Ecstatic Yoga Workbook
Mindfulness Lesson 3, Basking in the Nectar
Ecstatic Yoga Mindfulness Lesson 3
Basking in the Nectar
Welcome to Mindfulness Lesson 3 with Ecstatic Yoga. We have learned the basics of mindfulness, everything the intellectual mind would need to know. Enough to calm the mind and allow it to be reassured that it knows this concept. Basically, what the mind needs to know is that mindfulness is concentrating our focused attention on the present moment while accepting what arises fully from a state of peace. We are witnessing the moment with alert awareness.
We have practiced mindfulness in bringing our focused attention to the breath, a mantra and the body with our yin asana practices, now we are going to go a bit deeper.
The intention for this class is to practice mindfulness in the realm of the felt sense… basking in the nectar within our being. A good analogy for this is that we are going from the earths atmosphere to the depths of the ocean. From mind to soul, from intellect to felt sense, from thinking to being. This is the necessary jump we need to take to enter into the domain of basking within, basking in the ecstatic nectar that is the true nature of our being.
We will distinguish now the two separate realms we will be dealing with, one most people are very familiar with and dwell in most of the day, the other is more unfamiliar territory for the normal human being.
Realm of Thinking
Oneness Thought Mode
Voice of Truth, Internal focus, creativity, inspiration, vision, peace
We are grounded in silence while inspiration flows, ideas arise, solutions to problems present themselves, higher thinking. We hear one voice, a voice of oneness, truth, love and peace. Guidance flows to us naturally with a sense of peace. Messages are rooted in peace and promote connection and joy. Deep inner wisdom arises naturally and with ease. We are able to use the intellect to take care of the business of maintaining a physical life with gratitude.
Separation-Based Thought Mode
Voice of Judgment, External focus, mental fluctuations, thought disturbances
Messages of separation and fear. Thinking takes over, thought disturbances arise, we become engaged in the past or the future, the many forms of fear arise… confusion, hurt, defensiveness, victim, being right. Judgment enters the mind and we are perceiving and interpreting through the fearful limited mind and past experiences. We are stuck in old conditioning, repeated pain cycles and stuck in a limited realm of experience. Repetition of conflict from the past. Blaming, judging, victim, jealousy, attachment, anger, resentment, disempowered, fear and separation based thinking. We are simply distracted by the outer mental fear-based constructs that make up our outer material world, turning away or forgetting for the moment the unlimited ecstasy that dwells within us as us.
Realm of Being
Inner focus, spiritual nature, inner being, felt sense
We activate the Realm of Being through breath, music, presence, diving into pratyahara, fully engaged and present to physical, emotional and energetic sensations within the body. Centered in our hearts activating the highest levels of love possible, feeling our hearts expand with deep contentment. We rest in a state of peace and silent stillness. We bask in the nectar, engaged in the flow of breath, sensations, vibrations, pulsations… immersed in the dynamic ever expanding energy field within the body.
Slow, deep belly breaths engaged by and within the whole body as a felt sense, this simple act of breath is enough, it can activate deep bliss throughout the entire body.
Journey from Head to Heart
When we are existing in the realm of thinking we are activating the mental realm… even logical thought is part of this realm, however thought aligned with truth is a bridge to the realm of the felt sense, basking in the nectar. We wish to cross that bridge by choosing only empowered thoughts that invite us to enter into being. “Basking in the Nectar” “Noticing Sensation” “Resting in the ever expanding heart center” “Basking in the felt sense” “Immersing in the dynamic energy field within” “Diving into the inner aliveness” “Becoming the peace that passes all understanding”
It is a journey from the head to the heart and it can be a long journey or a short journey… it all depends on how engaged you are in the conditioned mind. The conditioned mind will keep you in the realm of separation and fear and the heart will keep you in the realm of the being. The journey will be quick when you are open and surrendered to the present moment. When you deeply connect in the present moment to all the physical and energetic sensations in the physical animal body you enter into ecstatic embodiment.
You can enter into being by letting the realm of the mind go for a little while… simply letting go of the need to know, to be right, be willing to suspend judgment, let the world go for a little while, sink into your heart and the endless love that flows eternally through you. Love flows through open space… if our heart is very closed down, the love is constricted and only a small trickle flows through the heart and into the material world. One who is surrendered allows wide-open unstoppable love to flow powerfully and shine brilliantly everywhere without ever thinking about it, by simply being love and light, being our natural selves, our True Nature.
A beautiful gateway to the felt sense is music… music activates the natural being, the Inner Teacher, the Atman. The power of music is amplified when we bring our hearts into the music, listen to the music with our heart, allowing love to well up from within us. We can activate this welling up of love by bringing our heartfelt love to our own Self, our Creator, a passed loved one, a child, a lover, an animal. Experience deep gratitude for the present moment as it is arising. Gratitude and love are the two most powerful vibrations… cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the big and small gifts life brings us. Bring the attention to whatever activates love, expands the heart, fills us with compassion, unending love, beauty and grace.
