This past week has been super hectic for me for some reason. My in-laws came to visit over the weekend, and my husband and I have been busy preparing for their arrival. My father-in-law is allergic to dogs, and we have two, one of which sheds a great deal. So we busily ran the vacuum cleaner over every surface in our house and doing our best to keep the hair at a minimum to keep him as comfortable as possible. We ended up having a lovely visit, and it was nice to have time to spend with family just relaxing and catching up.
My time has been limited, though, so I have been struggling to put together a blog post for this week. Our upcoming YTT weekend will be partially focusing on meditation. For our homework, we had to write a five minute guided meditation. I decided to share the meditation I wrote for this homework with all of you. I hope you find it enjoyable, both to read and to practice.
A Meditation for Fanning Your Flame
Begin in a comfortable seated position. You may wish to place a blanket or a cushion under your hips to assist in sitting comfortably with a long, tall spine. Let the hands rest on the tops of the thighs or knees, palms facing towards the sky, hands relaxed. Breathe through the nose and narrow your focus to your breathing. Don’t try to change or control it, just notice it. You may observe that the breath feels cool when you inhale and warmer as you exhale. Notice where your breath is going. Are you breathing deeply into the belly? Just into the chest? Perhaps you notice there is one lung or one part of your lungs you like to breathe into most. Stay with this observation for a few more moments just savoring your breathing.
Bring your hands to your heart center, holding them in a prayer position in Anjali mudra. Just behind your hands and your sternum, picture your heart center as a tiny glowing ember. The light is small, but bright, soft, and warm. As you exhale, picture the air from your lungs beginning to stoke that ember, making it glow a little bigger and brighter. With each exhale, continue stoking that ember into a flame of light.
Keeping your hands at your heart center, begin to separate the fingers and fan them out, keeping the heels of the hands, the thumbs, and the pinky fingers pressed together as the rest of the hands and fingers blossom into lotus mudra. Picture the flame you have built at your heart center now resting in the middle of your hands. Inhale and reach the arms overhead, carrying the flame with you. Now exhale and drop the arms slowly down to rest at your sides, picturing the flame growing bigger and brighter as you do, until you feel as though you are basking in the light and warmth of a cozy campfire.
As you picture your fire, let yourself feel warm and happy. Picture the flames playing a subtle dance of light and shadow over your face. Watch the sparks float up into the sky. Inhale the warmth, exhale more light. Inhale warmth, exhale light. Stay with this image for a few more breaths as you enjoy the light and joy of the fire that you have built in your mind.
Inhale the arms back overhead, sweeping your flames up with you and bringing the hands back into lotus mudra, holding your flame over your head. Exhale and bring the hands back to heart center, focusing on holding your flame for a few more breaths. Bring your hands to your chest, and as you do, carefully place your flame back into your heart center. Resting your hands on your chest and feeling their warmth, bring your awareness back to your breath, feeling the light and warmth of this happy little flame of joy and peace burning brightly and cheerfully in your chest. Notice how you feel. Always remember that you are a being of light and joy, and that this flame resides within you. You can call upon its light and warmth whenever you need it.
Let the hands rest back down to the legs, palms towards the sky. Begin to bring your awareness back to your surroundings. Notice the sounds in the room. The light and shadow playing through the windows through your eyelids. Take one last deep inhale. As you exhale, slowly start to blink open your eyes.
The light in me honors the light found within each and every one of you. Thank you for your light. Namaste.