2016 has been an epic year and if yours has been anything like mine then you’d agree that ‘action’ and ‘doing’ have prevailed. The older I get the more life seems to ask of me and while I am totally willing to go wherever it leads me (even if that means down ever busying paths) I also notice that countering ‘doing’ with ‘being’ has become even more important in order to achieve balance and harmony in my life.
There is a Zen proverb that goes:
“You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes a day, unless you are too busy. Then you should meditate for an hour.”
Somehow when our material lives get busy we are always willing to put our wellbeing last and throw ourselves full speed into our work. This of course has admirable qualities associated with it; selflessness, dedication and perseverance to name a few. However in the long term neglecting our wellbeing is quite frankly unsustainable. Of course sometimes being busy isn’t a choice; we just have to go with it. This is where ‘being’ practices come in and save the day.
If we learn how to prioritise our wellbeing and take even just 10 minutes out of our morning to sit in quiet meditative awareness it will plant a seed of stillness in our hearts and mind and that seed will begin to sprout throughout the day. The more familiar we become with meditation the more we are able to apply a meditative awareness to our busy activities. Eventually we will be able to notice that even while we are stuck in traffic or running errands we are able to slow down our breath, become aware of our external surroundings (sounds, sights, smells), our internal surroundings (thoughts and feelings) and simply remain as a passive observer to the show of life. And there you go; in a flash we have moved from ‘doing’ into ‘being’. The more we take the position of the observer or the witness the more ‘doing’ will take care of itself and we will be seated in ‘being’ all throughout. This is something that’s easy to talk about but practicing it takes diligence. On the one hand, ‘being’ is always there even if the mind is distracted and unaware of the ‘being’, you can never not ‘be’. On the other hand it takes practice to learn how to focus the mind to lessen its tendency to get distracted. This is where a steady meditation practice comes in. A morning or evening practice helps to train and focus the mind making it easier to stay with the witness throughout our daily doings.
That being said learning how to meditate can be tricky at the beginning and having some guidance and group support is usually really helpful. If you’d like to learn how, or just simply enjoy meditating with others you can join us for meditation classes every Thursday and Friday evenings at 7.30pm at the Sanya Yoga Hub.
Classes start with some yoga postures to prepare the body and mind for meditation. Thursday sessions are based on the Angka meditation technique, which uses the power of numbers as a meditative tool and Friday’s meditation is based on nada yoga or sound meditation using singing bowls, chimes and devotional mantras.