Inner contentment during a Lyft ride

Thoughts on recent experiences while Meditating

Just some thoughts while I recall them. I have noticed that each time I meditate, I feel a variety of moving sensations within my brain. I haven’t been able to define if it’s just the nerve endings on the skin layer over my skull, or if there is something going on with synapse cellular growth within my brain. I am aware that scientific research has conclusively proven that meditation does enhance brain ability and will stimulate previously abandoned neurological waystations within the brain.

All this morning, for example, while I rode in my hired Lyft to the airport, while walking through the terminal, and while sitting at my gate awaiting to board, I felt a massage-like sensation gently pulsating in the area of the pineal gland between my eyebrows. Accompanying that was a very gentle sense of joy and fulfillment – the contentment mentioned in the first part of this entry. 

The other day, I noticed my body just kept wanting to recline and rest, no matter how much I rested anyway. I was curious about why this was happening, as I didn’t really feel fatigued. While laying on my bed for several hours, I noticed how oxygen seemed to almost forcibly flow through my bloodstream. I felt it more pronounced in my legs, my lungs, organs, etc. It was a curious experience. I asked my soul, my Antaryamin, what this was about. Almost immediately I was reminded that I had recently prayed to be healed of any ailment I had of which I wasn’t aware that I had. I actually had this same notion weeks before, when I had a relentless case of the flu for three weeks – a duration I don’t recall having before.

In meditation, I became cognizant that my body was cleansing itself. Of course, all sickness is the body’s effort to cleanse itself of biological invaders, But it is also true that the practice of yoga, while digging deeply into the psyche to help create awareness, simultaneously is digging deeply into our cellular level, eradicating the root cause of those symptoms that prevent us from experiencing our inherently divine nature. 

Typing within a Tetris Cube

2:42 pm  On the flight to Miami. 

An hour to go. I thought of the idea of setting up a new blog. One that will span the forthcoming 8 years of Sadhana. I envision myself and the blog as an aquarium for readers to witness the unfolding transformation that a true sadhana offers. 

As of now, I want to write more, but I can’t seem to do so comfortably. The person sitting to my right has commandeered the central armrest shared between us, and the person in front of me has their seat reclined. I feel like I’m trying to type within a Tetris cube. Or a parallelogram. It’s an interesting experience as I write in a contorted position. How fun it is when you just allow yourself to experience the truth of what is and the way something it is instead of judging and delegating it to expectations of how it should be done. Certainly, I prefer more elbow room and privacy, etc, etc, but being in the circumstances as they are is a celebratory affair, unique and unlike any other. It’s another way that God manifests the varied marvel of his creation. Flowers plants, species come in varied forms. So do our experiences. If we allow experiences to be viewed as another variety in the garden of our life, it makes the way so much more enjoyable. 

I was contemplating the earlier segment about judging. This is such an important component of sadhana. That is, to witness the mind’s tendency to judge. By judging, we limit ourselves from experiencing another person for who or what they are, and potentially deprive ourselves of an invaluable gift or lesson that might be gleaned from non-judgmental interaction. By reacting, by embracing an arising anger, ….lost my train of thought there. Got distracted by observing the activity of another on the plane. It is interesting to watch how the mind wants to drag us down, to drag us into the hell of a situation. That is, at least one aspect of the mind. I believe this is how evil or darkness slips its way into our lives. It cannot be straightforward. It has to be sneaky. This is why the wise author of the book of Genesis depicted Satan as a snake. Deviousness is its hallmark characteristic. 

This same mind and the same thought in the same moment can alternately be experienced as a divinely influenced thought. Meaning, while the dark mind is attempting to distract us with thoughts or notions that are adharmic, negative, unhelpful, unworthy, and unserving, there is in that moment a light, an illumination on a hidden lesson. Sadhana is about seeing those lessons in all their subtle glory. As we enable ourselves to see them through proper practice and effort, they instead move to the fore and become the dominant thoughts of our nature, thus transforming our nature. It’s as simple as that. 

Here is an example. I wrote all that you’ve read while sitting in a contorted position in a crowded airplane. I could have sat here and written a piece that grumbled about everything mentioned in a pessimistic or negative light. Instead, I simply stated the circumstances as facts. It is what it is. And I moved on, focusing instead on the progress in yoga practice on which I’m reflecting. 

