Friday, February 20, 2009

Svadhisthana Meditations and Affirmations

Yesterday I posted a yoga practice that ended with a meditation, your hands held in Ushras Mudra in your lap. Because the Svadhisthana Chakra is associated with the sense of taste, you may want to stimulate your taste buds while meditating by placing a bit of honey or something else sweet on your tongue. If you wish to chant while meditation, the seed sound for this chakra is VAM and you can hear it intoned at this site. Because the svadhisthana chakra is associated with water, another possible meditation you might want to try is to make and drink tea mindfully. Usually, when we make ourselves a cup of tea, we move quickly, almost by rote, through the various steps. But to practice it as a meditation, the making and drinking of the tea, can be very restful and bring you pleasant surprises. Before you enter the kitchen or room where you will make the tea, pause and place your palms together in prayer. Set an intention that you will make a cup of tea as part of your clearing your svadhisthana chakra. Now slowly, as if you were moving in a walking meditation, enter the room and fill your tea kettle or pot with water. Do each step individually, pausing to focus on each action. For instance, I have an electric tea kettle which I leave on my kitchen counter all of the time. So my steps may go something like this:
Enter the kitchen. (Think or say: I am entering the kitchen.) Move to the counter where the tea kettle is. (I am moving towards the counter.) Reach one hand to lift the tea kettle. (I am reaching out to lift up the tea kettle. I am lifting the tea kettle.) Turn slowly towards the kitchen sink. (I am turning towards the kitchen sink. I am moving to the kitchen sink.) Move the tea kettle below the kitchen faucet. (I am moving the tea kettle to the faucet.) Turn on the water. (I am turning on the water.)
I won’t write more because obviously it would be tedious to read and the idea by now should be obvious. Move through each of the moments, mindfully, focusing on each event as you experience it. Even when the tea is steeping, once again place your hands in prayer. You may want to chant or meditate silently until the tea has finished steeping. Drink the tea very slowly, holding the liquid in your mouth and allowing your taste buds to savor the flavor of the drink. Then, after you have swallowed the first sip, put your tea cup down and allow yourself to continue tasting the tea flavor lingering on your tongue, how it changes as it fades. On your next sip, after you have swallowed, try inhaling through your mouth to see how the taste changes. The next time you take a sip, swish the liquid around in your mouth. Always, between each sip, put the tea cup down. You may even want to return your hands to the prayer position or Ushras Mudra cupped over your lower abdomen. By the time you take the last sip the tea may be tepid or even cool. Pay attention to the different flavors that you are experiencing now. Excellent choices for this meditation include the following teas: peppermint, ginger, and chamomile. All of these teas are restful and cleansing. You may also want to do a meditation in water, preferably not chlorinated. Chant while you are soaking in the water or give yourself a slow self-massage with your abdomen and hands beneath the water. Finally, here are some affirmations to use while working with the svadhisthana chakra, using a pen with orange ink, an orange pencil, or even on a piece of orange paper. As before, you want to write very slowly, possibly using your non-dominant hand, repeating the words aloud to yourself as you write them. Write each once and if one in particular resonates with you, repeat that one several times. Or write each one several times. There is no need to rush through this. Write these affirmations not as an activity to cross off your “to do list” but as a meditative practice.
I am able to surrender my fears.
I trust myself to follow my dreams.
I am in tune with my emotions.
I adapt with grace to any situation.
I am in the flow of my life.
I release ideas that are no longer useful.
I am alive and joyful.

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