10 Basic Yoga Poses
Meditation in the informal sense refers to a way of being in the world that is grounded in moment-to-moment awareness. When one is new to meditation, it is recommended to engage firstly in the more formal practices of meditation as these serve to train the nervous system to get more familiar with this state of being. Once this way of being becomes more established in our system, it becomes a more common occurrence to be able to go about our daily activities while in a state of meditation and moment-to-moment awareness.
Contemplation is different to meditation in the sense that one studies or observes certain texts, insight or sayings from verified saints or scripture. The practitioner than simply holds a particular phrase, or a particular line from a sacred text in one’s mind for some time. The aim of the practice is for a re-contextualization to occur in the perception of the practitioner so that eventually the truth of that particular phrase or line of sacred text is fully revealed. Contemplation does not mean to intellectualize or think through something, but rather it is more about holding something in mind and allowing it space to “cook.” For effective contemplation, one must have some level of concentration and space, so that one is able to continue to cook on one thing at a time, for extended periods if necessary. If the mind is full and mental energies are scattered, contemplation is not very effective and therefore more formal meditational practice may be suitable until one has cultivated a greater capacity for concentration.
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Spleen and Stomach
Let’s start with the Earth element. The Earth element color is yellow and the season is Late Summer. Lets have a look at an illustration of the 5 elements to see where the Earth element sits within this dynamic play.
When we look at figure 1.3, we can see that the Earth element is supported by the Fire element in the Shen (nurturing) cycle and the Wood element supports Earth in the Ko (controlling) cycle. I will talk a little more about the Fire element and Wood element later on.