Your daily practise.
(And let's make it serious...)
In the last two articles, I have graciously invited you to take up an exploration / practise for a duration of 24 hours.
Now I have a bigger challenge for you, one that could last till the very end of this programme.
In Ayurveda it's believed that our first actions after waking up set the tone for our entire day and eventually begin to influence every aspect of our lives, therefore starting the day the right way is key to alignment. We find ourselves walking through life with Ease and fluidity experiencing the flow of things as they fall into place as if everything was influenced by our very presence.
This coming Saturday, 1st April, will mark D-40 from the end of our programme, scheduled for 10 may.
I am therefore inviting you (well those who are keen) to join me on a 40-day commitment to a daily morning practise of your choice, a sort of "journey within the journey".
The morning is indeed a crucial time. It is when we shift from one state of consciousness to another, it is when our creative energy is most alert, and it is also when our energy is closest to that of source. It can also be the time where our ego is most powerful as it "gets the day started". Ego will often be the first to jump out of bed, since it's working in survival mode, while other parts of you are not. Therefore it is important to make sure we don't fall into patterns which will feed our ego, letting it take a position of mastery for our day (ie: checking our facebook, emails, or sitting in worry of how we will face this or that...)
But rather, it's the perfect time to bring ourselves to a place of awareness, connection and deep intelligence, and make this the default setting for the day.
Your practise can be as short as 3 min per day or as long as 3 hours, and can change from day to day depending on your schedule.
This is not meant to be a burden , but rather a moment of nurture which is meant to realign you with an energy of self-love and care and enable a connection to source which you can go out and share with the world. Below are some suggestions of elements you can choose from to build your daily practise.
I suggest aiming to create 3 different practise options, a long one (say 90 min), one medium size (say 30 min) and one shorter (3-6 min) composed of one or many of the options below:
1-REACH OVER FOR A GLASS OF WATER FIRST THING
This might sound terribly simple or obvious ... yet, ridiculously important and easy to overlook.
It is easy for our first impulse in the morning to be checking our phone... not ideal.
In under 30 seconds we can see who has texted us late last night, we can be reminded of yesterday's emails we haven't addressed and scroll down our Facebook feed enough times to get wrapped up in its addictive nature... again.
As an antidote to this, keep your phone in another room and use a battery-operated alarm by your bed.
Keep a decorative water carafe and glass on hand and hydrate yourselfas a first move upon rising. Simple yes. But hydration and oxygenation are basics and they are most important in the morning. Notice how you feel when you swap an activity that is mind-based for one which is nurturing your body, first thing.
2-HOT WATER WITH LEMON
You can also follow your mother's early recommendation and opt for a cup of hot water and lemon. Its many health benefits include strong antibacterial, antiviral and immune-system boosting powers, weight loss, helping digestion, and liver cleansing. Lemon contains many substances which promote immunity and fight infections such as: citric acid,. calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavoids, pectin, limonene. Life gives you lemons...
3-LET A SPONTANEOUS MOVEMENT / SOUND ARISE, in bed.
For about 30 to 90 seconds, let your body stretch and move in any way that it naturally wants to.
For millennia, human beings have been locked into movement patterns which are unnatural for us, contributing to our division from our deepest intelligence and creativity. The morning time, before getting into "thought" is a great time to allow natural, more organic and deeply intelligent movements to emerge.
Before getting out of bed, let your self twist and turn deliciously and let whatever sound which wants to emerge arise. It can be a simple hissss or a loud growl. Feel what is present deep inside you and let it arise.
4- CONNECT TO A CRYSTAL FOR A FEW MINUTES
In a previous article on electro stress, I recommended keep a whispered crystal within 1 meter of the bed to neutralise the manmade electromagnetic fields.
In the morning, you can also reach over and grab it and bring it close, either holding it in your hands or simply keeping it within 1 meter away from you, while focusing on connecting with it in meditation. As we have written before , crystals are live beings which have energetic patterns structures and functions which are closer to those of source than the ones of most human beings. Crystals whispered by a shaman are particularly powerful for this. Get in touch with me if you would like to know where to find one. A great way to connect to the crystal is simply to sit and look at the crystal and bring your awareness to its energy field, perhaps noticing a cloud of white light emerging from it. Notice your energetic field as well, bringing your awareness to the energy of white light surrounding you, and then notice the two coming together as one.
