Tag Archives: Growth

Posture & Meditation

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The basic method for taming our hyperactive mind is to bring our awareness to the body and breath. When we do this, we notice that the state of our body and breathing affect our mental state and that our mental state affects our body and breathing.

This is why posture is important in meditation.

The seven point meditation posture, also known as the Seven Points of Vairocana, is commonly practiced to achieve balance in mind and body through the sitting posture. If the position of the body is correct, it will calm an agitated mind, cheer up an unhappy mind, and produce clarity in an overwhelmed mind.

– The First of the seven points of posture is to sit down, to sit on some kind of cushion. If you are flexible, you can sit in the vajra posture, which is usually known in the West as the lotus posture. But if you’re not that flexible, or you find this posture uncomfortable, or you can’t sit cross-legged at all, and you need to sit in a chair, don’t worry about it. Don’t feel that it will harm or inhibit your meditation to sit in a chair.

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– The Second point is to place your hands evenly. This is referring to the left hand being placed palm up in your lap and the right hand is placed palm up in the left. But it can also be understood as keeping our hands at the same height, such as placing them on your knees.

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– The Third point of posture is that your spine be straight. This is quite important because by keeping our back straight, we straighten out the subtle channels within our body through which our subtle winds or energies flow. This will allow our mind to relax naturally and become calm.

– The Fourth point is that the shoulders be pushed back a little bit. Here the shoulders are really just an example. It means that all parts of our body are held in a proper and wakeful posture, so that they are relaxed, but not so relaxed that the posture becomes sloppy.

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– The Fifth point is that your chin is brought back in and down. This should happen naturally by straightening your back.

– The Sixth is to touch your tongue to the palate.

– The Seventh and final point of posture is the gaze, which is what we do with our eyes. This is important because our thoughts tend to follow our gaze, or our eyes. We should be relaxed looking into space, at nothing in particular, somewhere about 16 fingers width in front of the nose.meditation-posture-drawing

Although it may be hard for beginners to get used to this classical Buddhist meditation posture, the rewards of a few sessions help the mind find peace, strength and control. It also benefits the physical body by bringing its energies into balance.

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HEALTH, HAPPINESS & GIFTS … OH MY!

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The stream of ‘Seasonal Sales’ and ‘Huge Discounts’ began shortly after Halloween… An endless assault of emails and special opportunities to purchase at BIG savings.

 
I have nothing quite that flashy except an invitation to experience what I teach at some very affordable prices. Click HERE to ponder the possibilities!

Healing is the journey. The destination is yourself.

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Lu Jong in The Hamptons

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An Invitation From Lu Jong ~ New York

 

What do you have to lose? …  A little STRESS ?

 

Lu Jong is an ancient Tibetan movement practice from the Tantrayana and Bon traditions with origins dating as far back as 8,000 years.  It is a form of Meditation in Motion.

Join us in the incomparable Hamptons for a special opportunity to learn how this gentle practice can have a positive effect upon your Body and Mind!

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Learn the Movements of The Five Elements, a sequence that nurtures the spine in addition to removing energy blockages from your chakras as you focus and calm the mind.

This gentle yet powerful practice is designed to be accessible to all ages and abilities … no prior knowledge is necessary.

 

WHERE?   GOOD GROUND YOGA Hampton Bays, NY

WHEN?  THURSDAY, JULY 286:30 TO 7:45 PM

 

Need More Info? Joelle@LuJongNewYork.com

TOWARD AN AWAKENED HEART

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I once read a quote that really stayed with me:

“…The conceit of self is challenged and eroded not only by the circumstances of our lives but also by our willingness to meet those circumstances with grace rather than with fear.”

When word spread in the village of a beloved teacher’s failing health and impending death, well wishers gathered to pay their last respects and to honor him. Streams of people extolled his kindness, patience, eloquence and compassion.

The Master listened and smiled weakly as the visitors seemed to go on for hours. Finally, his wife noticed he was growing restless and asked that he be allowed to rest. Turning to her husband, she asked what was bothering him remarking that such wonderful things were being said about him.

“Yes,” he replied “It was all wonderful … But did you notice that no one mentioned my humility?”

The ‘conceit of self’ is said to be the last of the great obstacles on the path to full awakening. Cleverly disguised as humility, empathy, or virtue, conceit can appear as feelings of being worse than, equal to, or better than others. This in turn gives rise to the messy and jumbled world of comparisons, judgements, jealousies and insecurities.

