“Svarupa is the shape of your soul. In all these practices, in everything you do in meditation, follow the shape of your own soul. … No matter how wounded, wacky, or wonderful you think you are, celebrate your individuality.”
I have been a meditator for years. I remember learning about meditation when I was about nine or ten. I had an old friend come over as I announced to her, “We’re going to try meditation.”
I remember thinking this was somewhat illicit behavior. I thought we might levitate or see through to another dimension, like in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. As anyone who meditates knows, this was far from the case. As I recall, we sat. For about two minutes. We got bored and went back to coloring and watching She-Ra. Cut to 10-15 years later…
In my twenties, I immersed myself in many methods and schools of thought in this arena. I stumbled into Zen at the SF Zen Center and learned not to move no matter how much I wanted to, while falling in love with the clack of the wood blocks.
A week in silent vipassana meditation at Spirit Rock freaked me out. Sitting with my eyes closed in rows instead of with eyes open facing the wall felt like an entirely different world. My teacher popped that bubble so kindly. I walked. I sat. I walked. I calmed down just a little bit more.
In my 30s, once I was living in Los Angeles, I took a full course of guided meditation and energy alignment with my amazing teacher, Ashanna, who I still connect with monthly. And I came to Against the Stream in L.A. and sat with people who swore, had tattoos, and thanked their exes for changing their lives. We all gave the finger to the camera for a center anniversary photo. It was fun. The space felt raw and real.
But after all of these years and all these methods, I have come back to just yoga practice and sitting alone with my mala beads (these are my favorite) and a mantra. Just me and breathing. Every morning. It is my foundation.
This past April, I took Susannah Conway’s course, The Sacred Alone, which I can’t recommend highly enough. It was such a gift to formalize how much I want to sit in my meditation area and be with myself before starting the day.
I have a new routine now. First, read something inspiring- you should see the stack I have built up for this purpose- and then sit. It varies from 5-20 minutes. The longer sits usually happen on the weekend, when I can linger and enjoy the process even more. Then journal and finally, fill out that day’s page of Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map agenda.
This feels juicy. And how much can half an hour a day change your life?
I can’t be sure that this is the only reason, since I have made so many shifts the past few months, but I think it’s possible that this time could change a life completely. It has started the possibility for a new story. I feel new plots growing out of my fingers and toes. I see my eyes looking with new life and I am open to things happening again. It is a new world in here.
I want to say more about The Radiance Sutras. But I think I’ll save that for next time… It’s worth its own post.