...I began practicing meditation in 1982. My perception at that time was that meditator has to stay cool all the time, like un-emotional or un-disturbable, so to speak. And if I couldn’t keep my mind still, I was taking a guilt trip. In my mind, all my meditation training was useless. This would actually pull me down emotionally. A little bit, but still every time it happened it was affirming my own faults...
I started practicing Hatha Yoga in 1983, and had been teaching since 1986 until about 2008. The number one reason I stopped was time limitation. In 1980s and early 90s I could practice one hour of Yoga and four hours of martial arts every day. But I don’t have this luxury at this time. Since the foundation of my practice has always been martial arts, I chose to take that Path.
My friends, there’s no such a thing as drifting without a goal. If I go for a stroll with no specific destination, then my goal is just to have a walk. If somebody is drifting in life, then it was their decision, conscious or unconscious. However, this can be changed practically at any time. This week I will talk about that. Until then, answer one questions for yourself: are you honestly in life where you want to be? Financially, Spiritually, Health-wise, etc.
What I found out, in most of cases we are given a freedom of choice. If I like to see the World a better place, I better become the change I want to see. If I want something better in my life, in most of the cases I have a choice to make it happen. If I like a better job, it is up to me to get it. How? I will talk about it in my episodes about personal growth.
I see so many people following traditions not even knowing why they do what they do. It does not necessarily mean bad. Many schools have very structured approach. They have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years. I’ve been learning several very structured traditions myself. But I'm always trying to figure out how each element of tradition came about and why. Is it still relevant today?
If you are on the Path of mindfulness, if you are developing your mind, body & spirit, there’s one the most significant, in my opinion, question you have to answer: are you just fooling yourself unintentionally?
One of the main issues I see today is that we live in a fast pace “microwave” society. We want everything yesterday. Many people look at meditation as a headache pill: take it now and it starts working five minutes ago.
Water. Look at it: it is soft and flexible enough to run around even tiny obstacles, but it is powerful and persistent to create a Grand Canyon.
There’s a concept of lateral thinking. It suggests that we explore all possible solutions. Even sometimes they may sound like total bizarre. You don’t have to go in depth, just think so you exercise your creativity. Or at least you may be able to identify and prevent possible problems if only you ask yourself one question: "what if…?”
In my classes I am teaching about being the Water. What am I trying to get out of it? To me, being like water means don’t over-react, don’t resist, be flexible, take any shape you need, but still be who you are.
I've seen large boulders the water pushed out of the way. So, what may happen to the rock? I would answer, it depends on the shape and size of the rock. Also, are we talking about still water, slow river or fast stream? What is the shape and inclination of the river bed? There's a big chance that the powerful stream will push the rock out of the way. For how long? For as long as the force of the resistance is less than the strength of the water.
I used to think that I need a specific place and specific time to meditate. I used to get up as early as 4:30 in the morning for Yoga and meditation practice. I love practicing at the sunrise. There’s nothing like sitting in Lotus posture on the top of the hill at 5 AM, breathing fresh air and watching the sun going up. I still love it! I must admit those memories are still inside my head like a standard of training for me. I also love the ocean. All this is great! Gardens, mountains, waterfall, sunrise, sunset are amazing for practice, if you have them handy. What if you don’t?