Advanced Yoga Practices
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Internet Lessons with additions,
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Lesson 15 - Restlessness in Meditation
AYP Plus Additions:
15.1 - Implications of the Awareness or "Witnessing"
Picking Up the Mantra - Easy Versus Too Much Strain (Audio)
15.3 - Use of Witnessing Technique During Intense
Spinal Breathing Pranayama Session (Audio)
Date: Wed Nov 19, 2003 1:01pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you begin reading at the beginning of the archive (the
first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"), as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one.
Q: Since beginning, I felt some nice peacefulness and calmness for a few days. Then I
started getting restless during meditation and irritable during the day. What's going on?
While cleansing the nervous system with meditation seems a simple enough
process, it is quite delicate. The procedure we use is simple - easily
thinking the mantra, letting it refine naturally, losing the mantra, later
realizing we are off it, then easily going back to it without attempting to
hold it clearly or unclearly... and so on for twenty minutes twice each day.
But do not be deceived by the simplicity. Do not take it lightly. This is an
advanced and powerful practice. We are facilitating lifetimes of
obstructions to be released naturally from deep within us. These are
stresses and strains embedded in our nervous system that restrict our vision
of the truth in and around us. Some restrictions we were born with. Others
we have added in this life. It all is being released bit by bit during
meditation. It is a huge undertaking, with profound results.
If the purification process is a little out of
balance, some discomfort can happen -- Restlessness. Irritability.
Unpleasant physical sensations. Fidgeting. Unpleasant thoughts. Things like
that. Fortunately, there are ways to balance the process of meditation if
there is some discomfort. The first thing to do is take plenty of time
coming out of meditation. Remember that during meditation a process of inner
cleansing is going on. You might not feel much is happening, but if you jump
up from meditation without resting first, you could feel irritable for some
time afterwards - maybe even all day. Don't take it out on your loved ones,
friends and coworkers. See it for what it is, an imbalance in your practice.
Always take at least a few minutes of doing nothing (relaxing, not thinking
the mantra) at the end of meditation. This allows stresses and strains being
released from the nervous system during meditation to dissipate harmlessly.
Then, when you get up, you will feel light and refreshed. If you don't, you
are probably not resting long enough. So rest at the end as long as
necessary to enable a smooth transition from meditation to activity. You may
even wish to lie down for a while at the end of meditation. Everyone is
different. Find what is the best for you coming out of meditation.
Some people respond very quickly to meditation. A
little bit may go a long way. This is a good thing. If you are one of these,
you are blessed, but you must be careful to balance your routine so you
won't be uncomfortable due to a high rate of inner cleansing going on. If
lying down and resting for a while after twenty minutes of meditation does
not settle things down, then it may be necessary to shorten the time of
meditation to fifteen minutes. If it is still uncomfortable, try ten
minutes. Find your balance. And always take your time coming out.
discomfort can happen during meditation. This is usually a symptom of the
release of obstructions in the nervous system. If it interferes with the
easy process of meditation, then pause with the mantra and allow the
attention to be drawn to the physical discomfort. Just be with it for a
while. Usually, this will dissolve the discomfort naturally. Once it does,
go back to the mantra and continue your meditation until your time is up.
Count the time you spent with your attention on the physical discomfort as
part of your meditation time. If the sensation does not dissolve, lie down
for while, until the sensation subsides. It is a good thing. A big
obstruction is going. Let it go easily, naturally. The same procedure
applies if you are overcome with a barrage of overbearing thoughts, which
may or may not be accompanied by physical sensations. If you can't easily go
back to the mantra, just be with the thoughts until they dissipate enough so
you can easily pick up the mantra again. Remember, meditation is not a fight
with physical or mental activity we may have. These are all symptoms of the
release of obstructions from deep in the nervous system. We just let them
go. Our job is to follow the easy procedure of thinking the mantra and
allowing the process of inner cleansing to happen. This is not a war on the
level of the conscious mind. You can never win it that way. We are working
from the inside, within and beyond the subconscious mind. In order to do
this we must allow the natural ability of the mind to take us in. So learn
to think the mantra easily, and let it go in.
Meditation is the most effective means of
operating deep inside the subconscious mind and cleaning it out. With
meditation we easily go beyond the subconscious mind to our underlying
consciousness, the source of all that is true and evolutionary. It is our
consciousness that removes the inner obstructions, if we give it the
opportunity through meditation. Over time, as the obstructions are removed,
we find more and more peaceful silence in our daily lives. This is the
dawning of enlightenment, our natural state. So keep cleaning the window of
your nervous system every day.
The guru is in you.
See this complete instructional lesson on managing discomforts in deep
meditation and all the expanded and
interactive AYP Plus lessons at:
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For detailed instructions on deep meditation, see the
AYP Deep Meditation book,
and AYP Plus.