I listen to my pillow at night. It helps to put me in a place which clears the thoughts firing off in my head and makes it easier to relax and eventually fall asleep. I’ve also had many a night where I’ve seen the clock beaming 3:00 a.m. knowing that there was a three hour horizon before my alarm would sound. I guess I’m not always such a good listener. Sometimes it’s just not that simple to quiet the mind, and I rarely carry my pillow with me throughout the course of the day when the thought juggling is at its most frequent. If there were a better way to control the thoughts in my head, I’d wonder why I wasn’t doing that already.
I’m wondering that right now.
Our whole life, with its pleasures and pains, is nothing but our mind’s creation. If the mind is unsteady, it will waver with each and every distraction, obstacle or event happening in its environment. Such is the premise of Raja Yoga – our mind creates our world. (http://yoga108.org/pages/show/56-raja-yoga-introduction)
Often called the “royal road”, Raja Yoga offers a comprehensive method for controlling the waves of thought by turning our mental and physical energy into spiritual energy.
Most people think of Yoga as physical postures. But Raja Yoga is far more. Raja Yoga is one of the seven schools of Indian philosophy and has been taught for millennia. It offers a scientific approach to the spiritual life, with techniques for stilling the mind and expanding our awareness of spiritual realities.
It offers techniques for self-mastery in every aspect of life, from calming turbulent emotions to awakening deep compassion and love for others.http://www.anandala.org/calendar/raja-yoga/
There are eight paths, a series of steps, which are practiced in Raja Yoga.
Non-Violence: such as being kind, taking turns, not ridiculing, not retaliating, not carrying grudges, not abusing the environment.
Non-Lying: Not exaggerating, not deliberately omitting details, not allowing others to be mislead.
Non-Stealing: Not taking things without permission, not taking credit for the work.
Moderation: Returning things on time. Not wasting resources. Respecting limits.
Non-Possessiveness: Not needing a lot of possessions in order to be happy, being grateful for what one has.
Purity: Physical cleanliness, eating healthfully.
Contentment: Being able to adjust to disappointment. Being happy with what is happening in the moment.
Austerity: Adhering to a schedule. Choosing movies, books and friends that are beneficial to the mind and spirit.
Self-Observation: Learning from our experiences and not having to repeat our mistakes. Seeing what makes us happy and what our most healthful direction is.
Looking at ourselves as being part of the rest of humanity.
3.Postures : The practice of cultural and meditative postures for the purpose of strengthening and prolonging the meditative posture.
4. Breath focus
The breathing practices which relax the mind and body.
5. Sensory withdrawal
Separates the mind from the physical sensations in order to prepare for meditation.
6. The practice of repeatedly returning the concentration to a spiritually significant physical object or anything which is of spiritual significance.
7. The effortless flow of the mind to the object of contemplation.
8. Meditation with and without the presence of seed thought.
Calm Chamomile Banana Smoothie
vegan, serves two
1/4 cup deeply steeped whole-blossom chamomile tea
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 frozen sliced organic bananas (small-medium sized)
1 raw ripe banana (small-medium sized)
6 ounces Vanilla Soy Yogurt
1 cup ice (coconut water ice cubes preferred)
1 dash cinnamon
1 tsp maple syrup
Garnish: dried Chamomile flowers
1. Steep chamomile tea for at least 2-5 minutes. Stick in the fridge to cool for ten minutes.
2. Add all ingredients to blender.
3. Blend until smooth.
4. Garnish with whole dried chamomile flowers from a cut open tea bag, or loose tea.