“When we are confronted with difficulty, our thoughts can spin and tension grips the body. First aid for the troubled mind and fearful heart is to attend to the breath. It is the most accessible and reliable way to become still. Simply noticing inhalation and exhalation with the intention to become more inwardly aware restores our equilibrium. Then we can enter the temple of silence in meditation. Even a few moments of meditation strengthens our resilience. We can bend without breaking, move through challenges with clarity and compassion.”
~Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian
This last week, the wildfires continued to explode across the West bringing destruction and loss of life along with smoke and orange skies. This along with the pandemic, strife and any personal issues one is experiencing, can leave us overwhelmed, fearful or depressed. Our thoughts and emotions may spin out of control or we may shut down completely. During times like this, connecting to the peace of our true essence becomes even more important.
Find opportunities throughout the day to take a conscious breath and enter the inner peace of the soul. Do this for just a moment or for a longer time of silent sitting. If you find that when you sit your thoughts and emotions continue to swirl, take inventory of what you have been feeding your body and mind. The Kriya Yoga practice of shauca (cleanliness or purity) can support you in your ability to sit and connect to your inner peace.
Shauca practice calls for us to guard against taking in that which can obstruct our ability to perceive our true Self. We can ask ourselves, have I been searching the net to find out what is happening, watching the news too much? Am I eating a lot of sugar or processed foods?
Discern what brings you peace in mind and body and do that. If you cannot get outside to be in nature, try chanting or singing uplifting songs. Read the scriptures or something inspiring. Connect with loved ones. Eat wholesome, nourishing food in moderation. And then, take a conscious breath and sit in silent communion with the soul.
In “Living for the Sake of the Soul”, Yogacharya O’Brian tells us “Seek out the soul’s medicine for whatever ails you. The quickening of soul awareness brings us back to life; it raises us up and heals what is dead in us—in our personal lives, our institutions, and our communal life. Spiritual realization revives what has burned out and restores hope where it was lost.”
May the peace of your Divine Self sustain you during this time.
~Rev. Nita Shankari Kenyon