Access the Course: The Yoga of Heartfulness 4-Week Course • Ram Dass
This week Ram Dass said, “You and I are just so full of stuff in our lives. What’s on telly? Dinner’s ready. Clothes, laundry, the kids, this, that. Are you going to the concert? I’ve gotta call so-and-so. It’s just so stuffy, so much stuff. You run from thing to thing to thing to thing. When will you be ready to be quiet enough to tune more deeply? How simple to sit in your comfortable, easy chair? Or to sit by a stream or to go out and put your back against a tree or to light a candle. No big religious thing. You don’t have to join anything. You don’t have to wear symbols. You don’t have to reject anybody. Just something that allows you to quiet down. And you can start as simply as just breathing in and out.”
What helps you simply quiet down? For example, for me , it doesn’t start with meditation, but rather listening to the birds and the wind in the morning?
Please share some of your “quiet down” moments that help open your heart.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’ve recognized the need to slow down, and that productivity isn’t everything, but in that recognition, somehow, I’ve started making slowing down a task as well. Something that brings quiet into my heart has been painting or creating art. Over the last few weeks in an effort to slow down, I’ll put my work away, but then I have a task list of all the art projects I must finish, moving from thing to thing to thing.
I think the key going forward might just being having no task list and no goal in mind, and just trying to be ok with my stillness.
What helps me quiet down is walking barefoot on the earth outside. Taking a very short walk in the morning out to where I can see the distant mountains, hear the birds, see the sky…
Taking a moment to pay attention to my breath…
Very similar to my mornings! Have oj, take a short walk out to the hedgerow, feet the cats, wash, prayers, thenchant or meditate, and then breakfast. Takes 2 hours
I often catch myself rushing through tasks…regardless of what they are. Growing up in NYC engrained a certain pace in me and I find it even now to be my autopilot mode. I have been practicing saying out loud to myself “slow down”…and then I physically do that. I slow my walking down, my moving, my breathing. The urgency can get so caught in my viscera that I need to soften and slow in my body first and foremost.
I have recently taken to tuning into the heart beating and watching it move from the anatomical heart into the center of the heartspace. Along with that it seems that with every beat, if I’m quiet enough, I hear Ram Ram Ram. I’ve taken to this, well I can’t call it practice because I’m not doing anything myself, experience quite well. It seems to me much easier to stay with the heart beat than the breath most of the time.
Also, yin yoga has been a powerful practice for me of slowing, quieting, softening, stilling, accepting, opening.
Actually chanting Ram Ram Ram over and over helps a tremendous amount for my mind chatter. I’m able to focus my attention on Ram instead of thinking. This is great when I’m getting ready to sleep
What a good idea to physically slow the body!
Yeah I find it essential!
I find breathe/calm abiding meditation quite relaxing. Shamatha meditation (altho I do this less often). Walking meditation.
I tend towards organization, which can become frantic and never organized enough. Considering the systems I help support are often also disorganized, I am likely putting too much effort into it. Too much ego. It is often appreciated (org, not ego), but there is clearly a line.
Being more structured and efficient. Collaborative. Delegate.
Otherwise, I take time on my own. Headphones. Head to the park to sit. Walk the distance to meet my partner, enjoying the scenery on the way (if I’m not completely in my head, which I usually am). Deep breathes, totally helpful. Grounding. Learning to pause my tendencies to overanalyze. Moving towards simplicity (a process).
Otherwise, I take an organic approach to many things. Gardening for example, no final plan (which is maybe why the yard looks a bit weird at the moment). Just chipping away at it a little at a time. Layers pulled back. Peaceful. Meditative. Progress, but without getting obsessed. Judgment still occurs, but with more humour. There is no destination. I’ll get there when I get there, or when I need to stop and do something else.
Looking at the same part of the garden every day and finding the smallest changes by slowly scanning it all.
This is a poem I wrote during yesterdays exercise, I moved to Finland last September. Previously I lived in Alabama where there are mild winters and hot summers.
Winter is Finland is cold but also very dark with only a few hours of twilight and rarely a day where you actually see the sun. I have developed a deep appreciation for the sun in her absence. It has helped me to slow down and look around appreciating the changes in seasons and the beauty in nature.
I love the way the sun sets, there is something gentle and easy about it.
In Winter, I wait for just a glimpse of her and I look at her in awe.
The power she has.
Now in spring her gentle rays reveal all the radiant greens, sprinkled with dandelions, all the beauty. Like seeing everything in high definition, the earth is exposed and the light she brings illuminates all the fine details that were hidden during winters slumber.
Now the sun is ever present and sets only for a moment before rising again.
There is a comfort in the light, in seeing and being seen.
When my old soul cat, Cammu, and my elder “puppy”, Gandhi, both snuggle close to me at the same time. Love and Family come in many forms
(Yikes - that photo’s too big!)
Hi Kyla, I grew up in NY too, I was born in Manhattan and raised on the island. Even though I’m now in California I still have a compulsion to keep busy, keep going, keep doing, on and on. Only on weekends do I not feel guilty for going slower and living more at ease.
It can just get so STUFFY!! Yes it sure can.
Writing quiets my mind incredibly well. I get lost in the movement of pencil to paper and then look back and don’t even remember writing it!
Then the ritual of making myself a morning beverage, whether coffee or tea. The whole process is very soothing. Then bring that outside into the morning light, walking through our tiny garden.
It’s clears away the stuffy-ness every time!
Another is dance, I don’t do this one as often anymore but I used to hoop dance when I was younger and that I could get lost in for hours. And never seem to tire either. It was my greatest means to quiet my mind and clear the spaces. With or without music, I could always dance.