As a Yoga guide, it is typical of a person to think that I have all my stuff together. I am this blissful human being that has found enlightenment and experiences no pain, anger, sadness or misfortune. This couldn't be any further from the truth. Although, I do participate in daily practices that will rid my day of anything that doesn't serve me, it doesn't always go as planned.
I have been taking part in a daily meditation challenge. My meditation practice was always consistently inconsistent. Although I practice Yoga every day and consider this a moving meditation, I would like to challenge my mind to be still without movement; Wanting to develop of calmer mind, and a more peaceful state of being. I decided that I needed to exercise my discipline and commit to a daily meditation practice.
Day 1 through to Day 5 went relatively painless. Having experience with meditation, I found it easy to merge myself into this challenge. Then came Day 6. I had just completed my Yoga practice, was seated calmly on my cushion, closed my eyes and begin to focus on my breath. Inhaling and exhaling. Acknowledging thoughts and letting them drift away. And then suddenly, I was met with an intense feeling of anxiety, almost in a panic. I brought the focus back to my breath but it seems that the feeling had already began to take hold. My thoughts were consumed as to why I was feeling like this. My breath became short and my heart rate began to quicken. What the heck is going on?! Succumbing to this emotion, I ended my mediation and began journaling. In the beginning, just single words that came to mind to express the feeling I was experiencing: Anxious, panic, fear. Then more began to flood out: Guilt for ending my meditation session. Anger for not being able to "fight through it", self doubt in myself and the point of continuing with the challenge, and so on. Even though I never could pinpoint the reason this feeling took over me during my session, I feel, just as in our Yoga practice, something was trying to rise to the surface. I was stirring something up and needed to rid this from my mind, body and/or spirit. Instead of sticking with the practice, I gave up. A big question came up at the end of this: What did I hope to get out of this meditation challenge. Why did I just assume it was going to be as easy as focusing on my breath? What am I seeking?
When I googled Student in Sanskrit, I was brought to the word Sandanta, which translates to Student, but then I noticed another word, Sakhara, which translates to Seeker. The word stuck out like a flashing neon light. Just like my Yoga practice, I will always remain a student, on and off the mat. There will always be growth, expansion and learning. But this word, Sakhara, rooted itself in me. It jumped out and spoke to me. I am seeking calm. I am seeking peace. I am seeking relief. For the same reasons I approach my Yoga practice, I need to approach my meditation practice the exact same way. When a posture gets challenging, I don't step off my mat, roll it up and be done with it. I breathe. I ask myself what am I feeling. What am I resisting or giving into. I become even more aware of my body. I need to practice this same exercise when meditating. When I am overcome with emotion, I need to relax and examine. I need to acknowledge these feelings, give them my attention as to why they are surfacing and then become aware.
We are always growing. We will always be students in life. Embrace it <3
I am Sakhara. I am Seeker.
, by Cathy B