Greetings, readers! Today I am hosting author Devi Nina Bingham on The Indie Spot! We are joining together with Silver Dagger Book Tours to promote the release of Messages From Metatron: A Course in Self-Transformation. Take it away, Nina. . .
10 Commandments for Meditation Practice
Here are my 10 Commandments for Meditation Practice:
Research shows the long-term benefits of meditation to be significant, even life-changing and positively mood altering. People prone to anger and depression are less likely to have meltdowns if they practice meditation, and stress levels are reduced. Though meditation techniques can be learned quickly, it’s no instant fix and requires discipline. But in a world of constant activity, even a little stillness goes a long way. Become mindful of the insight and hope within.
- THOU SHALT MEDITATE SAME DAY, SAME TIME, SAME PLACE.
To be successful, find a comfortable environment and stick with a routine. My office is transformed into a meditation alter each morning and evening. Meditation is a rejuvenating way to start my day, and a relaxing way to end my day, gearing me down for a peaceful night’s slumber. Try different times and places, then decide what is most effective for you. The key is consistency.
- THOU SHALT MAKE ADJUSTMENTS.
No matter how good your intentions, some days won’t allow for commandment #1. A successful meditation practice includes the flexibility to occasionally adjust your schedule. If you have to skip your regular time, try not to miss it altogether. Instead, find a niche earlier or later in the day, even if you have to cut your time a little shorter. Skipping too many days is a slippery slope. Be flexible because perfection isn’t required.
- THOU SHALT USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM.
We all begin with the best intentions but schedules can get in the way. Recruit a buddy, local or remote, who is interested in meditation and agree to “meditation check-ins.” A once- a- week email, instant message or even a 5-minute call can spell the difference between success and defeat. Monks and nuns meditate in groups for a reason!
- THOU SHALT CREATE YOUR OWN RITUALS.
Seasoned practitioners will tell you their practice evolved as they did, so know your methods will change over time. Don’t let conventions dictate your practice, it should be as unique as you are. Your meditation style is completely YOUR CALL because you’ve got to use a format that’s right for you. If you meditate best to music, chants, Guided Meditations or Hypnosis, give yourself permission to do it. If you’d rather be outside than in, find your groove under a tree (Buddha did that). If meditating in the dark with candles is your Gothic twist, draw the curtains and enjoy the show. If you’re an eye-open-type meditator, trust your eyes to find their meditative muse (maybe water, a tree, clouds or a field inspires peace). Whatever rituals and location you prefer, if it feels right-go with it. No apologies necessary, meditation should be guilt-free.
- THOU SHALT BE HAPPY WITH THE LITTLE THINGS.
There’s a reason it’s called “practice.” Some days you’ll be in the zone and exhilarated and other days you’ll be bored or distracted. Remember, you’re practicing. Meditation is mind training and brains don’t change overnight. As you’re practicing, be excited for the big leaps forward but also acknowledge that tiny steps are forward movement, too. Rome wasn’t built in a day and patience is a virtue.
- THOU SHALT ALLOW YOUR MIND TO WANDER.
Contrary to popular belief, meditation isn’t about clearing or stilling your mind. It’s really about observing what your monkey mind is doing. The restless monkey is going to wander, get bored, complain that it’s sleepy and jump around. It may pick on you, and pick fights-all in your head! The goal of meditation is not to make the monkey sit and stay but to watch the monkey with detached awareness. When you catch the monkey at play, remind it gently to simmer down and observe as it begins to quiet. Concentrate anew on your breath, or on whatever focal point you’ve chosen (like the music, the candle, or the cloud). The point is, your mind will wander because that’s what monkeys do. Don’t be alarmed and but don’t give up, either. It happens to every monkey, even experienced ones.
- THOU SHALT RELAX THE BODY.
Begin your meditation with a “body scan.” Your body will “talk to you” if you tune into it: Ask:
- Head-Is there any pain, tension or tightness?
- Neck and shoulders-Sit erect with arms still and palms facing up. Notice any tension stored in the shoulders and neck. Roll your head from side to side for maximum flexibility.
- Torso-Is my stomach in a knot? Am I sitting upright using my best posture, and is my stomach pulled in?
- Pelvis-Am I seated as comfortably as possible?
- Legs-Are they intertwined or in alignment with my upright spine?
- Arms and hands-Are my arms resting comfortably and are my fingers still?
