-by Judy Bierma | 11/09/2018 |
Jiddu Krishnamurti was a philosopher and spiritual teacher born in 1895-1986 in India; he was brought up in England. He was one of the foremost spiritual leaders in the world. He is not aligned with any religion; his teachings are neutral. His belief was that the value and beauty of nature was inextricably connected to the beauty of spirit.
“To understand the immeasurable mind,
The mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”
Our modern way of living has put a distance between ourselves and nature. Krishnamurti reminds us it only takes a moment to reacquaint with stillness. This can be done anytime, anywhere., in the peace and harmony of nature. It is In the realm of Everything around you. A clear and quiet mind can see the eternal.
“It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew and in that there is joy.”-J.Krishnamurti
What if we can begin to notice in everyday moments the extraordinary, the vibrancy of life? What if our reflections in nature bring us to a deeper understanding of our own spirituality?
Right now wherever you are you can invite that state of presence into your daily life. Not confined to a formal meditation practice, but to see within the teachings of Krishnamurti. What an extraordinary opportunity it is to be quiet naturally and to know the true radiance of self…the life that is pouring through every moment, everywhere, in everything.
This yoga practice is centered around nature, designed to help you create a sanctuary in the potent space of awareness, where your Soul can rest.
A Tree for All Seasons
“Do you know that even when you look at a tree and say ‘That is an oak tree or that is a banyan tree,’ that the naming of the tree, which is botanical knowledge, has so conditioned the mind that the word comes between you and actually seeing the tree? To come in contact with the tree you have to put a hand on it and the word will not help you touch it.”
The following sequence is for all levels. Feel free to make any modifications that are good for your body, taking a rest as you need to. If it resonates with you, affirmations are included as you wish. Before you begin wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Enjoy being barefoot if weather and climate allow for it.
I encourage you to practice this sequence once in each season—making a spiritual pilgrimage, visiting the same tree, observing the magic that each change of seasons brings.
This sequence can also be done in the comfort of your own home, using this as a visualization.
Start to tune your awareness inward
Help your soul learn to walk in awareness
With each breath
Rest your awareness on your breath
Filling with the breath in a way that delights you
Feel that joy expand into the space around you
Listen to prompting of your own movements
With each step honoring the earth.
Relax tongue and jaw, allow a smile to grace your lips.
Deep heart listening.
Maintain focus and concentration.
In watching nature we are watching ourselves.
Continue to walk until you connect with a tree
Breathe deeply as you connect to this special tree
Pause to stand in front of this beautiful tree
Recognize the gift placed before you
Be quiet and still
Touching this tree stand in awe
Embody the steady, anchored quality of a tree
Feel the silence all the way through you
Ask to know great silence. Seek to be absolutely silent
To be quiet naturally.
With nature at your feet...
Stand for five breaths in:
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Feet parallel and hip width apart
Quieting the mind and body
Circling your arms
Reach arms overhead and to your heart
You may wish to repeat the affirmation
I find my feet opening to the earth
I find my heart opening to the sky
I stand in AWE
of its beauty and grace
Slow transition to
2. Forward Bends (Uttanasana)
Remain in the pose for four to six breaths
Inhale; sense of extending from roots of feet
Into your heart as you half lift
Exhale; bow to the earth, upper body relaxed
Affirmation: I stand in awe of this tree
Its seasons, its cycles of life and death
3. Standing with hands clasped behind
Bend your knees and lower in your
Back of heart soft, allow your arms to fall forward
Inhale; raise your upper body
so your head comes up last
Roll shoulders back
Drawing the shoulder blades together
PAUSE; hold chin to sky
Heart blossoms; throat opens
Inhale and say I stand in awe amid pure nature
Exhale; chin to chest
Release tension in your
Shoulders and neck
Exhale and say pure, peaceful, patient nature
Step your feet out a little wider than shoulders width
Lower your heels to the ground
4. Standing Cat/Cow
Inhale; extend arms overhead into prayer and
Exhale; bring your prayer forward and contract
As you breathe Earth, Sky, and Tree abide in the peaceful sanctuary of my heart
5. Standing Twist (Madhyadeha Parivrtta Variation)
Feet shoulder width apart
Begin turning your upper body
with Prayer Palms overhead
Resting in clear contemplation,
The kind heart in which you do it.
Three times each side
Inhale; Twist RIGHT
Exhale; bow over your right foot in Runner's Stretch
Come back to center, repeating on the left side
Bow; give your whole heart to it.
