Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Meditation and Exercise

Last night, I went to bed at 9:30 pm.

Cat-Cow. Super good for preggos! Image here.
Then my husband came up to bed at 10:30 pm, which accidentally woke me up, and that was that. As in, that was my night's sleep.

By 4 am, I was feeling like maybe I could actually sleep again, but I knew I'd have to just get up again in two hours, and I also knew that this was prime meditation time. The amrit vela, the ambrosial hours. I debated it for a while, but then felt like God flat out told me that if I would just go and do it, He would bless me. "Don't you trust Me?" I felt like He asked. And of course my answer is yes, I trust Him, so I sighed and went downstairs to do an hour and a half of yoga, meditation, and scripture study.

My daily sadhana has been involving the following:

- Cat-Cow
- Sodarshan Chakra Kriya
- Antar Naad Kriya
- Meditation to Release Anger and Negativity
- Har, Har

And then if I feel up for it I'll add in a yoga kriya like Kriya to Awaken the Ten Bodies or a kriya for the spine, or whatever. This morning I did the Ten Bodies kriya in addition to the rest. In case you care, my scripture study today was in Ephesians (but has lately been in Ether and 3rd Nephi).

Sodarshan Chakra Kriya.
But anyway. I felt like I did all this great stuff, spending that hour and a half in meditation, prayer, and study, and I got ready for the day thinking: now I will be so blessed today! One hour of sleep never felt so good!

And then I had almost the worst day in memory. The whole time I just thought: what??? Why is my life falling apart when I was so obedient this morning?? Why??

And there was more to the story than that, but anyway, as I was driving around this evening, I suddenly realized: you don't meditate to make your life easier. You meditate to grow. Growth makes life easier, which is why we want to do it, but the actual process of inducing growth leads to growing pains and can be basically really not fun.

I thought: once again, Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is totally kicking my butt, but all of this unconscious stuff that's coming up is stuff that has to be cleared in order to progress. Maybe the promised blessing for today was actually my day being hard: ending up in confrontational situations over and over again provided lots of opportunities for the unconscious to vent. I will say that today, I feel way more beat up internally than I have in a long time. But I do wonder now if that is my blessing.

It's kind of like exercise. You can do five or ten minutes of jumping jacks and get a little bit winded, maybe. It'll be good for your body but you probably won't be sore the next day--and honestly, five minutes of jumping jacks is good, but it's really not all that impressive.

Compare that to the committed exerciser--the person who does their P90x or Insanity every day, who goes to the gym, who is constantly putting in significant amounts of time into tearing down what muscles they have in order to let them grow back stronger. The person who puts in an hour a day towards a more extreme exercise is going to have a very different experience than the five-minute jumping jacker. So much exercise is going to lead to fatigue at times, and soreness a lot of times. But over time, the committed exerciser sees a real difference in the makeup of their body.
Jumping jacks. Image here.

You don't get physically in shape by doing five minutes of jumping jacks.

You don't get spiritually in shape by five minutes of scripture study if you remember. You don't get spiritually in shape by remembering to pray once in a while.

True health--be it physical or spiritual or what have you--takes conscious effort, takes time, takes consistency, and comes at a price: it is deeply uncomfortable. This is the price of

Like that saying goes: there is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone.

So I think it's official: my comfort zone was wayyyyy not anywhere close today, but I was definitely operating in the growth zone. It's better to process this unconscious garbage now, than to put it off any longer. The sooner the tough stuff gets worked out of the un- and subconscious minds, the sooner the mind can enjoy new levels of functionality and joy.


Meditation is like physical exercise: it tears down the "muscles" of the subconscious mind to allow them to grow back stronger and more aligned with God. We don't meditate because it's fun; we meditate because it helps us grow. And many times, growth comes accompanied by growing pains. Meditation makes life easier in the long run, the same way physical exercise does--however, like physical exercise, it can come with some annoying short-term side effects. The trick is to not give up just because things get hard when you're just getting started.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently we're on parallel tracks, right down to the scripture study ;) yay for no sleep and really butt-kicking meditations!