- Feet-Are my feet planted firmly on the floor, grounding me to the earth? If sitting in the lotus position, are my feet free from tension and strain?
- THOU SHALT BE PATIENT.
It’s easy to think you’re doing it wrong, or think someone else is doing it wrong, or the opposite-that their practice is superior to yours. Instead of criticizing yourself or someone else, be reminded that there is no magic way to meditate. Whatever works for you is the right way. If what you’re doing isn’t working be willing to adjust your approach, benefiting from someone else’s experience. This isn’t a race-you’re not competing with anybody. If you or a friend is making headway, have faith that in time you’ll become meditating superstars.
- THOU SHALT LEARN TO BREATH.
Breath work is the core foundation of meditation. Begin each session focused on breathing exercises. Place your full attention and awareness on your breath, shifting from the exterior world to your interior world where meditation really comes alive. Meditation is an exercise in re-focusing, and breath work is the fastest, most time-tested method of getting you to your goal of deep connectedness.
- THOU SHALT HAVE A GOOD TIME.
I saved the best commandment for the last. If you’re not having fun then something is wrong because meditation should not be stress-inducing or anxiety provoking. The goal is to alleviate stress-not add to it! If you go easy on yourself, applying patience and allowing yourself to be happy with the small gains, meditation should be a treat you’ll look forward to. Make your practice uniquely yours. Own it, and you’re more likely to stick with it. If you’re having a good time, odds are you are doing it right.
“Have you ever felt a strong attraction for someone, even when it was against your better judgement? Have you ever felt comfortable with someone instantaneously, as if you’ve known them forever? These are signs of a karmic tie. You can be tied, or strongly connected to another Soul, energetically; even many Souls in a single lifetime. It is what makes parting with these people extra painful. One part of you will always feel that it’s wrong to part, for your heart has already recorded your history together. The imprint of a Soulmate can cause a strong attraction that defies reason. You will not have just one or two Soulmates; you will have a multitude of Soulmates. And, the more the better, because they will help you learn lessons expediently and allow karma to be reduced quickly. While it may be a daunting proposition to meet more than one Soulmate in a single lifetime, you are blessed to meet them. Nothing works you through quite like a Soulmate.
The characteristics of a Soulmate are simple: you can recognize them because either they will be your teacher, or they will be your student. Lessons can be painful, or lessons can heal you, but Soulmates will reveal your true nature. They will be mirrors that force you to see who you really are. Soulmate relationships are often difficult, turbulent and intense. When they walk away or die, you are left holding the lesson they delivered; many times, they are transient relationships. You will be done assisting them when one of you moves on, whether through a relational breakup, divorce, or death. However it happens, it was supposed to happen as it did; there is freedom in knowing that. Don’t try and force a Soulmate to stay, for perhaps the other has given all their Soul agreed to give. Walk through life with an open hand. Be willing to let go, and in so doing, you set another free. Every exchange, including every tear and joy that your Soulmate caused was a gift to you. If you see relationships as a tool for your development, you’ll be grateful for the sunshine but also for the rain. Try not to be bitter. Remember-they have fulfilled their sacred contract with you, and you must honor that which is sacred between you. Soulmates come in the form of family, friends, or lovers. It’s easiest to sense a Soulmate in a lover because of the undeniable, magnetic pull you feel towards them. Your family members are Soulmates, especially parents and children. You may be asking: why did I pick people so challenging? When constructing your Life Chart, you contract with other Souls to “play a part” in each other’s lives. You even agree on the severity of the test or lesson. You may pick the most troublesome Soulmates as family members for the express purpose of expediting your Soul’s growth. For this reason, you may have a different temperament than family members and a different agenda.
Ah, the agenda…let’s discuss this crucial aspect of the Soulmate connection, because the agenda plays a pivotal role in karmic ties. Each of you has a set of characteristics that defines you called a personality. You also have a temperament, either outgoing or easy going. Your personality, or the way you express yourself in the world, can vary greatly from life to life. In one incarnation you may be an introverted female while in the next you are an extroverted male. The agenda I referred to are the events, or the fixed script that the Soul must follow during a lifetime. This script is written by your Soul for your Soul, with the cooperation of Soulmates, and is authorized and orchestrated by your Oversoul.
