Be Filled with Lightness! Guided Meditation with Sita
June 3, 2021
In the English language, the word "light" has a double meaning. It can mean illumination and brilliance, and it can also mean "lightness" or a feeling of ease. This guided meditation is appropriate for all meditators, whether brand new or experienced—all can tune into a sense of light and be filled with lightness! Joy!
[Below is a verbatim transcription of this guided meditation. Take into account the nuanced differences between spoken and written meaningful expression.]
Good morning. Welcome to this half-hour guided meditation. Whether you're brand new to meditation or have a lot of experience, please stay. This is appropriate for everyone.
For today's theme, I chose the quality of light. Right now the days are getting longer, they're getting warmer and brighter. And it's a wonderful feeling after a long, cold winter or spring, especially here in the Pacific Northwest, just to be out in the sunshine in that warmth. And it brings such a quality of lightness, both in body and spirit. And so I thought that's just such a wonderful thing for meditation, how it can bring a sense of lightness to body and Spirit. And the beautiful thing about the word light in the English language is that it has two meanings. One is it can mean light, as in brilliance or illumination. But it can also mean the quality of lightness and I think that's really wonderful.
Prayer Before Meditation
So let's begin our meditation practice together with a reading from Whispers from Eternity by Paramahansa Yogananda:
Oh, Divine Friend, though the darkness of my ignorance be as old as the world still make me realize that with the dawn of Thy light, the darkness will vanish as though it had never been.
Just taking a moment to sit with that; that "with the dawn of Thy light the darkness will vanish as though it had never been."
And now we'll do a chant. It's "Come Out of the Darkness, Mother, Bathe Me in Thy Light." And whether you chant out loud or inwardly or simply feel the vibrations from this chant uplifting you do what feels right for you.
"Come out of the darkness, Mother, bathe me in Thy Light, bathe me in Thy light." (Repeated)
Come out of the darkness, Mother, bathe me in thy light.
Let's tune in for a moment to the astral light, to the astral spine, the energy spine in the body, imagining it filled with radiant light. So to help us visualize this light, bring your left hand to the base of your spine, the area of the tailbone, and your right hand, slide your first couple of fingers up the back of your neck just till you feel it meet that notch under your skull.
And now see a light, a tube of light about the diameter of your thumb running from the base of your spine to the top of the neck ear right through the center of your body. Imagine it filled with a brilliant, luminous light.
And now take your left hand and take your pointer finger and place it at the point between the eyebrows. And imagine that light coming from the base of the spine up to the top of the neck and then curving slightly to reach your finger at the area of the point between the eyebrows.
And then, once you get a visualization of this, go ahead and rest your palms on your lap. And let's tune into this more deeply.
Begin to gently sway from side to side but feel that that tube of light stays unmoving. The body moves but that center within you filled with light doesn't; and see this as your true home. And then slowly stop the rocking. But still, bring awareness to this river of light flowing up from the base of the spine to the top of the neck and curving slightly to the point between the eyebrows.
And keep the gaze gently lifted as if you're looking out from this point at the point between the eyebrows. And now let's bring the breath into this. And notice the breath.
And every time you inhale imagine your breath coming up this astral light helping it grow brighter and stronger. And exhaling going down this tube of light. Just be very gentle and relaxed about this. You don't have to overthink it or think at all. The inhaling breath coming up through the center of your body, exhaling coming down.
And feel that with every breath this light within you grows brighter. And with every exhaling breath, you relax more deeply into a sense of lightness. Bring a sense of relaxation to this, a sense of lightness.
Now just resume normal breathing but feel that that light within you, starting through the center of your body, begins to grow brighter until it illuminates your own whole body from within, and then expands shining all around you: a beautiful radiant light, bringing a sense of lightness and relaxation to the area of the heart.
And to help us relax more deeply, let's do a couple of double breaths with relaxation intention. And if this is new to you, you simply take a short and long inhalation through the nostrils like this [sound of double inhalation].
Hold the breath as you begin to tense the body up in a wave. And then we'll throw the breath out short, then long through the mouth as we relax the body [sound of double exhalation].
Pause in the stillness.
Again, short, then long inhalation through the nostrils [sound of double inhalation]. Hold the breath and like a wave bring a sense of tension. Tense the body up to a peak and then we'll reverse [sound of exhalation], like a wave relaxing back to the ocean completely. Letting the body soften and relax. And one more time [sound of double inhalation]. Feel that tension as energy and then relax [sound of double exhalation].
Pause with gaze gently uplifted.
Meditation Posture and Relaxation
Let's do a posture check here, bringing the body into a position that will help it be still. So that's our goal, to have a still body, not to look any particular way.
So begin by checking that the feet are flat on the floor. This can help bring in a sense of stability to the body and the mind. And then inviting in a feeling of relaxation up from the feet through the calves through the thighs. You can imagine the thighs melting into the chair.
Belly softens, don't hold the belly in here. Palms are gently facing upward resting anywhere comfortably on your lap. Forearms and upper arm soften and relax. And then the area of the heart both front and back softening as well and relaxing.
