Semana 1: regresando al hogar de tu respiración

Recursos del curso web de Ram Dass de 4 semanas para mejorar nuestro Sadhana

Semana 1

Lesson 1 – Coming Home to the Breath

This week Ram Dass gives us the foundation of mindfulness and meditation practices, focusing on the ability of the mind to come to one-point and be completely present, which is the foundation for navigating the spiritual path.

“There are countless paths, each with its own landmarks, its own route. Meditation unfolds in a sequence, but the specific experiences and their order vary from person to person and from method to method. In devotional meditation or prayer you may be filled with intense love, or with great pain of separation, or with the presence of the Living Spirit. If on the other hand you meditate using a one-pointedness technique, such as concentration on the breath, you may first experience agitation, then quietness, a deepening silence, more immediate awareness of smaller units of thought, and finally the silent space and emptiness that exists beyond form.

Don’t get attached to your way of meditation. Keep in mind that the goal is liberation and that all meditations can be used as you need them to help you in the journey. You can sit and follow your breath to bring your mind to quiet one-pointedness which loosens the hold of all your worldly thoughts. Once the basic tool of one-pointedness is forged, you can use it for any of a number of ends. If you use it to gain insight into the workings of your mind, you ultimately enter the state of Nirvana. Or you might use your one-pointedness to contemplate beings who embody spiritual qualities and develop these qualities in yourself.

What may draw you in is the need for silence, so you seek a simpler meditation, such as following your breath.”

-Ram Dass

​​​​​​​Watch the weekly introduction with Ram Dass below before moving on to this week’s article, audio and practices. ​​​​​​​

Your Weekly Practice

Find all the resources on this link to Dropbox Ram Dass W1

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01: Enfocándote en la contemplación

02: Ram Dass talks about methods for treading the spiritual path, explaining the efficacy of bringing the mind to one point. It is the most basic foundation to transform the “monkey mind” (restless mind). He gives direct instruction on the actual practice of one-pointed meditation and how we are to follow each of the instructions.

03: This beginner friendly 10-minute meditation with Ram Dass invites us to sit with what we’re experiencing in this moment. This is the core foundation of practicing presence and mindfulness in our lives – simply noticing whatever comes up, and allowing it to pass through. There’s nowhere to go, there’s nothing to accomplish, there’s no merit – it’s just this. An easeful, present awareness.

04: The word “mantra” itself translates to “crossing over from the mind.” The mantras protect the mind so that the negativity of the mind has no effect on the person chanting.

There are a variety of mantras that are used, and all of these can go as deep as you allow them to go.

At first you’re doing them, and if they’re in Hindi or Sanskrit or Hebrew they may be strange to you. But as you work with them, the strangeness just turns into another thought form. It starts in the head, moving down to the throat, and then sits in the heart.

This is the mantra of Maharaji, of Hanuman (the Hindu monkey God): Sri (honorable or radiant) Ram (the absolute, the name of God) – it’s a way of tuning yourself through honor and love. It’s a devotional practice that leads you to radiance. The mantra creates an emotional opening to bring God into your heart.

Listen to Ram Dass explain the Sri Ram Jai Ram mantra…

05: Cual es el poder del Mantra

Inside of me there’s a mantra going on that reminds me of who I am. It’s that place inside – that niche in the wall where the candle flame never flickers. Always bringing me right to my heart where we dwell eternally.

Mantra is the repetition of the names of God. Mantra is usually recited silently in the mind. When practiced daily, it has the ability to steady the mind and transform consciousness. To be most effective, mantra should be repeated frequently; any time, any place – walking, taking a shower, washing the dishes. I used to do mantra while waiting in line, so as not be bored. Now I practice being here now in line….

In Buddhism, the word mantra means “mind protecting”. A mantra protects the mind by preventing it from going into its’ usual mechanics, which often are not our desired or optimal conscious perspective. Mantra is a powerful spiritual practice for centering, and for letting go of strong emotions such as fear, anxiety and anger. The more you practice mantra the more it becomes a part of you. When you need it on the psychological level – for example when you feel afraid, using your witness, you notice the fear and replace the fear with your mantra. This will occur naturally once mantra becomes an established practice. Mantra is a daily reminder of the presence of the Divine within ourselves and all beings.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The mantra becomes one’s staff of life, and carries one through every ordeal. It is no empty repetition. For each repetition has a new meaning, carrying you nearer and nearer to God.”

Keep repeating your mantra consciously until it has become a strong habit. Go for a walk and say the mantra all the time you are walking. Notice everything but keep the mantra going. Keep realizing that being with God is your focus… and therefore everything you see is part of God.

Maharajji said, “The best form in which to worship God is all forms.” Everyone you meet is Ram who has come to teach you something. Mantra is remembering that place in the heart – Ram, Ram, Ram. Say it, mouth it, think it, feel it in your heart. You are continually meeting and merging into perfection.

– Ram Dass

 

Watch Below: Ram Dass answers the question, “How do you use a mala [prayer beads] during your mantra practice?”

 

Your Weekly Reflection Topics

We encourage you to keep a meditation journal each day throughout the course. It can be a simple word doc on your computer, or a handwritten notebook. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to write pages each day, a simple paragraph or two after each meditation is plenty. The idea of the journal is to get in tune with your experience, whether you are just beginning or returning to a meditation practice.

Journaling helps to connect past, present, and future, so that our life seems more of an integrated whole rather than an assortment of disparate experiences. This helps us to develop more integration, or integrity – a sense of continuity of experience over time.

Try this sample prompt for this week’s practices:

What did you notice in your body? Did the meditation feel easy or hard? What sensations, if any, did you notice in your heart-center in the middle of your chest? Did you find your mind wandering?

Three or four lines is often enough. And sometimes we have experiences that feel beyond words during meditation and we can just note that down, too.

WEEKLY QUOTE & RESOURCES

“You have no other business than to stay with the breath. You’re free not to have to plan or to remember or to collect sensations. Just come home to the breath. ” – Ram Dass

 

meditation

Meditation

Sharon relates the act of meditation to an alchemical process in which we convert the conceptual into the felt presence of direct experience. The array of what we might encounter in meditation is broad, but we welcome it all. Meditation is a skills training in learning to gather energy. Our attention is brought into focus and we begin to connect the fragments of our lives. When we tap into our ‘inner abundance’, our experience changes and we naturally settle into a more compassionate state of awareness.

Meditation practice opens us up to the world, and allows us to realize fully what we are feeling as we encounter both suffering and joy. In the context of the Buddhist tradition they talk about the “Middle Way,” a path that avoids extremes and remains centered in the reality of the present moment.

 

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Photo via Flickr

 

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