Playing a "conscious" sound instrument is a great way to calm the thinking mind and connect to a vibrational frequency closer to that of source.
Using a Tibetan bowl is ideal as they are made with ancient techniques which are very much connected to source energy. It's been said that playing a Tibetan bowl or gong a few minutes each morning can help prevent or cure any illness. You can start with a small bowl which can be found easily on Amazon and follow instructions in YouTube videos to get started.
Simply play the bowl for 6-9 minutes, letting the vibration of the sound permeate your body, noticing the potency of its frequency altering your patterns.
Make sure to keep your awareness lingering on the sound until it completely disappears from the air.
6-PRANAYAMA BREATHING MEDITATION
Article 30 spoke about finding presence through the ancient pranayama breathing technique. By mastering and controlling our breath we also master our awareness and sharpen our focus on the present moment. In the present moment we find bliss peace and ease.
See the video for this technique below.
I recommend doing 12 breaths which should take you approximately 4-5 minutes.
7-CHANTING A MANTRA
Buddhists and Hindus are famous for chanting mantras which have been known to deeply influence their lives While their words do matter, their true power is in the intention behind the act of chanting and the vibrational frequency it triggers and awakens. If you are a mantra-savvy connoisseur, choose the one of your choice and chant it 108 times using a beaded mantra necklace (Buddha beads) if you like. Otherwise, I suggest starting with a simple yet very powerful one such as "Om mani padme hum" a Buddhist mantra which calls for the wisdom of our soul and our heart to be seen in each of our actions and words.
"Om mani padme hum".
Say it with conviction and deeply feel where you can feel the vibration in your body.
Om mani padme hum.
Repeat it 108 times, and if you can't , repeat it in any increment of 9 repetitions which works for you.
8-WATCHING THE SUNRISE
If it's possible for you to do it easily, getting out to catch the sunrise can be very rewarding.
We need to consider the sunrise a magnificent gift from God, from source. It carries the energy of a new start, of things happening and manifesing. It is also a symbol of the sun's unconditional love for the earth, without which none of us would survive.
I love the following quote by the poet Hafez:
"And still, after all this time, the sun has never turned to the sky and said 'you owe me' that kind of love lights up the sky."
In addition to this magnificent poetry, sunrises also carry certain health benefits.
The sun is composed of ultraviolet light which the body needs for optimum health. It stimulates the production of melanin, stimulates the metabolism, is good for helping glands that take care of internal secretion. It is also a Natural Source of Vitamin D which changes to calcium in the body which encourages the hormone endorphin production. Endorphins give you that feel good feeling which causes happiness and satisfaction which prevents depression.
Sunlight is also good for the nervous system. Exposure to the sun can reduce anxiety.
9-YOGA MORNING COFFEE
A gymnastics teacher I once trained with recommend that the first movement of the day should always be a handstand as this would help challenge our traditional patterns, as we are generally always standing on our two feet... An easier, more achievable, way to do it is by walking into the posture using the help of a doorframe. He called this the "Yogi's morning coffee".
Have a look at this video for a short instruction.
10- YOGA PRACTISE
Yoga is an age-old Hindu physical practise which is widely known for increasing flexibility and helping find inner peace and balance.
It is also great for detoxing, building a strong immune system, for improving the health of our internal organs, longevity, stress, anxiety and weight loss.
Depending on the type of practise and its intensity, it can also be a rigorous workout, whipping our bodies into a toned shape and improving our strength.
Additionally, and most importantly, yoga is also a great way of manifesting spirituality into the physical realm, as it's practise allows energy to be activated and channelled into the body through synchronised movement and breath. While a normal practise will generally be 90 min, shorter practises between 20 and 40 min can be effective as well and can be found on YouTube or sites such as Yogadownload.com. I recommend looking up the videos if a good friend of mine Celeste Pereira who I have been learning yoga from for over 8 years.