3:13 pm

The captain just announced that we’ll be landing in 30 minutes. I’m pretty impressed with American Airlines. This plane is similar to the one on which I returned from the UK in June of 2018. Time to sign off for now, to put away the laptop and prepare to land. 

The Tao of solitude in a busy airport terminal

The 8 year journey, post 1.

First entry – Friday, 2/23/2019 11:19am

It’s funny what a difference a few months of conscious yoga practice can make. I just arrived at the Philadelphia airport, about to catch a flight to Miami for a work weekend, followed by work on the Monsters of Rock cruise. 

In the past, work travel excited me. I used to look forward to squeezing in the available minutes and hours as an opportunity for micro vacations. Though it is not yet noon, I’m aware that tonight I will not have to work. In the past, I may have already found myself parked before a bar and ordering a beer. 

But I find myself completely content. I have no desire for a beer. I have no desire for anything. I find myself instead relishing the simple joy of just living and being in the moment. A beer cannot replace the satisfaction I felt just walking to my departure gate. Instead of purchasing a bottled water, I stopped at a water bottle refill station to fill the empty I brought from home. I have no interest in gorging myself on a Bruegger’s bagel and coffee or a vegetarian Smashburger, if such a thing exists. 

I am learning to once again be mindful in the moment, to surrender to the moment, of wherever my feet and legs have directed me. Though I anticipate events and opportunities to come in the week ahead both while hosting clients tomorrow and on the cruise to follow, I find my mind relatively quiet and desireless. This is a plus. For, in the practice of yoga, it is helpful to witness the gauge of progress in the small things of life. Therein lies the secret. 

A year ago, I went on the same cruise. I’ll post that story soon. Looking back, when I review that saga, though filled with funny moments and interesting anecdotes, I view it as somewhat pathetic. I’m not judging myself. I had a good time. I just don’t feel like the same person now. I see how that 57 year old guy was burning off what may have been the final steam of my partying years. I still don’t judge, because my own experience is now my guru. There is a lesson, for me, to learn by reflecting on my actions. They weren’t bad, weren’t wrong, but just less conducive to the direction I’m presently heading. 

I’ve learned that all those activities, in the bigger picture that yoga unveils, represent somewhat wasted time. Not wholly, though, and specifically because of the lessons and insights I’ve gained. So, in this regard, I am excited for the week ahead simply to see how this awakened being now embodying me will respond in the exact same scenarios. 

Already the tests issue forth. In the terminal here, I had selected a seat in the back row against a wall where it was quiet and I could write. Then, a few minutes ago, a guy talking very loudly on his cell phone sat across from me. It’s not just normal tone, it’s exceptionally loud. When he first sat down, I found myself unable to think. I could see how my instinctual mind was prepared to begin its parade of condescending remarks: Oh, how inconsiderate! What’s with this guy? Doesn’t he know how loud he is? Should I politely ask him to keep his voice down? Surely others are disturbed. But I didn’t listen to these thoughts. I saw them, like a school of fish swimming close to the water’s surface – perceivable and wanting food. I didn’t feed them. 

Instead, I looked at what I needed to do to kind of turn off my hearing and focus on writing this through the sound. Besides, if I think this guy is loud, I’m in for a surprise when I spend a week with a boatload of heavy metal bands and rock n roll fans, with concert sets blaring from every corner of the cruise ship. And there’s my self-ordained sadhana practice for the cruise – how to stay quiet within myself in the midst of loud and attractive noise. It will just be what is, in that moment, just as this good fellow – who is curiously quiet now once I surrendered to being with it – was in the moment a few minutes ago. And who knows? Maybe someone else finds my quiet disturbing. So, who am I to allow my mind to influence my state of being and initiate judgement?

Like my account of the cruise last year, I plan on logging a daily entry of the day’s events. My friend Carol has already contacted me, asking if I’d like to go in on a drink package with her. It’s funny because though I’m aware I did drink last year, I actually have little interest in subjecting myself to the same situation, and have little desire to drink. 

I have noted my desire to drink and dependency on stimulants to feel good beginning to wane. None of those things, which I’ve done for most of my adult life, have provided any of the internal euphoria, contentment, satisfaction and exhilaration that I have experienced since again engaging in a serious, focused daily meditation practice. Of course, I like a beer now and then. What’s shifted is my desire to drink. It doesn’t control me. There’s no need. I can take it or leave it. That’s the difference.