Last week I wrote a piece on The Art of Making Your Sacred Space. Once you have your scared space prepared, you can now commit to the life transforming daily ritual of intention setting and meditation/prayer. One must not sit in meditation for hours to reap the profound benefits. All you need other than daily commitment in your sacred space, are a few minutes to ten or more if you desire, to connect to the Divine and your higher Self. When you commit time to daily meditation/prayer you invite changes to your neurophysiology over time. The parts of you and your brain that have been damaged through past trauma or addictions, will heal because you are placing yourself and your brain in an environment that fosters the re-wiring of damaged neural networks for better processing and flow of information, and your genes to be expressed in phenomenally positive ways.
Intention has a powerful effect on our gene expression. One of the most important findings in the field of social neuroscience is that our environments have a profound impact on our neurophysiology. In the article “The Social Life of Genes”, the author, David Dobbs, details the impact our environments have on our gene expression. Dobbs further cites in the article, “By adjusting your environment you can adjust your gene activity.” Pacific Standard. (2013, September 3). Retrieved from http://www.psmag.com/health/the-social-life-of-genes-64616/. The findings of the article are immense for the successful advancement in the fields of yoga and meditation as alternative outlets for healing trauma and addictions, as well as yoga and meditation becoming a part of the common thread of our wellness palette.
Preparing yourself for meditation/prayer:
I suggest committing time every morning to your sacred space for meditation/prayer. This method works, I do this every day and it has transformed my life. You want to set your intent before you start your day. You wouldn’t start a project without a list of steps to work through, and the same goes for the project we call life and the journey of the connection to our soul. In order to lead a successful, peaceful, content, and happy life, you must make the commitment to set your intention in meditation/prayer every day. As Patanjali points out in Yoga Sutra No. 1.14 “Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness.” By doing this every day, you train the mind to slow down before you ever step foot on the meditation mat.
Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position on your mat/rug, close your eyes, and breathe long deep methodical breaths. Your hands can rest palms up or down on your thighs, and if you desire, you can take palms to Chin Mudra (palms face up with index finger touching thumb, making a circle representative to the cycle of life). You can add a block or blanket to sit on for extra support. If you find it difficult to steady your mind through your breath, take a break and read an excerpt from a sacred text you put nearby or a quote/mantra. Try closing the eyes again and breathe the words into your body. You can also focus on breathing in love and breathing love out. Just breathe with eyes closed using these tools. You next want to set your intention for your day. Perhaps there is something in the sacred text that inspired you or there is something in your life that is pulling you in a direction to set a specific intention. You will want to breathe the intention you choose into your being – mind and body. Some examples of setting your intention are inviting any of the following to manifest into your life: acceptance, forgiveness, change, humility, open heart, boundless love, grace, centeredness, letting go, etc. You will end the meditation session by taking palms to Anjali Mudra (prayer position, heart center) and either closing your intent by repeating it to yourself, or bow over in surrender (symbolic that we don’t know everything/humility) over your crossed legs and close with a prayer to the Divine asking for the intent to manifest in your life and asking for guidance in living the intent for the day and days to come. Over time and with daily practice, you will become more in tune with the intentions that best suit your needs to connect to your higher Self in the moment.
No matter the kinds or level of trauma, bad experience, negative relationships, and addictions you have suffered or may be suffering now, you can transform your life right now by adding daily intention setting and meditation into your life. Each day you approach your sacred space, you are fostering an environment linked to positive neurophysiological changes that are backed by growing scientific research findings.
Dobbs further cites in the article “Your experiences today will influence the molecular composition of your body for the next two to three months, or perhaps for the rest of your life. Plan your day accordingly.”
You can have the life you always wanted and are meant to have – a life filled with love, peace, content, and happiness. You can transform your life through intention setting and meditation. Don’t let life just happen to you, you are life. Live through it with your highest intended purpose in every moment.
Om Shanti Om ~ Athea