“Sat nam sat nam sat nam ji; wahay guru wahay guru wahay guru ji”
Well, the other night I couldn’t get all the way through 62 minutes of the dancing hand meditation – I just got distracted & bored, and finally “bagged it.” Yesterday – Memorial Day – I just did the 11 min. “Har” and 11 recitations of Shabd Hazaaray. So today I tried it again, starting with the Dancing Hand Meditation (Master’s Touch p. 170). I decided it would be better to try to do all 62 mins. in one sitting. I found a sample of “Dhuni” online, and looped it for 62 minutes in Quicktime, while I played “Narayan,” in iTunes, which is just over 62 minutes long, so I wouldn’t be distracted by checking the timer and wondering how soon it would be over. At first I tried Matamandir Singh’s English “Japji” because it’s almost exactly an hour long, but it was a whole step lower than the “Dhuni” sitar melody, and it was just too dissonant to continue with.
I had a bowl of solstice onion soup first, and then dove in. I was sitting on a blanket and pillow on my bed, as I don’t have a zafu, and it’s less strain on my knees for longer meditations. A few minutes in, my body straightened up, not allowing me to slump through it any more. Gradually I felt my chest cavity open up, and the lungs began to fill and empty more thoroughly. I had a house turban on, because I learned long ago that you can get headaches in the longer meditations if you don’t have a head covering to help contain the energy as it flows through your body, but after a while I was feeling headachy in my temples. I focused on my third eye point, and it went away, then the crown of my head, and had the experience that I was a vortex of chakra energy centers with a pile of turban sitting atop it all, like Mr. Frosty. The headache felt like blocked energy; I took off my glasses and tied the turban tighter, which helped a little bit. I checked iTunes to see how far through it I was; 42 minutes.
That helped a lot. Then I concentrated on neck lock, and that helped even more. But then I started really “dancing” with the sitar and tablas, and the energy block opened up and went away completely for the rest of the meditation. I was boogy-ing to it, doing African dance to it, having fun. I experimented with how the focus of the closed eyes affected the experience, then I noticed a distracting smell. Was it cooking food? Hmmm, it smelled like motor bearings wearing out. Nothing on the stove would cause that, perhaps it was a neighbor’s kitchen. I hope a hard drive or power supply isn’t dying. No, it’s the smell of cooking garlic in oil! In a neighbor’s kitchen below me. Or was it coming from me? I felt my chest and lungs opening wider, spine flexing occasionally, then becoming still. I felt energy moving up in a wave vertically across my whole body. For the most part, I think my attention stayed on the meditation for the majority of the time, except when the heachachy feelings came through, but I also found myself wondering about “calling” and career, and what self-destructive behaviors and habits I’ve been unwilling to let go of to embrace the yogic lifestyle completely and be able to help others with it. “You haven’t been taking care of the body that’s serving as the container for your spirit.” Then 62 minutes arrived and I shook it all out. Pretty wild for just turning your arms back and forth in front of your body.
Now on to “Har” again and “Healing the Wounds of Love….”
OK, Har seemed to take forever today. I looked up to see how far into I was, thinking I must be near the 11 minute mark, and was only around 6 minutes.
Then I read “Shabd Hazaaray” as I chanted along with the “Healing the Wounds of Love” recording. While I’ve been able to catch phrases and sing along a milli-second after I hear each pitch or syllable, I’ve not been sure I was actually chanting the phrases on the page when I just listen to it and chant without the lyrics, as I’ve done when time was short and I chanted it while driving. This was how I learned Japji; although I haven’t memorized it yet, when I hear it I can chant nearly all of it now.
So I had the clever idea that I would actually count the repetitions this time, but had lost track by maybe the third repetition. Then I kept thinking “THIS is definitely the LAST repetition, right?” I think I started thinking that around number 7. Ah well.
Then there’s the question: “will I keep going after day eleven?” Also, “what if it doesn’t do anything that’s promised for it?”
I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m noticing that many days since I started back into this regimen, things that target my lower chakras and insecurities; mainstream advertising – especially those attempting to leverage sexuality, anything else that’s supposed to remind me of how much less I am than others because I haven’t bought something or behaved the way someone expects me to – they all seem to have less of an impact on me. It’s almost like I’m more “in tune” with “me” and less interested in what others think, or of getting their approval, less interested in non-constructive fantasy (as opposed to fantasy that’s applied in creativity). OK, I don’t feel secure in that pronouncement yet. Perhaps that yogic sense of self hasn’t built up resilience and strength. I went to a barbeque Friday, found myself not apologizing or approval-seeking as much, but still felt like my yogic state-of-mind was deteriorated by the drive back home. The Access Consciousness folks have this technique where you inquire of each thought, “who does this belong to?” We’re all more psychic than we want to admit, they suggest. It’s a bit silly. But I do think we pick up on the obsessions and focus of the people around us, even without knowing it. Maybe this is all spiritual ego seeking validation from itself through delusion and fantasy, maybe not. The practical voice is also saying, “it’s nice you’re doing all this yoga, but that’s not going to pay the bills now, is it?” Yes, we’ve been down this road before.
Update, the next day: I take it back. It was all a delusion. I’m as gullible as the next kunda-looney.