Exploring your breath,
not pulling or pushing your breath
Feel the energy stream through your body
Alternate three times each side
(Standing Sequence, Poses 6-9)
6. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), 3-5 breaths
Feet separated about 3 feet apart
Bend your body to the right side
With solidity and strength of a tree
Holding the pose in stillness
Stable body, stable mind
Breathe in and out slowly
Nice full Inhale; Exhale Being nice and slow
Allow your breath to lengthen and deepen
Feed your spirit
7. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
Bend your front knee, forming a 90 degree angle
Left foot grounded and stable
Arms in extend in a T-position
Arms moving in internal /external rotation three times
Inhale; roll your shoulders back
Reminding you to embrace this awe inspiring
Peace and harmony of the natural world
Exhale; rotate shoulders forward
Soften your gaze to your tree
See and feel significant things
Participating in Divinity
Float in the silent symphony of self
Slowly and luxuriously
Circle the front arm, transitioning to
8. Peaceful Warrior (3 times)
Palm facing up and reaching back
Unraveling tension where it needs to unravel
9. Extended Side Angle
From Peaceful Warrior place right forearm to right thigh Extend and arc left arm overhead
Making room for a new source of growth
Having space inside…To find it.
How precious it is. Feeling how good you feel.
10. Warrior Two with Bind
Bind left hand to sacrum or right thigh
Right palm facing up and
Reaching forward as an offering
Inhale; I am a peaceful soul
In awe of the abundance of the natural world
Exhale; a living blessing
Repeat 6-8 on the other side
11. Standing Figure Four with Prayer Palms
Thread left arm under your right shin
Right palm meets left
PRESS your palms together; find Anjali Mudra
Bend your standing knee to sit low in the pose
A small respite...A moment of exquisite connection to something greater than ourselves.
A Tree for all Seasons
Please Choose a Mudra from below to accompany your Tree Pose
Tree Pose - Vrksasana
Grounded. Shift your weight into your left foot
PRESS into the foot of the standing leg
Sensitive to earth beneath you,
Bring the sole of your right foot to your left inner thigh *Modification foot to ankle
Your gaze fixed on your tree
In watching nature we are watching ourselves
Take 10-15 breaths, pausing at the end of each exhalation
Be washed in your breath, feel it refreshing you
The miracle of standing on the earth that sustains all beings. Your tree as an extraordinary spiritual source.
Switch to the other side
A Hand MUDRA (hand gesture) Sequence for Each Season
Spring: Meditate on Renewal
Aware of the miracle and wonder of nature
Seed Mudra at the Heart
The promise of new beginnings
Cactus arm position
Index finger touching thumb in
Gyan Mudra: make a circle with thumb and index finger out to the side
Gaze is up
Signifying the inner wisdom of the heart,
That the grace and beauty of nature will be revealed from within us. We ask that we may know this grace.
Summer: Meditate on Abundance
Aware of Light in Relationship to Radiance of Spirit
As a sign of Opening to wholeness of self
Hands in Hakini Mudra
Join tips of fingers open/close
As a sign of your own inner potential
LIFT this Mudra overhead as thumb and index touch
Forming a triangle representing Shiva and Shakti
Divine male and female converging
Look through the triangle
this Mudra as Enlightened Spirit
Light of the self and of the sun
With devotion touch this Mudra to the third eye
Light pouring in
Turning downwards below your navel
Visualize light flowing at navel center
The point and power of spirit flowing through the whole body
Autumn: Meditate on the Fruits of your Efforts and Experiences
Awareness of release and freedom
Palms facing you
Cross and bend your thumbs
Palms rest over your chest
In a gesture of gratitude for all of your experiences
Keeping your wrists crossed
Release the hold of your thumbs
Fingertips draw and up in Seed Mudra
Symbolizing the Source of life within the fruit
Fingertips point to the heart
A quiet contemplation at the crossroads honoring the turning of the wheel, turning to autumn
As you hold the Mudra and spin the palms overhead
VERY SLOW RELEASE feeling effortless and free
Fingertips spread wide and even
Slowly combing thru the sides RELEASING…
Winter: Meditate Giving and Receiving
Awareness of Impermanence
Palms to Heart in Anjali Mudra, simplicity
Dwell in this peaceful sanctuary of the heart
Honor the heart
The warmth of the heart as a pathway to peace,
Receiving the breath in and out,
the magic of winter to SEE the breath
We are transported to place of profound natural peace
Absolutely Silent. Inner work. Alone.
A moment to be still. In silence I stand like a bare tree
Naturally attentive, when all else fades away
I stand In silence. I become aware of my true self.
The receiving of a wonderful gift...
A clear and quiet mind that can see the eternal.
Timeless. Nameless. Welcoming the mystery.
Palms offering outwards
Give your whole heart to it
Spirits overflowing splendor magnificence
Life pouring through us to be awed, humbled and inspired by nature. Offering energies of Love and Peace to all beings
CLOSE in Mountain POSE
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