Once your agenda is approved on the Other Side, you carry this plan into your next incarnation, but the details of these relationships are up to you. Most day-to-day decisions aren’t written in the script, so you find yourself ad-libbing a lot. This is probably why you feel confused or frustrated, because nobody said figuring it out was going to be easy! This is where the Soulmate attraction becomes helpful. Because you have a karmic tie with a Soulmate, your Soul feels an instant recognition-you have discovered a special person. There’s that magic moment of: “There you are!”. You’ll experience feelings of immediate comfort, familiarity or attraction. This magnetic pull is the glue that will bond you until you complete your contract. Parting may seem wrong, unfair, or like you have unfinished business, because you do. One of you may feel the karma stronger than the other; one Soul may unconsciously “remember” past-life bonds, insisting that it shouldn’t end. Indeed, for them, the work between you feels urgently incomplete, unfinished. But you will see that Soul in another incarnation in a different form. It’s helpful to remember that Soulmates are a blessing, whether they have been pleasurable or painful, because they helped you learn something. Never think that a Soulmate was a waste of time, nothing could be farther from the truth. Together, you’ve ingeniously engineered it so that eventually, over many lifetimes, you will both come to terms with the ultimate lesson, for: “As above, so below” (Matthew 6: 9). At present, you may be suffering many unfinished situations, but no matter, for one fine day all will be well between you. Until then, remember to make your words tender (for in another lifetime you may have to eat them).
It can be difficult to give thanks for the most painful experiences you’ve had. Yet, the advanced Soul sees beyond the pain to the lesson learned. Give thanks, for every lesson taught you something valuable. When you look back, ask yourself: “What did I learn from this Soulmate, and, what did I teach this Soulmate?” There’s something to be learned from every person. Maybe you learned what not to do, or maybe you learned about the nature of evil. Maybe you learned how it feels to be a victim. Maybe you learned how to forgive. Maybe this Soulmate taught you to be what you said you’d never become. All of it-even the destruction will be used, collected like pieces of a puzzle, gathered back together on The Other Side for your betterment. You can’t possibly tell which Soulmate will be the most important. You might be surprised to find that the most horrific of them caused you to grow the most. The ones who taught you not to trust caused you to have to trust again, and the ones that caused you to close the door are the same ones who, in time, caused you to be strong enough to open that door. All Soulmates will come into your life when you need them, leaving you with a tremendous gift, sometimes painful, sometimes pleasant-but always essential for your Soul’s perfecting.”
LESSON 16-Learning From Soulmates
“The characteristics of a Soulmate are simple: you can recognize them because they will either be your teacher, or they will be your student.”
It is said that in relationships we are either the teacher or the student. If you look closely at the significant relationships in your life, you’ll be able to see what role you played, though most people don’t assess and examine their relationships that closely. For example, it’s only when a couple enters counseling do they become aware of their patterns, the unconscious “intimacy dance” they do. Even friendships have long-standing dynamics and patterns. Usually, one person tends to be the leader and the other the follower. It’s important to become aware of the role you play, and if you don’t like that role, work to change the dynamics.
“Soulmates will cause you to see your true nature. They will be a mirror which forces you to see who you really are.”
Soulmates can bring out the best in us, but they can also bring out the worst in us. We feel free to be ourselves around Soulmates, for they love and accept us as we are. But as the adage says: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Often, we hurt those who love us most because we trust that they will never leave us. Soulmates draw to the surface that which needs to be improved within us. Like a mirror, we can look at how we treat them to judge how far we’ve come. Like Ram Dass said: “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.”
“It can be difficult to give thanks for the most painful relationships you’ve had. And yet, the advanced Soul sees beyond the pain to the lesson learned.”
Life lessons are learned over time; maturity is a lifelong endeavor. We learn several ways: by getting enough information or education, but often we learn the hard way-when it hurts bad enough that we are forced to change. When life is painful, we must endeavor to find the lesson hidden within the circumstance. When something hurts, there’s something yet to be learned.
EXERCISE 16-Learning Life’s Lessons
List the significant people in your life, and beside each name, write whether you feel you are predominantly the teacher or the student. Write what you think you are teaching them, and/or what lessons they’ve been teaching you. Write down why you are grateful for them, or grateful for the lesson you learned.
Study Questions: Metatron says all Soulmates are important, even the painful ones, because they help us work through our karma quickly. What life lessons do you suspect you are working on? Discuss a life lesson you had to learn the hard way.