I have enrolled in two month long meditation course lead by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield called the Power of Awareness. My personal meditation practice sort of manifested naturally along side my yoga journey. When I discovered yoga at 18, I really needed the physical movement, discipline, and structure that yoga provided. The older I get, the more I am drawn towards the inward spiritual journey and away from the westernized focus on the physical asana practice. Asana practice is still very important to me and will always be close to my heart but at this time in my life I feel ready to sit still. Many of the teachers and artists I follow could be considered meditation teachers, like Rupert Spira, Sam Harris, Yung Pueblo, and Mark Nepo. However, this will be my first official training on meditation. I am excited to deepen my personal practice and connect with the other students and mentors in the course. Journaling is an important part of the course (and a requirement). I'll be keeping a hand written private journal, but I would also like to post a summary of my experience each week here.
In this first week, class one covered establishing a practice. We are to meditate for 20 minutes per day and are provided several guided meditations that we (optionally) could use. I have been meditating daily using the WakingUp app by Sam Harris, but only for 10 minutes per day so I will increase this session to 20 minutes. We are suppose to journal about our experience after each daily meditation session. We listened to two lectures by Jack on understanding mindful presence and deepening our capacity for mindful presence. One of the videos was titled 'Arriving where we are', which is such an important concept because if we cannot meet ourselves right where we are at this very moment, then when will we? There will always be distractions and excuses that take us further away from our true nature of Being. What I liked most about class one was Jack's playful nature and brief storytelling about people he has seen change their lives through meditation. In class two, we focused on awakening the body. Because I have had such a deep connection to my yoga practice, the material felt a little beginner-level but I reminded myself that reviewing foundations is always wise, or as yogi's say, begin again. The sections in class two are titled 'you are a part of everything' and 'learning to stay' and both lectures were taught by Tara. She has such grace and even though I am watching the videos as a recording I can really feel her presence and connection with her students.
The journaling promts were:
1) During the body scan, what parts of the body—or what bodily sensations—were the easiest to include in mindful presence? Which ones were the most difficult?
2) When sensations are unpleasant, what helps you to stay present and to simply notice what they're like?
During the body scan I went to my memory of Sue's voice (my yoga mentor, teacher and friend) guiding me through a full body scan at the end of a yoga Nidra class (you lay in Savasana for the entire class and meditate, if you fall asleep she comes around and pinches your toes). I noticed a lot of fidgeting this week because I have also started a running routine and my body feels sore. I did my best to minimize the fidgeting and adjustments and really go into the physical discomfort, to just sit with it. I have indured so many (physical) injuries like a major break of my leg and fracture of my skull, I believed I was experienced in sitting with physical discomfort. However, I guess I am a little out of practice because I certainly struggled with it this week, which was a humbling experience and a reminder to always begin again. It is Sunday evening, and I am feeling grateful that to be on this pathless journey home to (our) true nature of Being. 💕✨