Meditation: How to Stay Inspired

Having trouble finding inspiration to meditate as part of your yoga practice at home or destress at work?…

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It’s common to momentarily lose the inspiration to continue a daily meditation practice especially in today’s non-stop, notification-driven world. Like any life activity, meditation needs to become a priority.

Say Yes to Activities that Add Value to Our Lives

Writing in Harvard Business Review, author and speaker Tony Schwartz suggests we need to say “yes” to activities that add value to our lives and learn to say “no” to the rest. ‘Saying no, thoughtfully, may be the most undervalued capacity of our times. In a world of relentless demands and infinite options, [we need] to prioritize the tasks that add the most value. That also means deciding what to do less of, or to stop doing altogether.”

One day I was feeling ‘unsatisfied’ after a very busy day and I asked myself why. It turned out I was occupied with activities that brought little true value to my life. I decided to prioritize meditation and other tasks and activities that added value: exercise, yoga, healthy eating, and music.

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If you’re ready to prioritize regular meditation practice in your life, Swami Paramahansa Yogananda shares inspiration on the importance of preparing for your meditation:

“The yogi begins with proper deep breathing, inhaling and tensing the whole body, exhaling and relaxing, several times. With each exhalation all muscular tension and motion should be cast away, until a state of bodily stillness is attained.  Then, by concentration techniques, restless motion is removed from the mind. In perfect stillness of body and mind, the yogi enjoys the ineffable peace of the presence of the soul.”

Spiritual Books Help

Your meditation practice can also benefit from reading spiritual books, says spiritual guru Sri Chinmoy.

“If you are an absolute beginner, then you can start by reading a few spiritual books or scriptures. These will give you inspiration. You should read books by spiritual Masters in whom you have implicit faith. There are Masters who have attained the highest consciousness, and if you read their books, you are bound to get inspiration. It is better not to read books written by professors or scholars or aspirants who are still on the path and have not yet attained illumination. Only those who have realised the Truth will have the capacity to offer the Truth. Otherwise, it is like the blind leading the blind.”

Power of Imagination

What happens if you’re uninspired to meditate on a particular day? Sri Chinmoy suggests: “Think of a time when you had a most sublime meditation, and consciously dive deep into that experience. Think of its essence-how you were thrilled, how you were jumping with delight. At first you will just be imagining the experience, because you are not actually having that meditation. But if you enter into the world of imagination and stay there for ten or fifteen minutes, power will automatically enter into your meditation and it will bear fruit. Then it will not be imagination at all; you will actually be deep in the world of meditation.”

How do you stay inspired to meditate?

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Bharadvajasana – Finding the source of your joy

Bharadvaja was a dedicated student of the Vedas, the most ancient spiritual and philosophical texts of Hinduism…

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Bharadvaja was a dedicated student of the Vedas, the most ancient spiritual and philosophical texts of Hinduism. He devoted three entire lifetimes to intense study of these writings. He read them, wrote them down, memorized them and then did it all over again, hoping it would bring him closer to a higher power and liberate him from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Shiva Appears to Bharadvaja

At the end of his third lifetime, Shiva appeared to Bharadvaja upon his deathbed and gave him some rather disappointing news. Shiva informed Bharadvaja that despite his unparalleled knowledge of the Vedas, he would not be accompanying Shiva to heaven because he had not learned the true meaning of the Vedas. He hadn’t shared the beauty and grace of them with others.

Bharadvaja’s Fourth Life

In his fourth life, Bharadvaja taught the philosophy of the Vedas, to those near and far and in every caste, with wisdom and compassion. During this life, he realized that wisdom is not contained in the knowing of a subject, but the living and sharing of that wisdom.

Find the Source of Your Joy

Bharadvaja’s story inspires each of us to find the source of our own personal joy and to then live it and share it with others. When we dance in the light of our heart’s fire, we inspire others to find their own joy. When we find our life’s true passion, it is fully expressed when we begin to share it with others.

What is your heart and soul’s passion? How do you share it with others?

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