Most of us have heard that the first ten minutes of our day are golden. And that what we choose to do in this time will greatly influence the day ahead. Some of us wake to the buzzing of an alarm, desperately wishing for just ten more minutes in bed, we push the snooze button to then find ourselves just as heavy eyed when the alarm buzzes again, and drag ourselves to a shower and then hit the caffeine.
Some of us have a notion that if we just stopped watching TV an hour earlier at night, or had a curfew on social media and work emails, or didn’t eat just before sleep and actually managed to hit the hay by 10pm, that then we would be able to awake bright eyed, bushy tailed and able to fulfill the image in our head of landing on our mat in a beautifully serene meditation pose, possibly even vibrating to our own Om chants and then floating through the rest of our morning with ease and levity, remaining content and balanced thought the usual mayhem of packing the kids off to school or the commute to work, embodying patience and calm dealing with colleagues who before would have pushed our buttons.
Know that this is all available to any one of us at anytime.
Sadhana or daily spiritual practice is a time for conscious contact with Self.
It’s about establishing a connection that we can carry throughout the day. It is a process of re-wiring ourselves and setting ourselves up for success. It was described to me by one of my teachers, Pema Chodron, as a way to access our potential energy. That energy that brings us to operating as the highest and best versions of ourselves. This energy goes unrealized until we start to wake up on the path of self realization. And this starts with moments in quiet solitude so we may start to turn down the external volume of life and start to tune in to our inner landscape. When we can tap into this energy, life goes from being run on self discipline and will power, desperately trying to stay on the beam of making the best n right choices (which let’s face it, can be pretty darn exhausting!) to being guided by our intuition which automatically leads us to be making higher vibrational choices and decisions in every area of life. Life starts to flow more easily. What used to take effort and force, the need to strive and grasp, starts to feel more full of ease. “What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind…….Our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration.” (P132 Recovery 2.0 Tommy Rosen)
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So how do we get there? I’d say the most helpful tip here to never forget that this is a practice. Start small. Enjoy what you’re doing and look forward to doing it each and every morning. There is no day off with a Sadhana practice. You learn to feel what the mind, body and soul need and you adapt to that. Some mornings you may be blissfully immersed in an hour or two of practice and other mornings you many only have 10 minutes. We all have 10 minutes a day. Really we do. Start with that. Sit in whatever position is most comfortable for you to start with, with straight spine if it is possible and just practice being comfortable in stillness. However that looks for you today.
There are 3 Keys to Sadhana that you can take on board at any time.
1. Befriend your Mind
I don’t know who said it or where I heard it, but I initially believed that to meditate meant to ‘clear my mind’. As a result I believed for a long time that I couldn’t meditate. That there was sometime wrong with me. Specifically my mind. That my mind was different from every other human beings and that no one understood just how busy and noisy my mind was and how utterly unable to mediate I was.
I smile as I write this as I have been on my journey with meditation for around 6 years and I now lead others on their journeys into meditation. I love it! It’s as much part of my day as taking a shower and brushing my teeth.
So what changed? As with anything transformational I found a teacher that sounded like they were in my head making sense of all the stuff I hadn’t quite managed to put in to words yet. I learnt that I couldn’t meditate UNLESS I had a busy mind. That without the mind wandering off to thoughts of ‘what will I have for breakfast?’ or ‘should I go to the bank first after class or try and make the earlier train to get me into town earlier’. Or indeed the mind being distracted by sensations (often times pins and needles in the early days!) in my legs and feet, or by a fly deciding to perch on my cheek, or the sounds outside pulling me in or an itch that always seemed to arise just as I got still and settled.
I was taught that meditation was the act of bringing the mind back from each of these wanderings, just bringing it back. Like starting to work a muscle with the smallest weights first. Maybe getting a fraction of a second before the mind wandered off again. And instead of chastising myself as I had been, to smile, to feel kindness & compassion for self, to find humour and notice “Ah, haha….there I go thinking again!” and bring the mind back, and then a second later noticing “Ah, haha…..now there I go feeling!” to smile and bring the mind back. And that THIS was meditating. With time and practice building that meditation muscle and sometimes getting a second or two or maybe even three where the mind didn’t wander. And at the end of the session feeling…….different, better. Feeling a sense of calm, of peace, of levity. And wanting to return to the practice the next day, even if it was just for the ten minutes I’d carved out of my morning, every morning.
2. Change or Establish Your Frequency
Coming to your practice and coming to yourself from a place of “Maitri”, Loving Friendliness for Self. How wonderful is that?! Treating and feeling about yourself as you would a dear friend.
And embodying “Ahimsa”, None Violence for self, be that in thought, speech and actions. Creating a sense of true self care, self love, self nurture and enjoying it!
3. Set & Hold your Intention (find a phrase or motto you can bring into your Sadhana).
One of my favourites is from a Metta (Loving Kindness) Meditation that was part of my daily nourishment when I was healing from burn out and adrenal fatigue.
“May I be Safe
May I be Happy
May I be Healthy
May I be Loved”
We keep opening ourselves to new possibilities every time when we practice. And remember, it is just that. A practice.
Credit & thanks to my teacher Kia Miller for Inspiring this article and for the guidance & support with Sadhana. Also to the teachings of the 12 Step Spiritual Program, as well as Tommy Rosen & Pema Chodron.
I am a channel for the teachers and teachings that resonate with me and help me on the path of transformation & realization. For this I am forever grateful.
Soul Talk Holistic Wellness
With a burning passion for health, wellness, yoga and mindfulness, plus a love of helping people, Kirstin has been guided into a new career path at Amity and has found her calling. Kirstin implements yin yoga, breath work, meditation, aromatherapy and mindfulness into her teachings. Previously working in Hong Kong, she intimately knows the corporate environment and the specific challenges and stressors that most people endure. Her caring, kind and nurturing nature perfectly complement her mission to create positive change as she supports our guests in all aspects of their wellness program.