Thursday, February 5, 2015

Morning Meditation (Beginner's Mind)

True change and development is a process. Every single one of us possesses the ability within to evolve and transform, but the vast majority of humans within this matrix lack the wisdom that teaches us how to channel that ability in a manner that is life-producing. So much of what happens to us in this life is beyond our control, hence, we must exert our spiritual energy towards that which is within our control. Daily distractions are intricately woven into the fabric of our society. Like mindless sheep, everyone's running around following each other in and out of Door #1 ("predict the future") or Door #2 ("Undo the Past)", and both doors lead to stagnation. But here's the question I have to ask: How many times does one need to walk through the same door before realizing it's the WRONG door? Hmmmmm. (This tea is FIYAH, tho.)
I often feel like an alien in a strange land. I am surrounded by entities, beings, communities and relationships that are driven by expectation when the key to true peace is to have NO expectation. I hear your inner voice saying, "Well how does one do that???" The answer is so simple that it's complex to comprehend. I mean, who the heck knows what it's like to live a simple life anymore? How simple things could be for us in fabulous moments, such as the one I'm having as I write this, if we could just empty our minds. An empty mind simply does not crave to be filled with stuff, nor does it attach itself to frivolous things. Therefore, an empty mind is baggage free and open to receiving the crucial messages that God and the Universe are constantly trying to get through to us. Let's consider the word open. I love circles and spheres. As a jewelry designer many of my signature pieces have healing stones inside of circles to represent manifestation through openness, as well as continuity from one realm to the next. I wear lots of hoops and spheres on my physical temple as a reminder to be open to spirit...to be consistent, compassionate and open to accepting each new experience every day with a fresh set of eyes. An empty mind in Zen Philosophy is called Shoshin, or a beginner's mind. When we do something over and over again we can lose touch with the infinite meaning of a beginner's mind. When I begin a piece of jewelry with all of my tools and materials in arm's reach, my inspiration stems from the fact that the possibilities of what I could create are endless. When I sit down with a picture in my mind often times or an expectation, I tend to sabotage my own creative flow of being in that moment and allowing my spirit, which knows all things, to guide my hands. When I let go of the wheel, I allow my spirit to birth a creation that will attract the right client at the right time and at the right place, for example. The beginner's mind is sufficient within itself. It is nature's finest. When I read, I read with a new mind. When I observe a picture, I observe with a new mind. When I listen to a friend, I listen with a new mind. When I teach, I teach with a new mind. Where do you start? With me, right here...right NOW...

The Beginner's Mind Meditation
(Clear Your Canvas)
"By meditation upon light and upon radiance, 
knowledge of the spirit can be reached 
and peace can be achieved."
Patanjali, 300B.C.

  • Change into loose,comfy clothing so that your sitting is not restricted in any way
  • Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed
  • Sit comfy on the ground, with your legs outstretched or crossed
  • Close your eyes and concentrate on relaxing each part of your body
  • Begin at the tips of your toes and envision the blood flowing throughout your body to the top of  your head, the Crown Chakra (Sanskrit) or your Ori (Yoruba).
  • Once you are focused on your blood flow, tune in to your breathing pattern.
  • Breathe in through your nose (if possible) and out through your mouth, making an "Ohhh"or "Ahhh"sound as you exhale.
  • Once your breathing is regulated, channel your attention towards your thoughts and feelings. Let them roam free for a while in your mind, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Next, capture your thoughts and move them to the outer space of your mind. This is called "Clear Your Canvas" meditation. 
  • Expeditiously push all thoughts that race for the center of your mind to the outer edges, far left/far right,etc.
  • Try to focus on your clear canvas, that is, the pure space in the center of your mind, entertaining no thoughts that try to invade that space.
  • Keeping calm and still, continue this exercise for 2 to 5 minutes. 
  • Once you reach your calm space, begin to envision a circle. Look through the circle and around the circle. Write the words,"I must clear my mind to free my mind" inside of the circle. Focus and meditate on these words for as long as you feel led to. If the words try to fade or disappear, re-write them. Let nothing enter into your mind accept for this mantra.
  • When you are done, give thanks to God, the Universe and the Ancestors and close out/seal your prayers with "Amen," "So shall it be,"  "Ase," or the equivalent.
Peace be unto you.