Cabernet Lazarus, 1

Interview with Cabernet Lazarus

MP:

What would you consider your type of meditation, if any?

Cabernet:

I've done a few kinds. I've done some sitting meditation where I started with a prayer, then slowed my breathing and watched my thoughts with amusement. I've studied yoga and done a personal practice for 60-90 minutes every morning, and held the postures in a focused, meditative way. This always ends with Sivasana, the corpse pose which is quieting and surrendering. Currently I do a lot of walking, which amounts to a walking meditation. It's calming and I never feel the same leaving as I do returning.

MP:

I'm so excited that you are doing this interview and sharing your meditation experiences. I already have tons of questions but let me start with the one that is likely to fade, and that is– when you say a "moving meditation" did you mean emotional? As this is probably a yes or no question, I will add another to the mix– I want to hear about the experience of watching thoughts with amusement. There are those who have difficulty separating thoughts from self. Was this ever a problem and if so, how did it change. If not, please describe the experience of watching thoughts.

Cabernet:

HAHAHA, I learned "watching thoughts with amusement" from you! In the Yoga Sutras or the Bhagavad Gita they say that the mind is like a drunken monkey bitten by a snake or scorpion. The mind's nature is to race about and NOT be still. So, when sitting in meditation the mind is like an ADD kid having a temper tantrum. It's not personal. it is simply its nature. Having that knowledge makes it possible for me to sit and not judge how crappy a meditator I may be, but instead to just notice with a sense of humor all that my brain does to avoid being still– and when my judgment halts, my thoughts eventually subside, or at least quiet– usually for only a short, but satisfying moment.

To answer your first question, no. I will try to avoid any potty humor! I just mean meditation through movement, like walking or sun salutations. I know one person who does it while swimming. I have also found beading or knitting to be meditative.

MP:

Do you do the quieting while sitting or do you now mostly do moving meditations? Also, do you experience clarity through meditation about prevailing issues in your life? Is there a guidance that comes from this practice or is it mostly a calming influence?

Cabernet:

Oh, you like to ask all the hard questions, don't you??? Thanks to you and this interview, I was inspired to do a sitting meditation! I haven't done one for a good long while, but that's changing today. So, I just have to say that nothing I say is original, I have been taught through tradition or reading, everything I know. And I did a 2 year long yoga teacher training program, so you will hear a huge influence from that.

You asked "Do you experience clarity through meditation about prevailing issues in your life?" I have been taught that praying is talking to God/Higher Power/Mother Earth/Spirit/Creator-take your pick, and meditating is listening. I have also been taught, as I have said, that meditating is a practice to quiet the mind. I'm guessing so one can hear!!!

In the Yoga tradition it's a progression from Yamas and Niyamas- which are a code of ethics similar to the 10 commandments and a commitment to the journey (my favorite is Santosa, or contentment. I can think of no deeper spiritual practice than to find contentment in everything!), to Asana- the postures that firm the body to be a temple, supple and strong enough to sit a meditation, to Pranayama- learning to control the breath, the life force, to Pratyahara-turning the senses inward, to Dharana- concentration, to Dhyana- meditation, to Samadhi- enlightenment.

I love that it is a progression, and a journey, not an arrival, or a failure. The yogis talk a lot about the waves slowly, over much time, wearing away the side of a mountain. It's about doing it small, and having tiny successes that you often can't see until much later.

So, no– I do not experience clarity or answers. I get quiet enough to be in a relaxed state to make saner decisions and am often reminded to do the simple things like eat and wait. When I walk I notice the beauty and scale of nature, so it's all about perspective. I get "right sized" as does my problems.

Meditation Practices

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