Is Your Style of Meditation a Cup or a Sword?

Which style of meditation or yoga is right for you?

Some people tends toward the cup, while others tend toward the sword. One reflects the masculine side of human nature, the other the feminine. Neither is right. Neither is wrong. Each simply connotes the basic nature of the human experience. They have little to do with being a man or a woman, and everything to do with the nature of existence. One speaks toward nurturing, the other toward a well defined path. They are simply facets of our humanity.

Many teach a softer form of yoga and meditation; that is more reflective of the cup. Yes, there are elements of the sword in those styles, but for the most part, they are soft and gentle. The other style, found in practices like Zazen, are more reflective of the sword, providing a strong foundation and a solid path upon which to grow.

Many men find this style more reflective of their natural state of mind. The important element to keep in mind, is not hard or soft, but which is right for you and when. The Simple Truth Method is created to help men and women from all paths to decide for themselves which techniques to use for different purposes. Yes, our students learn to weave a tapestry that aligns with your natural state. At some times, that state tends toward the sword, at others it tends toward the cup – depending on what you are going through in the modern world we now live in.

If you are seeking a style of meditation that reflects who you are, and have not found that in such styles as Samatha or Vipassana or Transcendental, then you may consider the Simple Truth Method, a style that helps you become who you are.

It is why so many men and women have found themselves more comfortable weaving traditional techniques together, into their own practice. On that fits their needs, in a way that works for them, free from judgment, free from the need to fit into something that they simply are not.

Sword or Cup – which are you? Which do you naturally tend toward?

Morning Meditation

Before waking this morning I lay in bed, one hand on my stomach, the other on my chest feeling the slow rise and fall of each inhale and exhale as I allowed my mind to stir in a gentle Buddha Breath. My mind woke, but not too much, never leaving the gentle meditation of my waking.

As time slid by the light changed across Manhattan. I rose and walked to my cushion. There I sat. I brought my Waking Buddha Breath with me as I lowered myself into a formal seated meditation. I started with a Pranayama OutBreath to clear my head of my dreams and focus my mind. The rapid chuffs of air that escaped through my nose in the short, sharp puffs that has given this technique its name were strong and even. One every second or so which started in my abdomen and worked themselves up to the room and the world around me.

When there was no more air to give I was left floating on my seat, my awareness followed my meditation, naturally landing on that place where my sit bones met my seat. It drew my attention down, to my feet, to my ankles as they pressed against the floor, tooting me  to the pillow and the earth below. Each reminded me of the roots of the tree that my body began to emulate.

They rose up the trunk that was now my spine and body as my consciousness gently scrolled through my five senses. My eyes, I was aware of the patterns on the back of my eyelids as the last dreams left me. My ears, as I heard the sounds of the room, the building, the world gently coming to life around me; aware of each, acknowledging and welcoming them into my world, my awareness, my consciousness. My sense of touch as my sense of self dropped to my hands and my heart.

My meditation paused at my heart for a moment as my breath slid from quiet into a mantra meditation. Less a mantra actually and more the wonderfully rasping sounds as I felt it stir against my vocal cords, delivering that wonderfully deep and soulful sound one associates with monks; resonating low and vibrating deep as if reaching to the energy that surrounds each of us.

That same resonance and vibration found its way downward to that place in my lower abdomen and centered itself within me. It wrapped itself around my chakra and shifted into the thoughts of safe, healthy, happy. My own mind followed those thoughts as the vibration of my chanting extended those thoughts of me to you, from I to us, and from us to a feeling of one.

My mind, my awareness, my consciousness shifted somewhere in there I became nestled in that wonderful network of Love that is the backdrop to our world, that we so easily forget is there. With the feeling of energy coming back to me as I connected with each of you, I smiled and continued to breathe. I let go of the callings of the morning and they let go in return.

There is no need to start my day just yet. The day will come soon enough. I simply need to watch the morning sun lighten the sky. I simply need to watch myself to stay centered in the bliss that my morning practice has given me this morning and every morning that I remember to follow it.

 

Much Love

Meditation: Peace is Within You

Did you know that peace is within you?

 

It is there every moment of every day.

You simply have to settle your mind

With Meditation

And reach for it.

You simply have to acknowledge

That you are out of sorts

And off of your best

You simply need to admit

That you cannot do everything.

 

It is okay

Nobody can.

 

We all have our limits

But the beauty of admitting what your limits are

Makes your brain aware

That you are okay with them

 

So smile when you are overwhelmed this week

Breathe when you are finding the stress and anxiety

We all so often talk about

Let your mind settle

And admit that you are human

 

As we all are.

 

A Meditation on Hipsters & Hippies

My brother returned one evening while visiting. “I had the most amazing conversation with a cabbie today.”

Don’t get me wrong but he has this innate ability to strike up the most amazing conversations with the most amazing people wherever he goes. It’s a knack he has had for most of his life.