Imagine the shoulders melting down away from the ears and drawing them slightly back to feel a very, very gentle lift in the heart. And then to bring the head and neck into proper alignment, as you inhale, gently glide the chin up an inch or so and as you exhale, return the chin so it's parallel to the floor, feeling the lengthening in the back of the neck.
And then continuing with that upward wave of relaxation, feel all the muscles of the face soften and relax: the mouth, cheekbones, in the ears, nose and eyes, eyebrows, forehead all the way through the crown of the head.
And to keep a sense of upliftment, gently see that the gaze is lifted. Not literally to the point between the eyebrows, that would cause strain, but as if you were gently looking out over the horizon where the sea and sky meet, just above.
And visualize or see from this place of upliftment, an inner light an inner sun, just as bright as the outer sun but with no harsh or burning qualities. The sun illuminates, adds brilliance. Imagine that light shining down upon you, filling your body with a sense of vitality and lightness. Filling every cell of your body with this quality and all the spaces between yourself. Any lingering tension within the body simply dissipates into this beautiful light.
Attention on the Breath
Now we'll move into our core technique, which is observing the breath. So from here, we relax away from controlling the breath to simply becoming the calm observer. So one way to do this is: begin to notice the breath as it comes up and down your nostrils. If your nostrils are blocked today, you can observe the breath through the movement of it coming in and out with the movement of the belly. So just do which way feels natural to you in this moment. And with a sense of relaxation, begin to observe the breath.
We're not judging the breath. We're not controlling it. The breath has been with us since our moment of birth. Through every activity, through every night of sleep, it knows exactly what we need and what to do. So just observe it with the sense of calm enjoyment. Perhaps if you're observing the breath through the nostrils, (perhaps or perhaps not) you notice it's a bit cooler as it comes up the nostrils and a bit warmer as it leaves.
I am Light Meditation
We don't want to stay focused on the mere physiology or mechanics of the breath. We want to tune into its feeling quality.
It can be considered a Divine Friend or the Great Comforter. So we'll add a saying to this. The saying is: "I am light." Every time you observe the breath coming in, feel as though the breath were saying deep inside of you, "I am." And every time you observe yourself exhaling feel as though the breath we're saying to you, "light."
"I am" with the inhaling breath, "light" with the exhaling breath. We'll do this technique for about eight minutes or so. So really soften and relax into this technique. You can't be bad at it. You're simply observing the breath as we affirm, "I am light."
[Period of silence]
If you find yourself judging the breath or your mind wandering, that's not a problem. Simply just tell your mind: "Oh, there you go again," and bring it back to the technique with a sense of relaxation.
"I am light."
If the breath begins to slow down or the pauses in between become greater, take this as a gift from this technique and allow the breath to do what it will.
"I am light."
[Period of silence]
Let's end this technique with a gentle double breath, no tension [sound of double exhalation]. And we'll take this short, guided visualization into sitting in this stillness for a few moments.
So, see a lotus flower in the area of your heart with its petals turned downward, away from the inner sun at the point between the eyebrows. And begin slowly to turn that lotus flower upward through your own calm willingness until it's facing upward toward the light at the point between the eyebrows.
And as that radiant light shines down upon the area of your heart and that lotus flower, imagine the flower softly opening its petals to receive that light and all that's in your heart, like a fragrance rising up to reach that sun. And imagine that sun at the point between the eyebrows shining down upon you, shining down upon that opening lotus in the area of your heart.
"Come out of the darkness, Mother, bathe us in Thy light."
[Moment of silence]
Any positive quality you feel, even if it's just an inkling or one you'd like to feel, feel it expand within you and all around you in that light. And feel that you are that quality.
And in closing, visualize yourself now going around, about your day, with that light within you shining. Just feel that with that light all around you, trials and tests simply get absorbed into that light and don't affect you so much.
"I am light."
Healing Prayers After Meditation
Let's close with healing prayers, calling to mind anyone you'd like prayed for today, for those names listed in the healing prayer book on the altar at the Ananda meditation temple in Bothell, for those souls in India affected by the pandemic; seeing each one of these souls bathed in Divine Mother's radiant healing light. And let us pray:
Divine Mother, Thou art Omnipresent, Thou art in all Thy children, Thou art in these souls. Manifest Thy healing presence in their bodies, in their minds, and in their souls.
Gently begin rubbing the hands together in front of the area of the heart to warm and magnetize them, and then facing them outward we'll send out these prayer requests on the waves of three AUMs. Aum, Aum, Aum.
Aum, Peace, Amen.
Intention for the Day
So just an invitation for you today, I learned this from a reading from Swami Kriyananda years ago. And Swami Kriyananda is Ananda's founder. And for those people who are sensitive or kind of feel overwhelmed when they go to the store, or go out, or are with a lot of people, he suggested that instead of being in a receptive mode of that energy, to imagine yourself surrounded by a bubble of light and just kind of a protective bubble around you. And I found this really to be helpful and, just, I'm not so affected by the world. And so, just based on our theme today, that's just an invitation if it's helpful for you.
So go with light and joy and have a most blessed day.