“Meditation is a balancing act between attention and relaxation” ~ Alan Wallace
Wow, what a month it has been for our spiritual community: several talks by Cindy Lee and Lama Marut, an interesting mix of volunteers leading the Friday night meditation classes and a surprise visit from Doug Veenhoff!
Whilst I was reflecting on what an amazing month it has been, it suddenly dawned on me that these visits, sessions and talks don’t come from nowhere. They come as a result of someone caring and wanting to share and liberate. The concept of this made me really appreciate how much work goes into organizing these sessions and all we have to do is turn up and relax. Thank you to those of you who set up this spiritual community and for those of you helping it to blossom.
And talking of turning up and relaxing. It has become more apparent to me recently how important cultivating relaxation truly is whilst meditating. Allan Wallace and Doug Veenhoff consistently emphasize this, and Doug really emphasized this on his way back to USA after an 8-week retreat in Phuket.
When doing mind work, we should be relaxed and practice without tension, without forcing ourselves. The emphasis is not on ‘concentration’ but on ‘awareness’ or ‘observation’.
Alan Wallace’s audio teaching from Spring 2011: 61 Cultivation of Relaxation. (Streaming daily from Phuket) is an excellent summary of why relaxation is so important. He encourages meditating in shavasana to facilitate total relaxation and to quieten the mind. In particular, he focuses on the out-breath to help us relax more deeply. He guides us through several meditations by starting, “With the out-breath, release any tension in the shoulders, softening and relaxing the face, especially around the eye….relax more deeply with each out-breath.”
Enjoy your month ahead and don’t forget to relax!