This Ayurvedic technique is helpful in healing many conditions, including asthma, headaches, aches and pains, and diabetes. It’s been said to whiten teeth and make your skin look radiant. On an empty stomach in the morning, take one tablespoon of sesame oil or sunflower oil (cold pressed) in the mouth and swish it around for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the oil is white. If it is yellow, the process is not complete. Rinse your mouth afterwards with water to remove all leftover oil.
12-ABHYANGA, OIL SELF-MASSAGE
Abhyanga is a kind of self-massage using an oil bath and gentle stroking to remove toxins and stimulate the movement of energy in the body. Best done in the morning before showering, Abhyanga improves blood and lymph circulation, eliminates muscle tension and fatigue, and has a tonifying influence on the immune system. Use the same organic cold-pressed sesame oil as for the oil pulling if you like. Heat the oil by putting the bottle in a sink filled with warm water for a few minutes. You can either apply the oil standing in the shower or sitting on a towel on the bathroom floor. You don’t need a lot of oil, only an ounce or two for the whole body—just enough to cover the skin with a thin coating. As you apply the oil, pay attention to your breath and keep your awareness on what you are doing. Consider this a healing ritual that supports your health and well-being. The more you can attend to this process with awareness, the more beneficial the experience will be for you.
14- HEAD AND NECK MASSAGE
Before you wash your hair, put a little oil (sesame, olive, or coconut) on your hands and apply the oil to your scalp, using the palm of your hand, in a circular motion. With your fingertips, rub oil behind your ears and earlobes, pulling your earlobes down lightly at the end of each stroke. This stimulates tiny energetic healing points on the ears. Next, stroke your forehead in a back-and-forth motion with the palm of your hand. Then massage the rest of the face, paying attention to your jaw joints and temples. Use an upward motion to massage the neck in front and a downward motion on the back of the neck.
15-CONNECT TO SOURCE ENERGY
Last thing before leaving home or starting your day, I strongly suggest taking a moment to sit and remember your connection to source. To remember that you are indeed a being of divine light, only separated from this infinite wisdom and knowledge the confining cultural context which has ruled the world around you for much too long. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, drop into your breath and remember your connection to the earth. Following your breath into your body and being, notice where you find that part of you which is your gateway or portal to the divine.Breathe in it's energy through that point and watch as it radiates out of your being as you exhale. Notice the egg of white light which is forming around you, your own energy field which you will carry with you everywhere you go , all day long. The energy field which will help align and bright light to everything you encounter
16-BRING IT INTO YOUR COMMUTE
If you have a morning commute, moving from a peaceful, harmonious morning practise to a busy tube metro or bus can be quite jarring.
Don't let it be.
There are ways to carry the peace of your practise into your day for true integration. Give yourself more time, leave home early and avoid rushing.
Walk slowly and connect to your breath. Witness the world as if you are "in it" without being "of it" (as per the famous Jesus mantra "be in the world but not of it")
Imagine you are blessing the ground with your feet with every step you take.
Also, intend to maintain your awareness on the egg of white light surrounding you as it blesses everything on your path.
I also recommend listening to some mindful audio recordings on your headphones to keep you grounded and connected.
I love all the audio books by the amazing Adyashanti which are available on Audible.com. My good friend David manning also has some great recordings available , some free or some for a cost, on his website. www.davidmanningenergywork.com
Choose one or many of the above actions and intend to form a daily practise, allowing it the possibility to fluctuate if necessary. While I invite you to keep it up for the 40 prescribed days, don't become a prisoner of it, letting it stress you out or, even worse, letting it become hurried or rushed. Keep it enjoyable yet potent enough that you truly feel the intended sense of nurture and self care. Try to usher your focus and awareness away from your thoughts and towards your breath and body while you do the practise remembering that these self-loving acts are key to manifesting your personal transformation and attracting what is meant for you.
Of course, if a 40 day commitment doesn't appeal to you, try it out on an occasional basis instead. In fact it could also be beneficial to try it on alternate days at first and notice the difference of how you feel on the days you do the practise vs days you don't.
Of course if you do want to join me on the 40 days of the journey , I would love to hear updates as you go along, as well as any intentions you set to achieve by the end of it.
Let's do it.
Here is mine:
I would like to achieve sharpened focus, a stronger sense of wholeness and a deepening of my craft as a result of integrating this practise as a daily routine.
And, of course, ENJOY!