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Posts from the ‘Mindfulness’ Category

Judgement vs Right Perception

Today I had an interesting conversation with students around the idea of judgement and acceptance. The conversation evoked inquiry, and ultimately a renewed clarity for me, and I hope for others as well.

In spiritual communities, judgement is sometimes misperceived as bad, especially in light of ideas like acceptance and kindness. However, judgements are neither good nor bad. They are simply a facet of the thinking mind. They may have some information to relay, often about the person judging, rather than the object or person that is being judged. If we allow it to be, without suppressing or reacting from it, we can come into greater clarity and alignment with life. This allowing is the essence of accepting.

Acceptance does not mean we submit to life all the time, nor that we tolerate disrespect or abuse. It simply means that in this moment, I surrender to what is. This surrendering is not one of resignation. It is alert and awake. It is feeling and sensing. Through this, there is the potential to come into clear relationship with life. In time, we may open into ‘right’ perception, ‘right’ words, and even ‘right’ action when Life is calling for it.

My use of ‘right’ has no opposite. This ‘right’ does not make anyone or any other opinion wrong. It simply states what feels true; what brings me into alignment and harmony with life. When this truth calls for us to say ‘no’ to something, as Eckhart Tolle describes, it will be a “high quality no” that is free of all reactivity. “Without egoic defensiveness, there will be power behind your words, yet no reactivity.” (A New Earth, pg. 216) This ‘right’ also has no good or bad. In fact, what feels right might be very uncomfortable to navigate at times.

A little more often now, I can discern ‘right’ perception from judgement. Judgement often has a charge to it, an edginess, a sense of inferiority or superiority. The words and action that stem from judgement are less than skillful, sometimes hurtful, and I have had my fair share. ‘Right’ perception on the other hand feels clear and even strong at times, yet it has a calm, grounded and open quality to it. Generally it does not arise through thinking, instead it emerges from the vast, open, wise ground of Being.

In Peace,
Sheila

An iRest Yoga Nidra Rest-Shop

The new year is a beautiful time to slow down, restore and rest in the depths of one’s heart. In this rest-shop at Dharma Yoga Austin, I will offer a gentle practice, including breathing, gentle embodied movements and iRest Yoga Nidra. We will close by planting seeds of inquiry so that when the answers appear, we may hear – what (way of Being) is most calling us into the year that can guide how we show up for ourselves and others, and where we engage.

Their will be no agenda, other than for this to be a safe space for you to meet the truth and wisdom within you.

No experience required, simply your curiosity.
January 26th 4-6pm
Registerhttp://dharma-yoga.net/workshops/

** iRest Yoga Nidra is a healing practice of guided meditation/rest.  Please click on this link for more information.  

Yoga Nidra with Sheila Singh jpeg

An Unexpected Encounter.

I haven’t written for some time.  Writing happens when writing happens.

Today I was walking through my neighborhood Randall’s to get a few items.  I meandered through the aisles with my short list on repeat in my head so that I would not forget.  All of sudden, my eyes fell upon a lady.  She appeared to be in her late 50’s, though truly I don’t know.  More than just the eyes, my whole body was moved by her appearance; a nervous fluttering, and breathing that spontaneously felt heavy.  I walked past her calmly, though my body experienced the opposite.

The following description may be too graphic for some, though I will share it because it was what I saw. 

She had two black and blue eyes, a nose that was swollen and crusted with a significant amount of visible blood.  Her demeanor appeared fragile, though that might have been my own projection.  She was on the phone as I saw her.

I headed to the check out, though my heart felt as if it had stopped in the aisle with the lady.  My heart felt uncomfortably concerned.  Even while I was paying for my groceries, I kept glancing back to where I saw the lady.  Was she still there?  Should I just leave and go on about my evening?  Should I go back and ask her if she is ok or if she needed anything?  Would she tell me even if she needed help?  What would I do if she said yes?

As I grabbed my grocery bag, I turned my head back one more time.  She was still there on the phone.  My legs started walking toward her even while my head continued with its questions.  As I got closer, she was no longer on her phone.

I stood in front of her and looked gently into her eyes.  I asked, “Excuse me, I hope it is ok for me to ask this, are you ok?  Is there anything you need?”.  She looked at me and very quickly said, “Oh thank you, I am ok.  I just fell.  I broke my ribs”.  I had no idea of broken ribs from the surface of her appearance.  “I am just coming from the doctor’s office and he fixed my nose”.  There was a brief pause.  I said, “Ok, I saw you and felt concerned. I wanted to check if you were ok or needed help of any kind”.  Our eyes still meeting, we smiled gently at one another.  I walked out of Randall’s to my car and back home to my family.

Perhaps what she said was true and perhaps it was not.  I wondered, “Would a doctor really let her leave their office without a bandage of some kind?”.  I guess I won’t know for sure.  My gut still felt concerned for her.  

I went back to the safety of my home and my family.  My hope is that this lady is safe and heals.  I will have to be ok with at least letting her know that I saw her and that I offered concern and care, even if for a moment.

 

***  I don’t know that I would have had the courage to walk back to this lady had I not taken SAFE’s advocate training this past year.  I am deeply thankful for those that do this important work daily.

New Guided Meditation

Hi Everyone,

I am sharing a new guided meditation.  It is from a live class I offered on Mind Oasis yesterday.  This recording has a few minutes of orientation to the practice of iRest yoga nidra.  The guided practice begins at about 4:43 and is about fifteen minutes long.  You will be guided from opening the senses, to feeling body sensations and the breath.  Throughout practice you will be invited to explore into the feeling of Being as it might be opening up for you.

If you are curious about Mind Oasis, it is an online platform for practicing meditation LIVE, from anywhere you are with community.  While the practice of meditation has been transformative for me, the community I have come to know along the way has been a vital support as well.  Here you get both, live guidance and community.  This is an incredible resource especially for those that either don’t have classes or teachers in their towns, or who cannot get to classes during the times they are offered.

In Peace,

Sheila

 

Grief and Bravery

These past two months my family and I have been navigating death and loss, one that came very suddenly.  It was as if literally Life pulled the rug out from beneath our feet.  It continues to feel quite surreal.  Emotions have taken me everywhere, from numbness to sadness, anger to acceptance, love back to love.  The peaks and the valleys seem a little less drastic, but they continue to come and go … especially in the quiet moments. 

I invite them in.  Getting consumed by life’s routines almost feels as if it is betraying what should not be forgotten so soon.  Still my heart knows that it won’t ever be forgotten, even if the mind becomes occupied.

~~~

I have also remembered how experiencing loss allows my heart to open to our shared human grief.  One’s own pain expands the capacity to be with other people’s pain.  Rather than just a surface level acknowledgement, I am in awe of people who have and are navigating loss of all kinds … and the courage it takes to keep showing up in life, carrying on with one’s responsibilities, meanwhile the tenderness remains.  The bravery that I witness is humbling, and at least for now I am less tempted to fall prey to my assumptions of what people are or are not experiencing.  There is often so much more than what we see.

~~~

Perhaps the heart breaking is also the Heart opening, the field of Compassion becoming a little less obscured.

mdvrumiwound