Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Meditations on the Purpose of Life

I got some dental work done at the dentist yesterday and they gave me laughing gas.  I think this stuff is the best thing since sliced bread.  While I was under, I decided to see if the laughing gas could help me up my meditation experience, like they say LSD can do.  I'm never quite 100% sure that my meditations are actually allowing me to connect with God rather than just clearing my mind for more focused thought, but I had a very interesting meditation on the purpose of life. 

Once in my meditation, I realized that I had lost touch with God since I had my baby.  This drugged-up moment in the dentist chair was my first deep meditation since the birth of my baby 7 months ago.  I'd done a little light meditation that brought me relaxation, but it had not brought me that divine peace that deep meditation can bring. 

In yogic texts they discuss different levels of meditation, the first step is withdrawing the senses by closing the eyes, the second step is focusing the mind and eliminating that "monkey mind." Just by doing that, I am able to find relaxation.  This is about as far as meditation has gotten for me before my son woke up or I needed to do something.

But, yesterday, I went deeper.  I went to that place of pure peace and clarity.  I went to that place where all the thought waves ceased and the mind was still and quiet.  This is the place where your Word is most powerful.  This is the place where you plant seeds of change in your life.  This is the place of infinite possibilities.  If you have ever heard of "The Secret," or Science of Mind, or simply the power of your word, you may know that your thoughts are most powerful when you clearly set your intention and focus on that which you want.

At the point I realized I was at this deep state of meditation, my mind started revving-up.  My mind likes to try to control my meditations.  It usually likes to think of which mantra I should be repeating -- "om nama shivaya"... "there's only one life"... the gayatri mantra... "be still and know God" or something else.  This time, my mind was super excited and wanted to think of the perfect thing to pray for.  Should I pray for my son's happiness, my husband's happiness, my enlightenment, world peace or my happiness. 

From childhood, I've always thought happiness was the purpose of life.  People like to make things complicated with long books and philosophies but it all comes down to trying to be happy.  Why do I want Cam to be happy?  Because it makes me happy.  Why do I want Adam to be happy?  Because it makes me happy.  So do I think enlightenment will make me happy? 

We see people who do drugs, have sex, party and risk their lives because they think it makes them happy.  But does it really?  I sometimes think that people who choose to live a more reserved life like to think that party people aren't truly happy.  I don't know if that's true.  Just as some pious people are happy and some are unhappy, I think the same may be true for those crazy party animals.  I think it is easier to think that a simple person who lives off the land is happy and connected with God even if they never pray or have a religion than someone who parties all the time. But it does not seem beyond possibility that some people are just as happy and in touch with God as they go from moment to moment trying to find their next high. 

I do not consider myself a true yogi because the yogic texts say that the ultimate goal is be desireless, without any likes or dislikes.  That sounds utterly and completely BORING to me.  Yes, if you can live like that, you won't be sad, but you also won't ever be bouncing off the wall with joy and I love sparkling with joy.   

When I have had glimpses of enlightenment, I felt completely at peace and content.  It was beautiful but I wouldn't call it "happy."  So, have I been wrong all my 30 years of life?  Maybe I should use this time to pray for contentment and peace rather than happiness.  Maybe I should just pray for my contentment and peace knowing that I could never be content or at peace with my husband and son discontented.  Peace is what stays with you during good times and bad.  With happiness comes sadness because you are riding the waves of the world.  You are riding on temporary circumstances. 

With all that being said, I have to add that I often laugh at the way I like to over-complicate this simple thing called life.  As I write this blog discussing my meditation on the purpose of life, I imagine that a farmer tills the fields completely content and at peace and at one with his surroundings.  He's not trying to get there, or thinking about getting there, he just is.  His wife is washing dishes as she looks out the window, completely in the moment, at peace and content. 

Do my perfect archetypes of simple zen living really exist anywhere outside of my mind?  I don't know.  But even as I ponder enlightenment and the purpose of life, I am reminded that the way to peace and enlightenment is not meditation, it's not prayer, it's not study, it's just being fully present and letting go of our desire to control and analyze things with our mind.  So maybe my questions and prayers were answered--just be present and you will be content and at peace.  And, I really think the best thing I can do for my family is be an example of peace and contentment, I can't do it for them, only they can do that. 

As for world peace, just as I am an example for my family, I am an example for everyone I meet.  I hope to be an inspiration for everyone who reads these posts.  I hope that I spread peace and contentment through the world like ripples on the ocean, like the fluttering of a butterfly's wings.  May peace ripple all over the world and all beings know contentment, everywhere. 

