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If meditating looks like another process on a to-do record, I’ve a meditation to share that has nothing to do with “doing.” But earlier than I reveal how this meditation permits you to be, and not do, let’s start with Yin and Yang Theory from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.
Yin qualities embrace receptivity, allowance, tolerance, reflection, and passivity. Yang qualities embrace doing, directing, enhancing, attaining, controlling, and turning into. Nothing on the planet is inherently Yin or Yang; issues are solely extra Yin or Yang in relationship to one thing else. Both qualities are important; neither is superior. When we perceive this relationship, we will promote stability and concord.
Even so, normally, our tradition favors and rewards Yang traits. Our bosses like our capacity to get issues accomplished and obtain. That’s how we get bonuses, promotions, and recognition. In flip, our Yang aspect is overly pumped, inflicting stress, whereas our Yin aspect is undernourished.
Yang Meditation: “Dear meditator, do this with your mind”
It’s no shock, then, that society additionally values Yang types of meditation that emphasize controlling and directing your thoughts and consideration. It might be that you simply give attention to breath, sensations within the physique, a mantra, or a candle’s flame. Sometimes it’s known as “structured” meditation, in that you simply comply with a protocol, blueprint, or map to handle your expertise. When you end up distracted, in misery, or confused, you don’t have to fret about what to do as a result of the Yang meditation instruction makes the selection for you. Often Yang types have the specific intention of manufacturing states of calm, peace, serenity, love, compassion, and quietude—apparently, all Yin qualities. For individuals who like construction and order, Yang meditation is interesting.
Yin Meditation: Receptivity and allowance
On the opposite hand, Yin meditation is much less about construction and clear-cut guidelines. Instead of making an attempt to handle what your thoughts ought to concentrate on, the Yin strategy emphasizes being receptive towards your expertise and permitting it to unfold nevertheless it might. While meditating, you domesticate a really totally different means of being—one which includes allowance, reflection, and tolerance. It asks our inside management freak to take a espresso break from its workaholic tendency.
A Yin meditation can also be much less particular about outcomes and outcomes. Sometimes chances are you’ll end up going into very peaceable states. But it’s additionally totally attainable to seek out your self exploring battle or ache in your life. When your intention in meditation is to be receptive to your complete inside expertise, you open the gate to unresolved points, troublesome reminiscences, and anxieties. Of course, you could be asking why on earth turning into receptive to these experiences is worth it. Good query!
I converse extra concerning the nuances of Yin meditation in my Yin 101 course, together with why these seemingly unfavourable outcomes may be helpful. But the overall concept is that by turning into extra receptive to your inside life, you develop compassion towards your self and perceive your self. This self-knowledge develops methods of being with your self and others that serve you instantly—imbuing your life with extra tolerance, amongst different qualities. If you’re eager about making an attempt this out for your self, here’s a brief Yin meditation apply to attempt proper now.
A Simple Yin Meditation for Compassion and Kindness
- Set a timer for at the least 5-to-10 minutes and sit in a cushty place on a cushion, chair, or sofa.
- Feel your palms resting in your lap or really feel your physique relaxation on the floor beneath it. These factors of bodily contact could be a “perch” on which your consideration can relaxation.
- Set the mild intention of being receptive and variety towards your unfolding expertise over the period of the meditation. Inevitably, your consideration will depart its perch and discover different sensations, sounds, ideas, and emotions. Whatever occurs throughout this time period is your meditation, and you’re open to it.
- If at any level you are feeling misplaced or overwhelmed, you possibly can play your “mental edge” by bringing your consideration again to the perch. You can maintain your consideration there till it feels okay to let your consideration fly off to discover different experiences.
Through this meditation, you domesticate kindness and compassion by the mild intention to not interrupt or minimize off your expertise. You apply kindness to your ideas by listening to them. You apply compassion to your physique by feeling sensations. Sometimes kindness means you let ideas and sensations proceed; different occasions, it means bringing your consideration again to the perch. You, the meditator, determine what to do. This develops your personal sense of duty, in addition to a extra nuanced and intimate understanding of what it’s wish to be you! As my instructor Jason Siff says, “By letting our life into our meditation practice, we allow our meditation to develop our life.”