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Lesson 244 - Going for a Smooth Start in Meditation
and Pranayama (Audio)
Date: Wed Jan 5, 2005 4:30pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q1: I have gleaned the net for much information and a way to start my
devotion to the One. Something inside me keeps telling me that I have much
more to do than what I am doing in this Maya covered world. I am still not
able to fall into a routine for my meditation although everyday I am getting
firmer and try to do the routine for as much time as I can be it 5 min or 15
I am facing 2 very odd problems that I am hoping you can give me some clue
about. Firstly, whenever I try to do meditation I cannot feel my perineum
and secondly when I try to visualize my breath going up my spine I realize
that I just sort of glide along my spine. More like as if my mind is just
skimming through the spine and I can't concentrate on a slow movement along
the spine. On the way down my vision remains only until the end of the spine
and I cannot go down to the perineum, as I cannot feel it. Secondly whenever
I sit for meditation, be it spinal breathing or just a normal Ham-Sah, or no
mind meditation, my heart beat becomes very rapid. I can almost feel the
pounding strong and regular in every part of my body. My legs which might be
in siddhasana or Padmasana can feel the throbbing of the heart in them.
What could be wrong, or is this normal? I can not feel any energy at all and
it makes me wonder if it's there or not or maybe something is wrong with me.
My devotion tells me that I have much to work and this is the time but my
mind keeps asking me if all is right. Can you please guide me in this?
A1: Thank you for writing and sharing.
It sounds like you are going through "clunky" beginning stages there with
The first thing to do is set aside the time twice daily and commit to do
your sitting practice for a few months so it can settle in. Then a regular
habit will be easy to sustain.
Next, if you are following the AYP lessons, you should first do easy mantra
meditation, not taking on cross-legged sitting, spinal breathing or anything
else. Just meditation sitting in a comfortable position. It sounds like you
may be taking on too much at once. Just do deep meditation for a few weeks
or months and see how that goes. Your pulse should settle down naturally as
you do meditation as instructed, easily using the mantra to go to stillness
of mind and body (the heart will become quiet too) -- review the lesson
series on meditation beginning at #13.
Once you have a steady routine of meditation going for some weeks (or
months), then you can think about crossed legs. Then, when that is getting
easy, you can add spinal breathing. One step at a time, you know. Rome was
not built in a day. When you get to it in a few months, the spinal breathing
will be easy also. No strain or judgment about it. Just up and down with the
breath -- it is not an exact thing. As the nervous system begins to be
cleared out a bit the route will become very easy and smooth. No heavy
concentration is necessary -- intense concentration is an obstruction to
natural spinal breathing. A lot of effort is not necessary. Nothing has to
be "felt" in the body at any particular time. The attention just goes easily
up and down with breath between brow and root, like that. It is not a
monumental task. If we drift off, we just easily come back to it. This is
covered in the lessons.
You can go step by step through all the practices like that. It will take
months (at least) to assimilate each practice, so the whole thing will take
a long time to get into. It is all there for you, but you have to go step by
step, or it can be messy, like you are experiencing now.
Energy experiences are not a measurement criteria for the success of
meditation or pranayama. In fact, they are usually a distraction. So it is
suggested you forget about energy experiences for now -- they will be
distracting you soon enough, and then it becomes a matter of easily letting
them go in favor of the practice we are doing. The truest measure of right
meditation and pranayama is in how we feel afterward during our daily
activities. If we feel refreshed with more inner stability, energy and
creativity, then that indicates our practice is correct.
Whatever happens in sitting practices is not to be judged as right or wrong,
worthy or unworthy. We just follow the easy procedure and that is right
practice. In meditation, when we realize we are off, we just easily come
back to the mantra. It is like that in all the practices.
Beating yourself up over it is not encouraged. This is not a fundamentalist
system of yoga!
It is also good to commit to one kind of practice and do it daily for a
while. If it is good, then maybe for a lifetime. Then we are digging our
well in one place, instead of making small unproductive holes all over the
place. With one deep well, we are sure to find water. For that reason, using
only one kind of meditation is advised.
Your divine desire is very good, and it will take you far. Just be patient
and take it one step at a time. I wish you all success on your chosen
spiritual path. Enjoy!
Q2: Thank you for answering my questions. So if I understand completely I
should first practice just to sit still and fixate my mind on the pranava or
OM and steady the mind. Once I can sit for periods of time with this then I
would be ready for the next steps that involve spinal breathing.
"Yama (restraint), Niyama (observance), Asana (posture), Pranayama
(regulation of breath), Pratyahara (withholding of senses), Dharana (fixed
attention), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (perfect concentration) are the
eight means of attaining Yoga."
This is what the Patanjali says about Yoga and I find all that you say in
line with this. My mind can see this very clearly. Even in my normal life I
am restrained, calm and easy. In the back of my mind I am constantly
observing what I am doing like a silent witness. I also am great at
understanding emotions and understand what Samskara and this materialistic
world is about. It's like I am looking at it through a hazy film. I am
distantly aware of everything and so when I try to be a no mind thinking I
tend to fall into it immediately because I am not even thinking of most
things since they have to do with material nature. I don't know if I am
making much sense. All the time I am contemplating the Lord and, yet, in
some way these material ties won't let go of me. I know it's time I look
inside me in more depth and the solution will present itself. Thank you for
guiding me along this. I feel at much ease and you said the things I had
wanted to know and hear. It's just like the Guru in me spoke to me and now I
know what to do. I hope I have enough time in this lifetime to make it
Om Tat Sat
A2: Yes, the suggestion is to take it easy, and one step at a time.
OM may not be the best mantra to use right now, as it can tear up the
nervous system if prerequisite purification is not done. In AYP we start
with "I AM" for mantra, using it in the specific easy way discussed in the
lessons -- no intense concentration. Later on, OM is incorporated in a
mantra enhancement. Look in the topic
the web site under "mantra" for the corresponding lessons.
Your inner silence is good. You just need to find a steady routine of
practice and then you can build on it. If you have any more internal
restlessness (fast pulse, etc.), check lessons #160 and #200 for
discussions on dealing with high sensitivity to meditation. We all have to
learn "self-pacing" -- how to regulate our practices in accordance with our
experiences. You can find lots of lessons on "self-pacing" in the topic
Yes, it is your time, and you can move quickly with a good daily routine of
practice. It is an honor to have you here.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the
AYP Deep Meditation book.
For detailed instructions on spinal breathing, see the
AYP Spinal Breathing Pranayama book.
Also see AYP Plus.