried different styles, different techniques…. For many years I thought I had to go out there and find the “perfect” meditation for myself. Well, here is the thing; the perfect meditation for oneself is the one you do in that moment. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, as long as you are constant about it. They all “work”. All religions “work” if you read the truths hidden behind them. Same with meditation; the truth is, just be here now, no matter how, but being. Nowadays my preferred method is sitting silent meditation (Zazen), but a few years back it was Mantra meditation, and I am open for whatever comes my way.

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Yoga As A Path To Acceptance 

I am tired of reading messages about Yoga or Meditation being a path to being positive. Positivity is not a goal. Happiness just is. Happiness doesn’t mean positivity forever 100% of the time. Being happy means accepting when we are positive, when we are negative, when we are sad, when we are angry, when we are fearful, when we are frustrated, etc. Peace of mind doesn’t mean lying to everyone, especially to yourself, and saying “yes, I’m ok, everything is always good”. No. not everything feels always ‘good’ and no, it doesn’t have to, for you to be in peace. Peace of mind and happiness can only come from the acceptance of the darkness as part of the same coin as light is. The acceptance of this polarity is what sets us free. So if you wish to hear a postive message all the time to make you feel better about yourself or your life, I am not the person really to teach you. When I teach yoga or meditation I make it clear that you are enough as you are in that moment. Nothing else. I won’t tell you to smile or even to move on your mat if you only feel like staying in child’s pose and crying your heart out. I will set a space for you to feel free to be yourself, to journey through yourself, to learn from yourself. Yoga is a path of self discovery, not a path to positivity. There cannot be one thing without its contrary.

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“Yoga Changed My Life”

Today I read something, that although I have read many times before, struck me differently. “Yoga changed my life”. It made me think… Nothing external from us can be the cause of our suffering or of our happiness, so how can something external change us or our lives? It is not Yoga that changes our lives, it is us alone that do that. I think we must stop blaming or putting the merit on anything that is not us. It all comes back to our own choices; cause and consequence, the eternal law of Karma. What Yoga does (and any other thing, other paths of self-study) is connect us to our selves; to our little minds (egos) and to the great infinite mind. It opens up the door to knowing, studying, and accepting ourselves. It’s not Yoga that changes us, it’s Yoga that makes us look at ourselves without judgement and without preconceptions. It’s Yoga that teaches us the deep surrender to what is. But ultimately it is us, and only us that can change, and that can change our lives… Yoga is the journey of the self to the self, but it is the self that chooses.