By Hari Kaur Khalsa, Co-Founder of Hari NYC
“I want to talk to you about your most important companion and its structure: The Mind. Every human being who wants to excel and to develop the character and caliber that upholds the values of the soul needs a direct, fundamental relationship to the mind..This is the minimum requirement to develop human sensitivity. So prepare yourself for an intense study. Not an intellectual debate, but an intelligent confrontation with your own experience.” - Yogi Bhajan
The Goal of Meditation - Living a Conscious Life
Say what you mean – Do what you say – Live the destiny of your soul
The practice of meditation is integral to the practice and study of Kundalini Yoga. Tuning in creates the sacred space for practice, the practice of pranayam and kriyas stimulate the physical and subtle bodies and clear the energy channels preparing for the deep practice of meditation. Relaxation, often practiced throughout the class, helps to integrate these new positive patterns into your being. Self study, physical exercise, relaxation and meditation are the foundations of Kundalini Yoga. Through dedicated practice you can pierce through the illusions and distractions of this world and experience awareness and consciousness.
Say what you mean – Do what you say – Live the destiny of your soulYou may practice yoga for many reasons. Perhaps you want to increase your flexibility, improve your health, or learn to manage the stress in your life. As you practice Kundalini Yoga you may find additional benefits that you did not expect. You may find that you are able to speak from your heart with less fear, expressing yourself with integrity and dignity. You begin to forgive yourself for the past and project to the future with hope and positive energy. Your communications with family, friends, and co-workers improves and your relationships grow deeper and more satisfying. You may begin to feel a new level of self-love and self-respect that enables you to live more happily and fulfilled. Your words reflect your inner truth, your actions reflect your words, and you experience the fulfillment of living your destiny – a life that is a direct reflection of your soul’s radiance. You live a conscious life. Many of these benefits are a result of meditation practice, “an intelligent confrontation with your own experience.”
Individual – Community – Universal
When you live a conscious life, your identity is clear to you, your actions in community are uplifting, and your goals reflect alignment with universal truth.
What is meditation and how does it help you live a life of awareness and consciousness?
Meditation is a discipline that helps you process the millions of thoughts stored in your subconscious. Throughout your waking hours, you have millions of thoughts. Many of these thoughts and impressions are stored in your subconscious mind. Sometimes these thoughts are processed during dreams. But other times, these thoughts leave such strong impressions and interfere with your ability to be focused, clear and conscious in your communications and actions.
Meditation can be compared to taking out the garbage. Each time you meditate you provoke your subconscious mind to “dump” the thoughts and impressions into your conscious mind so you have a direct experience of your “hidden” self. You can literally see and feel how you act and react to the stimulus in your life based on past fears and experiences instead of being present to each new moment. By creating calm and quiet through the disciplined release of subconscious mental tension, meditation can free you from the cycle of grasping outside yourself for the value and contentment that are really within you, and available in each waking moment of breath.
Meditation is both a personal and impersonal practice.
Meditation is a personal practice because you must develop a personal motivation to sit down and practice. Your individual practice will bring you personal benefits. Meditation is an impersonal act because we are all part of the same family of humankind and each step we take towards personal inner peace and conscious action, is a step for the peace and conscious action of all.
How, When, Where to Meditate
You can meditate anywhere. The best meditation environments are quite and clean. But since meditation is exercise for your mind, you meditate anywhere. Sometimes the most challenging environments will bring positive results as you find peace within the environmental chaos. To achieve the maximum benefits from meditation, it is recommended that you meditate in a group in addition to your personal meditation practice. When you meditate in a class or in a group setting, a special energy is generated that inspires individual and group higher consciousness. Community practice is especially healing as we learn to work together during stressful times. We may disagree on different issues, but we can still meditate together and create a powerful projection for healing and peace as we move beyond the mundane and into cosmic meaning and bliss.
Powerful Times of the Day to Meditate
· The Amrit Vela the early morning – between 4:00 - 6:00 AM before the sun rises and the day begins. Practicing at this time helps you start your day with an infinite vibration that will help align your thoughts and actions with your highest intentions
· Between 4:00 - 6:00 PM as the sun sets. The transition of day to night makes this a powerful time to meditate
· Before bed - meditating before bed can help encourage restful sleep and relax the mind
There are many types of meditations you may learn in your study of Kundalini Yoga. You will encounter meditations for creativity, energy, peace, character, healing and more. Some meditations emphasize breathing, the sound and experience of your breath. Other meditations may include mantra (chanting aloud or silently), or special hand and body postures. The different elements of each meditation combine to produce a specific effect in your psyche as indicated in the description of the meditation. Each meditation is powerful. Don’t be fooled, or confused as to what to practice. Even though each meditation may emphasize a particular aspect of life or healing, every meditation will also take you to the ultimate experience of universal truth.