As we distinguish more and more deeply the realms of thinking and feeling, we begin to notice what realm we are presently abiding in and we are empowered to choose the realm that will serve the highest purpose in this now moment. If we are driving a vehicle or paying bills, we may be better served by allowing the intellect to be more dominant, however we don’t need to carry this dominance throughout the day. We can bask in the nectar of the felt sense of our being during much of the day, fully present and aware of the activities while basking in the nectar of our being.
The difference between the realms of thinking and being may seem subtle at first, however the more you practice and master shifting into the realm of being at will, you will notice the very obvious differences. It is truly a shift from a limited and constricted experience to an unlimited and expanded liberating experience.
We can bring our sacred Presence to all our daily activities, washing dishes, folding laundry, eating, brushing our hair…. We do them with alert presence, with a sense of sacred honoring of the divine within all things, allowing the Divine Grace within you to immerse every moment.
In today’s meditation our anchor will be diving into the nectar, the felt sense of our being. Whenever we notice we have entered into thinking, whether we are in thought disturbances or creative thought. Once we distinguish we have entered into the mental realm of thinking, we are invited to drop back down into our hearts to bask in the felt sense of our being, to rest in beingness.
When we are basking in our beingness we return to present moment awareness and have literally entered a deeper more spiritual realm within. As we bask in the nectar of our deepest being we connect to the deeper being within, the Atman, the Soul, the Inner Teacher. We connect with the Infinite aspect of our Self, the eternal True Self. This is an entirely different experience than knowing ourselves as the mental conditioning, the distractions of the mind.
There are two worlds, the one that is created by thinking, mental imagery, conditioning and fear and one that is a state of being permanent ever-expanding love. As we practice mindfulness in this way, by noticing what realm we are in and through breath, through connecting to the sensations of the body, through turning away from the constant chatter of the mind, we become more and more mindful and aware of the realm we are existing in from moment to moment. We become responsible for our state of mind, our state of being and more easily and more often choose the realm of being.
Throughout this meditation we will sit comfortably and bring our awareness to our hearts and invite our attention to bask in the nectar of our innermost being. When we notice we have entered into the mental realm we will say to ourselves “Thinking” and remind ourselves to enter into the realm of being by saying to ourselves “Basking in the nectar”
The heart is the space of ever-expanding love, openness, peace, wisdom and compassion. A powerful form of practice that can help you enter into beingness is to bring the focus to the heart center during meditation. We will be using the felt sense and a focus on the heart center in today’s meditation practice to anchor in that sense of beingness and love.
In today’s meditation you are invited to lay down on your back in savasana pose. The intention is to be relaxed and comfortable in your body so your mind isn’t distracted. Take a moment now to set up your comfy nest with a blanket if needed, support under your knees, and eye pillow, whatever you need to be comfortable for the meditation.
Heart Felt Mindfulness Meditation Practice
Comfortably resting on your back, noticing your physical body, the support of the earth holding your body safely on the planet. Begin now to stretch out the entire body, arms, legs, feeling as many muscles as possible engage and tighten… and relax the body deeply.
One more time engage all the muscles in the body, stretch the arms and legs and hold that engagement, hold…. And relax completely and deeply into the earth.
Bring your awareness to the breath, a nice natural flowing breath… a bit deeper and slower than normal, yet natural and easy. Basking in the breath and all body sensations that are arising. With the breath flowing bring your awareness to your heart center. You may wish to bring your hand or hands to your heart and send your heart love, gratitude and compassion. Breathe into the heart… feeling the heart expand with each breath.
Continue to breathe into the heart, sending the heart loving kindness.
Take a moment to think of someone whom you love deeply, it may be someone on this side or who has passed over to the other side. It may be a beloved pet or both, continue to conjure up as much love for this person or these individuals.
Bring all that love into your own heart….
Continue to fill your heart with love, allow the heart to be immersed in love, bask in the nectar of your own ever expanding heart.
Sink deeply into your infinite heart….
If thinking occurs label it thinking and shift into basking
Bask in the nectar of your precious heart….
Fill your heart with love and gratitude for being who you are, exactly as you are…
Send your heart love for always being there for you…
If thinking occurs label it thinking and shift into basking
Sink deeply into the felt sense of your heart and inner most being….
“Basking in the Nectar” “Noticing Sensation” “Resting in the ever expanding heart center” “Basking in the felt sense” “Immersing in the dynamic energy field within” “Diving into the inner aliveness” “Becoming the peace that passes all understanding”
Bring your full concentration to the heart, hold that concentration for a few breaths.
Release all concentration and allow yourself to enter into silent stillness.
Allow your consciousness to enter into pure awareness…
Become everything, yet no one thing in particular
Everywhere, yet no where in particular
Everything, nothing, everywhere, nowhere
Bring your awareness now to all the sensations in your body, bask in the nectar of sensation, aliveness within.
Bring your awareness to the breath and take a few deep breaths into the lower abdomen
Bring your awareness now to the body, feel the body resting on the earth
If you wish to continue the meditation feel free to ride the journey out as long as you wish.
If you wish to come back, become aware of your body 360 degrees, your legs, arms, fingers toes
Begin now to wiggle the toes, wiggle the fingers.
Gently and kindly coming back
When you feel ready roll over to one side
Notice the subtle shifts in sensations and energy in your body as you move from your back to your side.
Kindly come to a seated position