Ashram Reopening Party Guided Meditation


Welcome everyone. Thank you for joining us here today. Let us begin with a short guided meditation.

I will give instructions in stages of experience so you can follow along and do what feels right. If any instructions are unattainable today, that is okay. Listen to your body and your breath; it knows best.

To begin, take a nice deep breath, in through the nose, out through the mouth.

Begin to find a comfortable position, whether seated or lying down.

If seated: legs crossed, or feet flat on the floor, or kneeling. If lying down: legs extended straight or knees propped up slightly, feet hip width apart or further.

If seated: make sure your pelvis is tilted slightly forward until you get a small curve in your back. You may need to sit on something so your knees are below your hips.

Whether seated or lying: pull your shoulders up to your ears and then slide them together down your back until you feel your chest widen.

If seated: Lean back until your shoulders are directly over your hips. Drop your chin slightly until you feel a softening in your throat. Keeping this, move your head backwards in space until your ears are over your shoulders. Place the back of your left hand on top of your right palm and touch your thumbs together so your hands make an oval shape.

Take a deep breath, pulling the air all the way down your spine and into your hips. Make any adjustments needed to sit comfortably.

Another deep breath in, this time exhale it out loudly. Do this two more times.

On your next exhale, soften as if melting from the crown of your head down your body. Soften the muscles of your forehead…soften your jaw…soften your neck…soften your chest…soften your shoulders and arms…soften your belly…soften your hips and pelvis…soften all the muscles in your legs and knees…soften your hands and feet.

Soften any effort. Allow yourself to feel any sensations.

Breathe in, breathe out…softness…

Take a nice slow breath and on your next inhale count one. Exhale count two. Inhale one. Exhale two. Keep counting on your own.

// pause for one minute

Notice if there is any tightness or holding, especially in your jaw, between your shoulders, or anywhere you feel a bit stuck. Take a breath into that area, and soften.

// pause for one minute

If you’d like more, count inhale one, exhale two, inhale three, exhale four…all the way to ten, and begin again. If you get lost, that’s alright, just begin again from one. Keep counting on your own.

// pause for two cycles

Again, check in to see if there is any tightness or holding. Inhale for space, exhale release. No judgment, come back to the practice.

// pause for two cycles

If you’d like more, slow it down. Inhale, exhale, one. Inhale, exhale, two. Inhale, exhale, three. Etc. to ten, and begin again. Keep counting on your own.

// pause for two cycles

Begin to let go of this counting practice and just witness your breath again. No commentary, just breath.

// pause for thirty seconds

Some days are more difficult to get settled than others. There is no shame. Your practice is your own, so give yourself what you need. Soften anywhere there is tension. You have all the air and space you need.

// pause for three minutes

Begin to come back to your body.

Feel the chair or the floor beneath you.

// pause for ten seconds

Feel the clothing against your skin.

// pause for twenty seconds

Notice if there is anywhere that can soften even more.

// pause for twenty seconds

Notice any sensations in the feet. Notice any sensations in the hands.

// pause for twenty seconds

Notice if there are any smells or tastes.

// pause for thirty seconds

Notice if there are any sounds.

// pause for thirty seconds

Slowly begin to deepen your breath. Pull the air all the way through your body to bring small movements back into your fingers and toes.

Bring a small smile to your lips.

Take a really deep breath, filling up everything inside, and exhale it out loudly.

You may bring your hands to anjali moodra or prayer position in front of your chest. You may bow your head towards your hands, and thank yourself for this practice.

May all beings everywhere come to realize happiness, and the roots of happiness. May all beings everywhere be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. May all beings everywhere experience equanimity, peace, and wellbeing.

Slowly lower your hands and raise your head. As you begin to open your eyes, just notice how you’re feeling.

Thank you for practicing today, and all days. May you bring this practice in to everything you do. Namaste. I bow respectfully to each and every one of you.

 

Citta Bhavana Ashram Opening Speech


Citta Bhavana Opening Poster

 

The Ashram is officially open! Come visit us in world any time. Below you can read the speech that I gave after the guided meditation. Our opening address:

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for coming and showing their interest and support today! None of this would be possible without each and every one of you. A special thank you must be given to Sunshine, Swami, Rhia, and Lyle for all of their amazing work and support in making this beautiful sim come to life.

I’m going to try to make this speech as short as I can. I know how much we all want to get to the food and dancing! But, I’d like to share with you a bit of what we’re about.

I am a yoga teacher in real life, and the community that grew between the people in the training inspired me to pursue deep, raw, and pure relationships in all aspects of my life. Over the years, SL has been a big part of life for me. I’ve been able to meet the most amazing people here and form some of the strongest bonds with people from all over the world. Despite our cultural differences, the distance between us, and our philosophical or religious beliefs, we were still able to connect with each other. This is what I’m looking to provide here; a space to learn from each other in a supportive and caring environment and community.

There is a quote from Osho that I’ve always held true to my heart. It goes like this:
“My whole teaching consists on two words, “meditation” and “love”. Meditate so that you can feel immense silence, and love so that your life can become a song, a dance, a celebration. You will have to move between the two, and if you can move easily, if you can move without an effort, you have learnt the greatest thing in life.”

