Lesson 2 – Finding Your Center
Your Weekly Practice
02: Porqué practicar: In this talk, Ram Dass explores our tendencies to overthink our choice of practice and fall into a mentality of being a “doer” as we engage with it. He points out the various pitfalls of the “spiritual path” and our impulse to get ahead of ourselves. The idea is to view everything surrounding our practice as grist for the mill – even the resistance to sitting in meditation.
03: Finding your center: This week’s 16-minute meditation with Ram Dass guides you into a quality of relaxed alertness. You will discover the ways that you are pulled out of your center in life, and techniques for remaining centered and present while simultaneously digesting life’s experiences.
As your center gets stronger you begin to trust that you have a home you can always go to just by sitting down and breathing. Once you are able to digest your own emotions, you are better able to attend to other people’s sufferings and joys and offer them equanimity when they are lost on the rollercoaster of life.
04: The power of God: Whenever you’re frightened about forces affecting you, this mantra creates a protective shield of grace around you, a fine protective mist so that you are not hard towards the world, and you are able to respond to evil with love. When you remember the soul, that place in your heart, you no longer live with that which takes people away from God – and light can pour from you.
Your Weekly Reflection
As meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg says, “In meditation practice, the moment you that you realize you have been distracted is the magic moment. Because that is the moment we have the chance to be really different, and not judge ourselves, not condemn ourselves, but simply let go and begin again. If you have to let go of distractions and begin again thousands of times, fine. That’s not a roadblock to the practice – that is the practice. That’s life: starting over, one breath at a time.”
In this week’s meditation journaling, reflect on how often you happened to be lost in thoughts and emotions before remembering to come back to the breath. Did your judging mind come to play, or were you able to give yourself enough space to not react negatively towards yourself?