There’s nothing which can be more precious in you than your relationship with your own consciousness. –Yogi Bhajan
I didn’t really plan on doing this meditation for 40 days. I started doing Tershula Meditation on the recommendation of my teacher Priya and failed miserably after day 12. Sorry Priya! Maybe I’ll try this meditation again in the future :)
Although I fell off the wheel with Tershula, I was still committed to do a 40 day sadhana with another meditation. Sodarchan Chakra Kriya just happened to be on the opposite page in our teacher’s manual and I was immediately drawn to it after I skimmed the instructions and comments. I can’t tell you why exactly, but it was almost like something was pulling me and I had no choice but to surrender and do it. So I read the description more carefully and said HELL YES! Most powerful Kriya of all time? SIGN ME UP.
You can find a tutorial of the meditation here. (Thank you Anmol Mehta for your tutorial!)
I started with a gentle 11 minutes. At first it was difficult to hold my breath and pump my belly 48 times. I would lose control around pump 33, and then it was a fearful race to the finish line until I could finally exhale– a sweet exhalation and sigh of relief.
Soon enough, 11 minutes began to fly by, so I upped the ante to 22 minutes. After another week or so, I increased the time to 31 minutes. Oh my god…31 minutes. That is when the real magic began to happen. So many shifts and lessons learned just by doing this powerful meditation for 31 minutes. Just by sitting with myself and observing my thoughts. Here is some of what I learned:
1. Your breath is the most powerful part of you.
This meditation has forever changed my relationship with my breath. In the beginning it was a struggle to hold my breath for what seemed like an eternity, and I grudgingly anticipated the exhale every round. It didn’t make for a very enjoyable experience. But as I kept practicing, it got easier, and I began to experience prana in all of its beauty. I learned to appreciate the inhale just as much as the exhale. I experienced the breath’s unconditional love in different parts of my body – my arms, my navel, and my heart. I can’t tell you what an indescribable feeling it is to feel the healing power of each breath and to know that this powerful energy is with me at all times. I now know that I can lose everything I have—my cats, my boyfriend, my friends, my success—but as long as I can BREATHE, everything will be ok.
2. Your mind is on a leash and it needs a gentle tug every once in a while.
Lots of people think meditation is about telling the mind to shut up. Actually, meditation is a time for you to develop a new relationship with your mind so you can deeply listen and observe. Do you know the difference between your mind talking to you and your soul talking to you? Do you know when you get sucked into the mind’s maya? It was amazing to watch this all unfold before me every day. Per the meditation, I would start to mentally chant the mantra wahe guru, and then my mind would attach to some random thought and I would drift away. Sometimes that thought stirred up an unpleasant/pleasant emotion in me. Then, in my silent observation, I would catch myself being sucked away by the thought and gently guide my mind back to the mantra. This pattern would play over and over again—mantra, thought, drift away, back to mantra. And this is why meditation is so important: this simple act of guiding the mind back to the mantra or back to the breath is a way for you to tug on your mental leash to keep your mind in check. The mind is like a child, constantly trying to grab onto thoughts to get a reaction out of you. You have to re-train your mind to follow your command, and not the other way around.
3. Observation gives you space to practice discernment.
Once I observed myself tugging on the leash everyday, another shift happened. I had more control over what I allowed my mind to grab onto and what I allowed to let go. So if a thought came up about a memory I had when I was a child, I would ask myself—why are you here? Do you really need my attention? If it was just a random memory, I would let it go. If it was a memory that was emotionally charged, I would hold onto it until I understood its purpose for wanting my attention. Of course, this all happened in a matter of seconds. But this SPACE I gave myself to observe my thoughts was a powerful exercise in discernment. When you are able to discern what thoughts need your attention and what thoughts don’t, you have more control over your reality.
4. Discernment gives you space for you to hear your soul.
When you practice discernment, you get rid of all the meaningless mental chatter of the mind. What happens when you get rid of the chatter? You make more room for the soul to speak to you, and more space for you to hear it. In my experience, there would be times when thoughts would enter my mind and I would follow it out of curiosity. No other reason but innocent, childlike curiosity. I followed it with a sense that this thought wasn’t coming from the monkey, it was coming from something deeper. Something that aroused my heart….something that gave me sensations of creativity, inspiration, and trust. This, I believe, was my soul talking to me. And as I got rid of all the mental chatter, the soul’s voice became louder and louder. So loud that I couldn’t ignore it. It was a clear and comforting voice that I began to hear long after I was finished meditating.
5. When you master your internal world, you are invincible.
I’m no way near being a meditation master. But this 40 day sadhana has taught me so much about how I can continue to become the best version of ME. I now know that I have these two new best friends with me all the time who have my greatest intentions at heart—my breath and my soul. To me, they are two very real energies living inside me that make me feel INVINCIBLE. It’s like I always have my power posse traveling with me wherever I go. How incredible is it to know that you are truly taken care of every moment of the day, and that you are NEVER alone? I feel like I am walking through life with a new pair of eyes, a new sense of purpose, and a new sense of trust.
I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. I am forever grateful to you Sodarchan Chakra Kriya! WAHE GURU.