Today I decided to rest from physical asana. My body firmly stated that it required rest and I have definitely learned to listen to my body. Yoga injuries can take a long time to heal. I think this is of extreme importance to the yogin but sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between bodytalk and sheer laziness!
Yesterday I started to read about meditation and refresh my memory upon the topic. Last night at my midnight sitting the investment bore fruit. Previously my style of meditation was simply attentive but completely still. I would attempt to hold the utter stillness for as long as possible. My goal was to hold the openness for 12 seconds. This is no easy task, the mind is a hard beast to tame. I achieved this goal once, almost 4 years ago and experienced my second encounter with the great light. It took a long time and a lot of practice to still the mind completely for 12 seconds. I used to describe this process as meditation but after reading up on meditation yesterday, now I’m not so sure. I have a new understanding of meditation and samadhi.
Last night at my midnight sitting I employed a new technique of simply withdrawing the senses and then holding the breath and going deep into a feeling state of Unselfish love. The resulting feeling state was held for about 10 seconds I would guess, it is impossible to count when in a deep feeling state. I was able to project myself deep into the feeling of love. It’s quite difficult to describe, it’s a subtle feeling at first which grows in intensity and mounting bliss. Accompanied with rushes and tingles throughout the body it was a very pleasant feeling. Recalling feelings of giving and receiving love unselfishly, felt subtly magical as if an ensuing flood of endorphins and enkephalins were somehow Natures reward for sharing the universal energy of Love.
I think previously I had confused the terminology of meditation, the 7th limb of yoga, with the 8th limb of yoga – contemplation, Samadhi. I am looking forward to reading all about Samadhi tonight and hopefully moving another step nearer my goal.
I decided at my noon session today to change my pranayama, again. I was getting an unpleasant feeling in my cheekbones and ear canal from to much Bhastrika. This was a problem last time I practiced pranayama in depth. It’s a very unusual feeling. I feel the cheekbones to have special significance in yoga which I will talk about at another time, when I recount my second encounter with the Light.
I feel I have progressed greatly these last 6 days and feel I should tone down the purifying pranayama a little and move it in a more subtle direction. I decided upon the bee breath, which feels really nice. I also changed the inhalation/exhalation extension practice to the identical breath which is similar but not as strenuous. Lastly I changed the deep abdominal breathing to sun piercing breath which is also more subtle and less strenuous. I look forward to exploring and working with these new techniques.