The cabbie had just left San Francisco because “I swear, you can’t walk into a coffee shop without some self-important hipster pontificating on something they know absolutely nothing about. I don’t know, am I just an old fart pontificating about ‘In my day? Perhaps. Do I care? Not really. But in my day, you went to a coffee house to have a conversation, which means listening and talking about some subject of mutual interest. These “hipsters” today, they don’t care about learning anything new. They just care about being heard.’

I could not help myself but I wanted to learn where the terms hipster came from and did it have anything to do with the word hippie. I did a little research to make sure I had my facts in order. So I write this not as some treatise on hipsters and hippies, or on the fading coffee shop culture,  but in the hopes that history does not repeat itself; which is something I already see happening all around us. I care more about a generation who cares more about how they look than what experiences they have and how they leverage those experiences to form the opinions they have, all on their own.

I do not say that idly. I say that because I have seen it here, in New York City, as well as in most cities I have been to. Recently graduated and somewhat flush with cash [even though they will swear to their poverty] and yes, believe me, we all lived three or more to a one-bedroom  apartment at some point in our lives. Rather than moving home or complaining about it, we just took our lumps as part of the learning experience this all was and quietly crept up whatever ladder we happened to be on. “If you don’t like it jump to whatever ladder suits you, and start climbing that one. It ain’t gonna get easier, so you might as well make sure you’re on the right ladder,” was the advice I received one night from a grizzled elder.

Either way, the moniker “hipster,” comes from a group back in the 60s who wanted to be hip and cool. They wore clothes to separate them from the mainstream, slung guitars on their backs and filled the coffee houses to hang out and discuss the issues of their days; which included the Cold War, Landing on the Moon, Communism and McCarthyism, and yes, The Man. But, did they do anything about it? No. Which is a shame, because the hipsters were a group of coffee drinking, self-aggrandizing/self-pontificating group who did little to help the world.

It is a shame, but they were eventually replaced by a group who called themselves the hippies who actually effected change at most steps of the way. Yes, they had some great parties Kin Kesey’s Electric CoolAid Acid Test, Woodstock of course, but more important they opened their eyes to Eastern philosophies, they started a whole Back to Nature movement, they lived in Yurts and brought the nation’s attention to eating natural foods free from pesticides and fertilizers, all of which helped launch the movements you see today.

I write this not as a way to bash today’s hipsters, but as a sage bit of advice to not follow in the steps of the hipsters before you. Learn from those before you. Take your ideals and your passion to actually make a change in today’s world that lasts well into the future. Think of two generations away, and ask yourself, “what is my legacy going to be?”

Believe me, tomorrow’s Hippies are already nipping at your heels. They are already asking employers about their efforts to green the future, they are already turning down jobs from companies who are not acting upon a People/Profits/Planet agenda, and they are putting their money where their mouths are.

You probably have all the clothes you need. So turn away from the consumerism that is tugging at you, think as the hippies did before you about things like meditation, getting back to nature, putting your hands in the soil and breathing in the loam. Believe me, it will do more for your life and your conscience than looking cool and pontificating in whatever coffee shop you call home…

A Meditation on Labels, Borders & Boundaries

Many of today’s problems are not due to bad people, they are due to bad labels and bad boundaries. No, we did not create them; we inherited from our parents and their parents before them. The entire Middle East crises was not created because of something we did. It existed long ago. One could argue that it was created shortly after World War I and II. This was when the victors decided to go into the middle east to “tidy things  up” without any idea of how politics in the middle east had worked for centuries. Instead it was created with the idea of portioning our the oil fields.

For centuries the Middle East had been open to the nomadic tribes. For the most part those tribes passed freely in and out of each other’s territories. But then the wars ended, and everyone discovered riches beneath the sane, the oil fields, the victors  [Britain, the U.S., France and others] decided to give each their fair share. So they divvied  up the Middle East and into what is now Iran, Syria, Iraq, Israel and Palestine based on resources and land claims rather than an actual knowledge of how the different tribes of the Middle East interacted.

It is no wonder so few people respect the borders placed on them and why there are so many claims to overlapping territory – the current borders are not based on anything more than a number of old Europeans sitting around a table, divvying up the world as the victors had done after every war before them.. If we had allowed, what were their tribal nations to create their own borders, we would still have issues, but on a much lower level, than we do today.

The same is true of the racial, gender and even sexual issues of the world we now live in. Most of today’s individuals care far less about a person’s race, let alone sexual preference [LGBT] than did our parents or their parents before them. It is why I always say, when asked, when will racism be over, “Unfortunately not for several generations.” It is not out of anger, it simply out of fact that the generation dubbed “The Greatest Generation” still has a lot of closed minded people in it, and until that generation is gone from every nationality, the fighting, the racism, and the bigotry will still be around to teach their fears and insecurities to yet another generation.

Do not worry. Society is changing, but change never happens as quickly as we want it to.

It is what John Lennon sang about in the song Imagine, and who knows, but perhaps this is the generation that is able to overlook the lines, labels, and borders of previous generations – geographically or politically, or based on race, religion, gender, or sexual-preference.

