Path of Least Resistance
Everything around us is energy and this energy has to flow, it has to follow a path and that path is usually the one that presents the least amount of resistance. The energy behind the flow of water has the power to transform mountains into canyons and the force behind this energy of flow has the power to transform human suffering into bliss and joy.
When exposed to positive energy you flow into it
naturally because it’s an easy thing to do. You harmonize and resonate with
that energy in a way that lightens your heart and raises your spirits; such is
the experience of being around a genuinely positive and happy person. But this
effect can only happen if you’re open to it, if you allow yourself to suspend
judgement and let yourself be taken by its current. In this state you get
closer to becoming one with the
experience and if you can become one
with the energy without identifying with it, you will be falling into the state
of flow or what is referred to in
positive psychology as “optimal
experience”. In this state, duality gets blurred or momentarily breaks
down, meaning the Self is no longer
living the experience; rather the Self becomes
the experience. You no longer identify that the experience is happening to you,
or that you deserve or earned this experience, rather the personality in you is
removed from the equation as time and space is experienced in its pure and
present form regardless of what activity is being lived.
Photo by Kazuend
The artist merges with her painting…the dancer falls into the dance…the runner becomes the marathon…
In The Zone
This state of flow or when you’re “in the zone”, is not limited to artists and athletes; we all experience such moments in the course of our life and in various activities we do when full focus arises and when we feel that there’s a challenge in front of us in which we can succeed. These moments of flow can become more frequent as you let go of resistance, judgement and expectations and as you will yourself to be fully present, active and focused. Simply doing the activity or task for the sake of doing it and for the joy of doing it can push you into this sometimes elusive zone. When you start to flow, time and space disappear, allowing you to integrate fully with the activity and to become one with it. With the right frame of mind, you can aim to experience the flow for any task you do either at home or at work. Challenge yourself to finally paint that fence in your yard by focusing on each brush stroke as you paint one plank at a time. As you progress, keep the focus on the movement you’re making, the activity, the energy you’re putting into the task without thinking about the end result or thinking of other things, just paint one wood plank at a time with as much efficiency and enthusiasm as you can muster and experience the flow arise. At work, clear your calendar, mute your phone, put a do not disturb sign on your door and write that report that you need to finish. Focus on what is its you’re saying in the report and on each word you use to communicate your thoughts to the reader and let yourself flow into the words…into the report. You can approach any task or chore in this way and when you do, observe how, when you let go of the thinking mind, your experience of ‘doing’ changes dramatically no matter how mundane or tedious the task or activity may be.
Photo by Tikkho Maciel
The Mantra Writing Sadhana
There are many ways to use meditation and one type that is frequently used is focus based meditation where the practitioner brings full attention to something specific such as an object like a candle flame or an image. It can also be full attention to a word or a mantra that is said or chanted. In focusing on one thing you lessen the mind-chatter in your head, lowering the volume of the constant noise and busyness of the thinking mind. For example, the mantra “Satnam”, which can loosely be translated to mean “The Divine whose name is Truth” is a powerful mantra to focus on to quickly bring a transcendent and peaceful state. This mantra can be recited over and over again as you maintain focus on producing the sound of the mantra and at the same time paying attention to the hearing of the sound that is projected by your voice. But there are also other ways to use this or any other mantras that can help to bring peacefulness to the mind and also help to nudge you into a state of flow. Rather than repeating the mantra “Satnam“, in this sadhana exercise, we will write it down for a total of 108 times as you push yourself to maintain focus on the task of writing the mantra and hearing the sound in your mind as you write it down.
Photo by Aaron-Burden
What you need
For this sadhana, you’ll need pen and lined paper and you’ll have to make a mark with you pen on the 20th line. On each line you’ll be writing “Satnam” 5 times side-by-side until your reach the 20th line. Once you’ve reached the 20th line, this will indicate to you that you’ve written the mantra 100 times (5 x 20 = 100). Then, you’ll continue to write the mantra an extra 8 times to total 108 and when you’ve reached 108, you can put your pen down, close your eyes and simply observe your present state. What’s going on, what happened while you were writing, what did you experience? Take note and write about your experience in your journal.
Remember that this is a mediation and that full focus should be given to the experience of writing and repeating the mantra in your mind as you write and focus on the activity.
1- Take out the piece of paper that you’ve written your intention on for this 21 day blog series (as explained in my introductory blog post here) and as you read it, let the intention fill your mind and your spirit.
2- Sit in a comfortable position with pen and your paper prepared as mentioned above.
3– Make it an intention to will yourself to fully and attentively focus on this writing meditation.
4- Write the mantra Satnam 108 times, repeating the mantra in your mind as you write.
5- When done, take a few minutes to observe your present state and what you experienced as you were doing this sadhana.
6- Now, express gratitude for having taken this time for yourself and for having completed this sadhana. You may want to journal your experience.
The Next Blog – Blog 3 of 21
In my next blog post “Enhanced Living – Non-Judgement, Blog 3 of 21” you’ll bring yourself into a space of non-judgment where you can begin to undo the patterns and programs that cause self-judgement and judgement in others.
Visit WWW.LMBLANCHARD.COM for more information about the author’s work, books, guided meditation CD and various meditation techniques.