Beginning a Meditation Practice this Summer
What better time than now to begin a meditation practice? Summer in Europe is all about holiday. A break from the usual patterns and routines, and a chance to drink in the beauty around us. I am crazy happy about taking some time this next month to be with family, friends, music festivals, nature, culture, painting, playing my guitar and digging in my garden.
My morning asana sessions have been slow, steady, sweet and quiet. This is the way I find harmony during the dynamism of summer and the high vibration of sun light. This is the season where our minds have the potential to be sharp and penetrating. Hence, this is a beautiful period to dive a bit deeper into our meditation practices.
In order for us to unfold and to grow as human beings, it is very important we know the nature of our minds. Even more importantly, it is essential that we become aware of our distractions. The ancient yoga texts tell us that meditation can help answer a few important questions:
- Where am I going?
- Am I distracted?
As my Buddhist teacher Thrangu Rinpoche highlights, stored karma manifests itself as habits or addictions or patterns. One of the most classical but also incredibly effective ways to become awake to our patterns is through meditation. Our patterns can distract us or propel us in the wrong direction.
The inner-terrain is a very sacred space. Ideally we enter and exit the meditation practices slowly and with a tenderness. If we become restless or scattered during our meditation, it is best to treat it like a window into a part of yourSELF. Be present for what is kicking you out of your meditation. Meditation is progressive…..it metamorphizes over time on the inside, going from concentration (dharana) into free-flow awareness (dyana) in a very subtle manner over time. I feel it is best to keep the practices very simple and allow the meditation to take you and to unfold on its own.
A Summer Meditation Practice
Here are a few recommendations for your meditation practices this summer, whether you are a beginner or experienced meditator:
- Find comfort in the body – Establish an intimacy with your body. Meditation requires us to have a constant relationship with the body, so use as many props as you need (e.g., chairs, bolsters, blankets, cushions, blocks, shawls, etc). If you feel the body is uneasy, honour it. If the body is uncomfortable, the mind will keep moving the body and find excuses to come out of the practice. The body anchors you, which is a necessary baseline for the practice.
- Honour your Inner landscape – Start from where you are. Take a few moments to notice and attune to how you feel in that given moment. Meet your emotional state. Bring attention to the sensations of the heart. Whatever is going on with your psyche is craving to be recognized. Use the practice as a time to be with the places beyond the chatter of the mind.
- Set an Intention – Allow yourself to align with an aim or a seed of the heart. What are your aims? Ideally our intention is connected to a deeper yearning or desire which often manifest as the soul’s dharmic pathway. This is also the time where we offer our practice over to the greater-good or to Grace.
Yoga and Meditation in our Everyday Life
The old yoga texts tell us that skillful action (i.e., Right-Action) prepare us for our meditation practices by building mindfulness. Right-Action invites us to align our everyday engagements with our heart’s intentions. Right-Action leads us to our higher purpose in life, our Dharma.
For those of us that are not rooted in a yoga practice of meditation, I feel it is important to remember that the yoga is accessible in our everyday actions. I feel much of our work as humans is to look beyond the ripples of wounds, bumpy egos and the karmic patterning we often experience when engaging with others and ourselves. Right Action is a pathway of yoga in and of itself.
Begin your meditation journey with this guided meditation offering. It’s accessible to you now… just click and find a comfortable position to begin.
Yours in the Dharma.
Love and Blessings,
Suzanne Faith is a Certified Anusara Teacher. As a former certified Yoga Works instructor, Suzanne dove into the reverent offerings from the Iyengar and Ashtanga lineages. Suzanne is deeply rooted into the yoga practice of meditation, which stems from the Buddhist tradition. Suzanne’s instruction integrates a variety of meditation and pranayama practices.
Suzanne is Co-Founder & Owner of One Yoga for the People in Vancouver. She holds a doctorate within Counselling Psychology. She conducts Yoga Alliance Teacher Trainings, teacher mentorship programs and international retreats & workshops. Suzanne is a primary faculty member for Yoga Therapy International and Founder of The SARA Foundation, a charity organization aimed at yoga for cancer prevention & management.
Suzanne’s heart is captured, mesmerized and nourished by her husband and three children, living in Ibiza, Spain, and her gracious yoga community.