ACTIVE VS. PASSIVE SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
In the West we have become accustomed to Eastern forms of meditation which are usually more passive in nature. However, many of us do not have this kind of patience.
Moreover, for most, the ultimate attainment of Samadhi is a far out of reach, no matter how diligent we are with meditation.
Although we could all learn to have this form of staying power and we are taught to always gently return to the practice with the help of a mantra, the breath or some other technique without judgment, many may find this challenging.
The Ancestors urge;
you are to find the spiritual practice meant for you!
Active meditation is another way to obtain equanimity.
Asana yoga which can be a form of active meditation has become very popular in the West. This is only one of the eight limbs of yoga discipline. It is said that the asanas were really designed to strengthen one for meditation, pranayama, and the deeper form of sensory withdrawal and not for an end unto itself. Nevertheless for many of us asana yoga serves to inspire and also is an excellent way of stress busting.
In the West because of our busy lives we are in sympathetic nervous system over load which is ostensibly a chronic flight or fight response. It should be balanced by some kind of relaxation response or meditation that invokes the parasympathetic nervous system to calm us down. Asana yoga performs well here but may not take the practitioner very deep.
and they teach that
the soul's fulfillment is through the senses.
The soul's conversation is not of the mind,
it is best heard with the senses.
The Sufi whirling dervishes would agree with the Ancestors that connection with the Divine and equanimity can also reside in some form of embodied practice; Tai Chi, Chi Gong, drumming, dancing, solo hiking etc ... Africans say we pray by singing and dancing. Try visiting a gospel church or one in South Africa.
Mindful? or Mind Full!
It may be easier to empty the mind when using inner directed bodily activities.
There are other ways to stop thinking other than passive meditation that are worth exploring
Use the senses for this sound driven meditation in whatever way it is enhanced for you. Focus on a candle flame, light incense, savor your favorite sweet treat, dance to the sound, imagine walking through your favorite nature scene, try different music ...
Click on the link to highlight then play and meditate