Every body responds to meditation differently. Every heart has different needs. Each of us has unique learning styles. Sometimes there is nothing as good as being able to talk to a meditation teacher who listens and learns from your experiences, and then develops with you an individualized program for you.
Each of us has several dozen gateways into meditation. These are ways of riding sensory and sensuous impulses inward, and delighting in the inner world. Everyone knows some. These are invitations from life, and they are already vibrating in your body. Without your knowing it, these gateways are a subset of the classic meditation practices such as are described in The Radiance Sutras, in Meditation Secrets for Women, Meditation Made Easy, and Meditation 24/7. These personal practices, that your body and mind spontaneously invent, are actually standards, even though you don’t know that. In any given moment, or on any given day, one of these may be calling you.
At the same time, there is a personal aspect to your practice. The way you engage with meditation is unique to you, to your senses, the way your body channels energy, the way you have learned to play with and draw nourishment from the Sun, ocean, air, gravity, space, and the Earth itself (herself). You have a unique inner balance of senses, instincts, and elements, and these make up the details of how you experience meditation. There are directions you may trust more than others – forward but not leaning back, upwards but not sinking down, or contracting but not expanding. Your balance within the elements and directions will shape your meditation and your life.
When you meditate in a way that is appropriate and healthy for you, the whole process will feel natural and innate, your own. The technique will be barely there and you will feel at home in meditation. And the practice will help you to thrive in life and adapt to changes.
Instinctive and Innate
The Sanskrit word nitya is illustrative of this point. Usually translated as “eternal,” the word nitya actually means “innate, native, one's own continual, perpetual , eternal, constantly dwelling or engaged in, intent upon, the sea or ocean.” You can look at nitya in the Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary here.
You want this quality of nitya in your meditation practice.
If meditation feels like a technique – something that comes from outside, or from ancient times, then you are in a bit of danger. You are practicing a technique that was not designed for you and that modifies your rhythms of attention and your body chemistry in unpredictable ways. Over time, the way you practice will produce slight alterations in your brain and blood chemistry. It may slow down or speed up your metabolism, or slow down your reaction time. Emotionally, the wrong practice can create an internal war. If meditation feels sacred, and you think of your mind and body as not sacred, then there will be a kind of inner inquisition, and you may wind up in a prison of your own creation.
When you are native to your technique, at home in it, and give permission to your instincts to modify the practice, then your technique will tend to adapt itself to fit your needs perfectly. Your own nature will tend to modify the technique to truly suit you.
Springing From Nature – Prakritija
Here is another delightful word from Sanskrit – prakritija – it means “springing from nature, inborn, innate.” Pronounced pra-kriti--ja.
The relevance of prakritija is this: the impulse to meditate springs up from your innate self, and calls you to rest there. As soon as possible in your learning curve, you want to get so that your yoga meditation practice feels utterly effortless and natural.
In one-to-one instruction, what we focus on is what techniques are springing up from your inner nature, how do you experience the impulse to meditate, and how can you become at home, native, and instinctive with your practice.
Sessions can be conducted over the phone, on Skype, and in person. The cost is $200 per session. After getting started, shorter sessions can be done for $100.
To set up an individual instruction session:
Call me at (310) 570-2803 or email [email protected]
Suggest a time that is good for you, specific days and times over the next several weeks that may work. Include your time zone.
If you want, email me a brief note about your experience with meditation, and what you want to get out of the practice, and any obstacles you have encountered.
Make a payment so that is taken care of.
Individual Training for Yoga Teachers
A type of session I love doing is coaching yoga teachers with their practice, and with their teaching of meditation as part of yoga. Our English word, “meditation” refers to three of the eight limbs of yoga.