And so it is!  Amen. 


Ronda Jyoti Litwin

Monday, August 27, 2012

5 Ways to Share Yoga with Your Newborn

Mommy & Me Yoga or Tiny Tots Class
Mommy & me yoga is a great way for babies to see you do yoga and feel incorporated into your practice from a young age.  If there isn’t a class near you, buy a DVD or book like Shiva Rea’s DVD or the Itsy Bitsy yoga book.  I personally don’t like mommy & me yoga classes because it's hard for me to relax and focus while taking care of my busy baby, but a lot of other people love it.  So, if your baby will allow you to lay her down, then mommy & me yoga is great.  If your baby likes to constantly move and be held,  share tiny tots yoga with her.  I will be making a mommy & me yoga video for active babies soon. If you know of a good yoga video for active babies, please contact me. 
    Clear Your Baby's Chakras
    If you have ever gone to a yoga class you’ve probably experienced being lulled into relaxation with chakra clearing music.  Different tones are designed to clear and align your chakras.  This music is very relaxing and the perfect white noise for baby's nursery.  When purchasing a chakra clearing CD for the baby,  you want to make sure it only has the sounds, without words.  The yogic science behind these CDs is that each chakra, or energetic center, vibrates at a specific frequency. When a sound wave vibrates at this frequency, it helps to activate this energetic center.  When chakras are not aligned it can result in physical and emotional pain. Therefore, keeping chakras aligned is one of the main goals of yoga.   A good CD for this purpose is Frequencies: Sounds of Healing.

      Mantra Lullabies Send Good Vibes
      Mantras are sacred sounds designed to raise the vibration in your body and the atmosphere.  Rather than singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," why not sing Om Namah Shivaya.  Play with the rhythm and your tone to find the one that works for you and your baby.  Or play a CD by Deva Premal for the baby.  When Deva Premal's mother was pregnant with her, her parents would sing the Gayatri Mantra throughout the pregnancy.  It means "May all beings on Earth reach enlightenment."   So, send your baby good vibes with mantra lullabies.  
        Mandalas are Spiritual Artwork   
        These are both sacred visual art that will expose your baby to art and the spiritual realm.  You can even print one out and color it to match the baby’s room. If you are practicing the Montessori method, you can place a mandala low on the wall at the baby's eye level.  Otherwise, a good location may be next to the changing table or on the ceiling above her bassinet.  Remember that this art is meant for the baby to see, not to decorate the room for the parents.

        Turn Breastfeeding into Meditation Time 

        If you breastfeed your baby to sleep or simply allow the baby to fall asleep on or near you, use that silent time as an opportunity to meditate or pray for or about your baby.  Allow your calm energy to fill the room and surround your baby with love.  You can also do the same prenatal meditations you did while your baby was in your belly: Breathe in love, breathe out love for your baby.  It can be difficult to maintain your spiritual practice as a new mother, but this practice can help you be more grounded, mindful and SANE.  Why is it that it is hardest to do your spiritual practices when you need them the most?  Don't beat yourself up missing a meditation with a newborn, but know that you can find balance and peace during this time.  It just may look a little different than it used to. 

        Namaste, Ronda Jyoti Litwin

        Friday, July 20, 2012

        I'm Back!! . . . Virtually Anyway

        Motherhood is a whole new adventure.  It has taken me on a path I couldn't have predicted.  I think its best to hold off on teaching yoga classes a little longer than I planned so I can spend more time with my baby.

        However, I'm planning to share my love for yoga virtually.  Stay tuned for yoga videos and articles for you to experience yoga when and where you want.  Virtual yogis unite!

        If you have any yoga questions or are interest in a yoga class geared toward a specific goal or problem, please contact me or on my Dallas Yoga Love Facebook page.

        Ronda Litwin

        Wednesday, January 4, 2012

        Maternity Leave

        Thank you so much for visiting Dallas Yoga Love's blog.  

        Dallas Yoga Love is on a temporary hiatus until May of 2012 because we are anticipating the arrival of a brand new little yogi in March of 2012.  

        Please stay tuned!  We have lots of plans for May:
        • Mommy & Me Yoga
        • Postnatal Yoga 
        • Lots of Yoga Videos
        • Core/Abdominal Yoga Poses

        Namaste :)