I built this ashram with the purpose of having a space for these two concepts – meditation and love – to grow. Both of these things take effort to start, which can also be considered action (even non-action is a form of action). All action is composed of four things: intention, awareness, method, and manifestation. We must have the intent to pursue something, an awareness of what exactly that something consists of, a method of how to do it, and finally we will be able to manifest it.

For instance, you want to have tea. Your intention is just that, wanting tea. The awareness will be of what sort of tea and when, these sorts of things. The method is standing out of your chair, going to the kitchen, boiling the water, picking the tea, pouring the water, etc. The manifestation is when you actually follow through with this action.

You may or may not know that the word ‘karma’ literally means ‘action’. Many people think of karma as a factor of fate, or determinism. But, really, karma is creative. It is unbounded. The common interpretation is when someone has something bad happen, we call it “bad karma.” But this interpretation of karma is misunderstood. Karma is really human action composed of the four things I mentioned before. It does not control us. In fact, we control it with intention, whether consciously or subconsciously. When we utilize action (and remember, even non-action is a form of action), we are influencing karma.

The term ‘ashram’, which comes from the sanskrit root ‘srama’, means “giving the meaning of making an effort towards liberation (moksha).” Liberation, in some schools of thought, is liberation from the cycle of karma and dukkha, otherwise known as the cycle of suffering. At this ashram we ask you to invite into your life what you want to share with others as well as yourself since we are all connected. If any one of us suffers, all the rest of us suffer. It is through positive, intentional action which we are able to change our perspectives and lessen our suffering. I strongly feel that as a community, we can provide the support and friendship that we all wish for along our journey. And, because of our amazing diversity, there may be something for everyone.

The name of the ashram is Citta Bhavana, meaning ‘cultivating heart/mind.’ Bhavana on it’s own means ‘spiritual cultivation.’
All the events here are organized to support this inner growth in some way or other, whether it’s through meditation, yoga, discussions, dances, music, ritual etc. Our hosts and guests come from many traditions from around the world, and are not limited to one path or another. Instead, we believe that all paths are useful and that each person will find meaning in different perspectives. All things offered here invite you to examine your self and those around you rather than telling you how things should be.

All of us come from other communities in SL, some of whom have regular events. We are not here to replace them, but rather to supplement them. You may notice on our calendar we list some events from other communities. We do this so that all of our hosts are aware of events they should not overlap with, so all of our communities can exist together in harmony. All of us here believe that each individual follows their own unique path through life, and we hope to provide space for that to flourish even more.

There are a few main areas around the sim for you to explore. Lyle was kind enough to build this beautiful waterfall for us (huge thank you!)! This is the Music and Gallery Area, where we will have regular world-music events and an art gallery. If any of you are artists who would like to take part in the gallery please contact myself or Sunshine for details. There is a forest campsite meeting area, where Rhia and various others will host philosophical dialogues. Swami has a beautiful skybox set up with a library, a video screen, and a stage for performers. And up the hill you may be able to see the big building. That is the main ashram building, with space for meditation and yoga, casual discussions and many other things. Please feel free to have a look around at your own convenience.

The next thing I wanted to share with you is our private skyboxes. We have six skyboxes set up which you can rent free of charge at the main landing point. They are intended for those of us who are homeless and need a place to change or relax or whatever it is you want to do. The very last thing I will take your time with is our events for the next week. We have at least one event planned for every day this coming week. Sunday we have the beautiful and talented Sandia Beaumont playing her piano for us at 3:30pmSLT. Monday, Swami is starting a four day series on “Reflections of South Asian Spirituality” at 10amSLT (same time every day); as well as Rhia’s discussion on the Nature of Faith at 2:30pmSLT. Sunshine will play a dharma talk over the stream on Tuesday at 12pmSLT.

Unfortunately, my RL has demanded my attention this week so I won’t be around for all of these, but any of them will be here to answer any questions and act as hosts. I have complete faith in their abilities to manage this place while I am away.

You can join the group “Creativity; Karma” for notices.

You can find our calendar on the blog which I posted in local chat.
http://cittabhavanaashramsl.blogspot.ca/p/calendar.html
Once again, thank you all so much for your support today and hopefully for many more to come! There is pie by the deck, as well as games and activities scattered around the fire. I will be walking around with tea so please feel free to grab one off the tray if you’d like.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu…May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

Namaste _/\_ Thank you.

Weekend Events List!


The Art of Bowing Logo

Events this weekend!

You can now find me in InWorldz as Chraeloos Aristotelous, and in my group “The Art of Bowing”.

What? 30 min Guided Meditation

   Where? Namaste, InWorldz (Namaste/124/68/28)

   When? Saturday, Jul 19 @ 9amIWT/PST

What? Series on Japanese Philosophers

   Where? Sengoku Japan, Second Life (Ocarina Beach/197/190/51)

   When? Sunday, Jul 20 @ 5pmSLT/PST

~~~~~~~

I look forward to seeing you around! Namaste, my friends, and big hugs to you all!

Looking for me outside of the grid? Went to a discussion and didn’t get the notes? Check out the links below:

Blog:

https://chraeloos.wordpress.com/

Calendar:

https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=chraeloos%40gmail.com&ctz=America/Vancouver

Google+ Community:

https://plus.google.com/communities/116481394403768407840

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Chraeloos

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/chraeloos.aristotelous

Chrae