This post his is not to bash everyone from any generation. This is to simply say it is finally time to come together, once and for all, based on a single idea of Love over hate and Love over fear. Each of us needs to slow down our innate reactions, the ones we were taught, and think through the logic of them.

The vast majority of the issues we now face today are not real. They are the result of the fears, the hatred and the bigotry of the older generations being handed down to us without validity other than a flaccid “this is the way it has always been done.”

I am sorry, but moving forward this is simply not good enough to hear someone from “The Greatest Generation” to say, “That’s the way it’s always been done.”  We have enough issues in this world that it is time to question everyone and everything. It is time to overturn those ideas that are simply not real, and to start playing by a new set of rules, that is realistic.

One that we create in the here and now.

What do you think? Feel free to comment on this, or email us at info@simple-truth.com.

I am curious to hear what you have to say….

Jeff Cannon Initial

 

Rest, Renew, Meditate on 2016

If you are like me, you have a natural need for activity.

The moment I feel as if nothing is getting accomplished, I begin to look for things to do. It is shy I could never take on the corporate life, where downtime was celebrated and people looked forward to vacation days more than anything.

Me? I dreaded them.  It is why I got out of the corporate world as quickly as I could and drove myself through producing documentaries and building furniture I would eventually sell on Abbott Kinney in Venice, CA. It is also what drove me to have the health issues I currently have – namely stress-driven tumors.

Even today, I have to constantly remind myself that it is okay, I can relax, nothing is going on for most people in the United States. And I would encourage you to do the same. This is a time when it is okay for nothing to get done.  It is time to realize nobody will be there to answer your phone call or email. It is probably the worst time to send direct mail, as if there was ever a good time these days. But if your restlessness gets the best of you, and yoga or meditation still will not take the edge off, then it is time to turn to 2016.

There are only a few weeks out of the year when nobody, and I mean nobody, with signing authority is around. This is one of them. So put whatever “can’t wait” on hold, and begin thinking about what you are going to do when you get back in town.

Those holiday cards you never sent? Delete the Christmas Tree or the Minorah [I know it’s tight, but you only have until January 1 to get them out, versus January 8 for a New Years Eve card], and write in “Welcome to 2016.”

You see, there is always a way. Besides, it will buy you an additional week to what?

That’s right, rest, relax and contemplate 2016, you know, the new year.

As for 2015? Do what you do in meditation – Acknowledge it, breath into it, and on your next exhale – just LET IT GO….

Wonderful Journey Through Meditation

This is such a wonderful Journey we are all on, let’s travel it together.

Whether you follow me or not, you have probably noticed I not been posting for a while.

I took an unexpected sabbatical almost eight weeks ago, something my doctors refered to as a series of severe seizures. Sabbatical or seizures – the implication is really a matter of semantics; the reality depends on what you do with your time.

From the doctors perspective, these were not the kind of seizures that jumps into people’s minds, complete with dramatic tremors and spasms. These were more internal than that – the kind that shuts off the connection between the cognitive segments of your brain and the motor skills of your body.

I have lived through enough of these to get over the shock pretty quickly. The first few days of my forced sabbatical are nice. All of my needs were taken care of and people respond to my smiles and eye rolls without too much conversation.

I was able to see, hear, and taste, I was able to contemplate big ideas and follow them to their eventual end, free from distractions, I just could not do much about them.

There was plenty of time for meditation and contemplation. The problem was I could not really read or write; my brain simply could not track a sentence let alone an entire paragraph that covered more than a single subject. The thoughts just overloaded my wiring – you will have to wait for my article about multitasking and distractions.

What I have learned is that time becomes irrelevant. Things take as long as they take and there is not much you can do about that, except stay focused on your thought.

Over the years I have learned that if you are able to write down the big ideas and the finer points, as my father taught me to do, you end up with a pretty amazing list of topics to dive into when you can write. You also have a list of well thought out points to support them with.

This is why I call it a sabbatical. With time not being an issue, I am left with little to do except to ponder and let my mind wander as my rehabilitation gets my body caught up with my brain, and my brain with my mind – connecting all that wiring, as it were, to re-teach me to walk, to read, to write, and yes, to smile.

If I am successful, I am left with what I think are, a pretty amazing list of articles to jump into, with such subjects as:

  • The Hypocrisy of the Hippocratic Oath
  • Returning the Barriers Back into Your Life
  • Even Yogis Duke It Out
  • There is Always A Choice – The Problem Lies in Taking Action
  • Dreaming is okay, but at some point you have to work for it
  • Estee Lauder & Colin Powell: 5 Tips That Will Focus You Mind, Body & Soul
  • Hipsters and Hippies – The Mistakes They Made The Last Time Around

Also, we will begin again with our weekly emails “Mindful Moments,” s well as the launch of our much awaited program: 5 Weeks to Meditation.

This is a wonderful Journey we are all on, join me, let’s travel it together.