Description of Guided Practice:
The teacher, Pattabhi Jois, was known to say: “Practice and all is coming.” With these words, he affirmed the effort of committing to practice while detaching from perfecting or receiving anything from that practice. We can cultivate a trust in our own meditation practice. By simply arriving to the moment, breath by breath, day by day, the practice will impact us. We need not fixate on perfecting the impact of our practice or rushing the timeline of our transformation. This 10-minute practice can be done reclining or sitting upright. It includes guidance for cultivating awareness of the present moment, and explores a breathing technique/pranayama for slowing down overactive thinking.
When you feel like there is no time to sit -- that is exactly when you should sit. A teacher shared this lesson with me early in my practice. I was in my twenties and certainly not regular in my efforts to sit still and find mindful awareness. But I find that sayings that hold truth tend to stick with me. They rise up out of my mental mud when I do not expect them, but when I desperately need them. Such has been the case this month.
Preparations continue at home for our house to go on the market. I browse Craigslist constantly for housing near Amherst, Massachusetts. My husband and I decide which of our belongings go into storage, get pitched, or are necessary to keep. I create lists of to-do's that inevitably fall short of the tasks that arise in the process of packing up a life and selling a home. It's hard to stay focused on the present.
I don't become a full-time student of speech pathology until September, but the coward in me dreams of leaving Maryland now just so that I don't have to watch my life here fall apart and dissolve.
The indigenous world view teaches that there are no endings -- there are instead cycles. Things arise, flourish, decay, and rest. I know this period of my life is not an ending... but it is hard.
This month's meditation was recorded inside the closet of my downstairs study. The closet has been staged with properly-folded linens and is devoid of clothes to make it look bigger. The word "swan song" kept coming to mind as I sat for this recording. If I could record one "last" (for now) practice, what would I want to share?
The following meditation is what came out of that session. Listening back to it, I hear a hope that I have for myself and for all of us - that we can trust the simple things and let our practice do the work.
Play Guided Practice:
Hannah has been a student of yoga and meditation since 2003 and a practitioner of Ayurveda since 2013. She spent a decade teaching yoga classes and yoga teacher trainings throughout the metro-DC area. In August of 2019, she left full-time teaching to pursue a two-year Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She intends to combine yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda into speech therapy sessions with those struggling to share their voices. While she does not currently teach regular classes, you can study with her online through Insight Timer.