If super cool stuff happened every time we meditated, we’d do it more often. The little zings of energy, the alternating feelings of lightness and heaviness, the occasional visitor, our moments of clarity … If we knew that something momentous was going to happen during our meditation instead of fidgeting, itching, trying to settle in, checking to see how much time has passed, trying to focus again, starting your mental grocery list, inhaling and exhaling, finding a dustball on the floor that has to be picked up right this second – yeah, we’d like it more if it was all pretty lights and clarity.
While I try to meditate regularly for stress relief, peace of mind and pain relief, its hard.
Sometimes it takes something to help us in. Playing my crystal bowl or the right practice before meditation can really help As my practice has evolved into a more introspective practice, I’ve had more moments of meditation that really really make me excited to do more!
The studio I teach at and attend as a student has A LOT of different classes at different times of the day. No one-size-fits-all approach at Bindu Yoga Studio. I attended a Yin class recently that concluded with crystal bowl savasana/meditation. The Yin practice itself focused on the spine which is of course a particular interest and necessity for me. I was able to sink very deeply into the practice. A couple of times I had to leave a position before the teacher suggested that we do, but I was able to do it quietly, without being frustrated but rather, accepting that this was my practice that day.
When we got to the end and settled ourselves down for savasana the teacher gave a few verbal cues. I don’t know if it was working the spine, my acceptance of my practice that day, the fact that it was cloudy, dark and just approaching twilight (a beautiful time in the studio) or if the planets were “just” aligned, but I was able to immediately sink into an uncharacteristically deep meditation.
That’s when the magic started.
From moving down to my mat, I had the image of the teaching platform with the two tables flanking it, where the crystal caves reside. The crystal caves are lit by a spotlight each and just glow, especially in dim lighting. Flat on my back with my eyes closed it was dim but not dark and the sound of the bowls was affecting the places in my body that need some healing. The crystal caves were glowing in my mind’s eye beautifully, warmly, comforting me. As the teacher worked her bowls (this teacher has a lot of experience and plays several bowls at once) I noticed more light, coming from the teaching platform. While it may not have surprised me to find my teacher glowing a bit, maybe her aura, maybe just leftover light from the caves, it wasn’t just her. The caves glowed in the dim light that my brain had brought into savasana, but from the center of the platform there was a glow that was changing, seemingly along to the bowls. Not a rhythm per se, it wasn’t a music video, but the glow would expand and recede, grow brighter and dimmer, as the sounds from the bowls changed. The sounds themselves moved together, separated, moved together again and the sound would shift. As those sounds worked through my brain, down the chakras and into my body the lights would shift as well.
But that’s not all. My body was very light, it felt almost as though I was floating a few inches off the floor. Comfortable, not scary at all. I found the arthritic area in my neck into the shoulder and down the arm were very affected but that didn’t bother me or pull me away from the meditation.
Just when I really was getting into the lightness and wanted to see how high I could fly, the bowls shifted again and my arms grew heavy, drawing me back into the ground and making my body very heavy. This made me a little sad, I was enjoying where I was. But I was very heavy. I was making that imprint on the ground that we teachers talk about. I felt a shift in the energy again and the arthritis in my low back started getting “healed”. OK it hurt (it also turned out it rained about an hour later) but the sensation in that hip was not pain. I don’t know what it was. My body grew heavier and heavier until it felt almost like I couldn’t even lift or move my arms when I grew lighter, again, starting at the arms.
The lights would glow and recede, a couple of times the light at the center (between the caves) receded completely. There was a time when the center light seemed to take the shape of a lighthouse and I could see the light streaming out, similar to light streaming out of a lighthouse on a dark night. Was this an association my brain made because it was about to storm outside, or was this just the bowls and my teacher’s energy reaching out to me? I don’t know, but it was pretty cool.
I was able to stay in for the entirety of the savasana which, as far as I’m concerned, either lasted 5 seconds or 5 hours. When the bowls stopped playing the lights did not completely go away; as I lay there breathing the scene shifted and I was just clear and calm. The physical sensations did stop, although I was certainly still feeling loose and relaxed. The peace and calm have stayed with me. As always happens when I have a great meditation, I feel excited, happy and most of all just good.
Often at the end of class I close with an inventory of the body, breath and mind. Then I suggest that if you are noticing a difference between when you walked in and the end of class, that the peace and calm are always within you, we just have to look. I know this to be true about my meditation practice as well. Its there. I can have good meditation. I just have to take the time to settle in and look for it. Practice and all is coming. Even teachers have to remember that from time to time.