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Hmmm …

Superiority Conceit is easy to grasp: Basically, this is where we consider ourselves better or worthier than others – it builds upon our appearance and achievements.
Who hasn’t (even for a split second) noticed a fellow meditator shifting positions on their cushion as we congratulate ourselves for remaining stoically still?
Or how about that great story we are itching to share, the one that highlights some ‘wonderful’ personal achievement, or quality we possess, only to discover our audience couldn’t be less interested?
In its obvious form conceit displays as arrogance and self-righteousness. There are also more subtle versions such as the immutable belief in our ‘rightness’ – which in turn blocks our ability to receive criticism or to truly listen to another person.

Inferiority Conceit is one everyone can relate to: Feelings of unworthiness, of ‘not being good enough’, which have become a common aspect of our competitive culture.  Oddly this conceit also builds upon our appearance AND the mental laundry list we keep of all the mistakes we have ever made.
This is the domain of envy, resentment, fear and blame … further reinforcing our belief in an ‘imperfect’ self.
Moments of personal progress are ‘mistakes or flukes’, achievements are the prizes of the ‘more perfect’ others.
When we break out of this cycle of self-judgement we develop our self-confidence and can see that each person, in each moment, has an equal possibility for joy, the capacity for compassion, and a potential awakening on their path.

Equality Conceit is not subject to the Goldilocks Principle one would assume: Here we fall into the realm of mediocrity. Why bother? Don’t we all share the same flaws and delusions? There’s a lazy comfort with this outlook, ‘sameness’ means we don’t need to strive toward higher goals alone … “Misery loves Company”.
When we notice that someone falls asleep during a teaching, suddenly we feel better about ourselves because we feel the same way. It’s reassuring to observe ‘apparently’ happier or more successful persons (than ourselves) and to focus on their flaws to somehow justify our own struggles.
Who hasn’t seen the chuckles when a celebrity trips and falls on stage at an awards ceremony?
The downside of this attitude is a constant sense of disappointment and cynicism about human nature.


Conceit perpetuates the dualities of “self” and “others” by taking the stories and identities we build for ourselves and using them as the foundation for how we relate with others and the world.

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To break out of these cycles takes hard work along with the courage to use each ‘conceit’ moment as a chance to practice mindfulness and restraint.

Life can be unpredictable, and as such, gives us many opportunities to practice letting go of control with sprinklings of hardships, illnesses, and other obstacles.

But it’s OK to face the limits of our powers and to let Life happen, because in doing so we learn to cultivate a heart that can unconditionally welcome all things.

Student: “What is the secret to your happiness and equanimity?”

Teacher: “A wholehearted, unrestricted cooperation with the unavoidable.”

This is the Heart of Mindfulness and Compassion.  This is an Awakened Heart.

There is no such thing as failure. There is only Sweet and Sour reality …..

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The I Ching hexagram, ‘Oppression‘, comes to mind:

“… Hard times shrivel our spirits, and give rise to a multitude of “crows” in the form of troublesome worries. Times of great loss or personal failure break weaker people; but the strong of heart can bend with fate …”

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Valentine’s Day has a habit of highlighting the Sweet and Sour around us.  For every kiss that ‘begins with K’ there’s a lonely heart sitting at home.

No, this isn’t about affairs of the heart … more like it’s about Challenges and Change, and relationships are examples we can understand.

When things go sideways, it doesn’t mean the entire experience was a fail.  Not every lesson lasts a lifetime, and it’s important to glean the wisdom we are offered and to honor the opportunity for growth.

Sometimes we resist change because we are afraid of the unknown, sometimes because we fear being seen as ‘quitters’ or failures. My thoughts are that each of us must walk our own paths, listening to our deepest instincts, and everything else is simply people on the outside looking in … opinions and theories.  Background noise.

“… Keep in mind that failure – the final taboo in modern society – is but one part of the inevitable cycle of life for those who dare to live fully and completely. Never to fail at all is to fail in the biggest way.”

New experiences, new relationships, even the release from a toxic or dead relationship … Change … are all wonderful reminders of how much Life has to share with us.  These ‘re-dos’ can be blessings in disguise.  Old patterns and dead-end habits must be purged to make room for growth and fresh starts.  We see this in the cycles of Nature, the leaves that fall from trees aren’t ‘garbage’, they also become compost to nurture what will be further growth for the tree.

See?  We are the trees, and even our worst mistakes will carry something of value for us.

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I was at a Yin Yoga Teacher Training recently and the instructor (the super-duper Corina Benner) read a poem that really stayed with me:

‘She Let Go’
Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear.
She let go of judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She just let go.
She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do
it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or
congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
Here’s to giving ourselves the gift of letting go…
There’s only one guru ~ you.

The author of this poem is unclear. A few sites list Ernest Holmes as the author, another Jennifer Eckert Bernau, and still another Rev. Safire Rose.

Wow, right?