One of the things I was most curious and excited about in attending Francisco’s retreat in Brazil this week was learning more about meditation. Our days here start at 7:30am (before breakfast and even water beyond a sip!), with Francisco’s coaching in developing a meditation practice. We’ve then been incorporating meditation into our personal practice throughout the day. And it has been profound.
I think I’ve shared before in this blog how I have always felt like a very unskilled meditator. The idea of emptying my mind has always seemed and proven to be an impossible task. I would always end up feeling frustrated instead of free.
But Francisco’s technique is different. So different in fact that I am now enjoying meditating in virasana and therefore, staying in virasana a really, really long time. Which is kind of ironic as virasana and I have never been good friends. An ankle sprain as a child, plus holding all my stress in my feet and calves, has always meant that virasana becomes super uncomfortable for me super fast. At my very first class with Francisco when in Boulder 3 years ago, Francisco took one look at my feet and said ‘we need to fix those!’ ☺ So I’ve always needed lots of support in virasana and felt lots of sensation.
But meditating in virasana this week, I have felt something entirely different.
Francisco has been speaking of the body as a vessel and asking us to pay attention to the inside and the outside of the vessel - to go back and forth, back and forth, inside and outside during meditation. The deeper I go with this the inside becomes the outside, and the outside the inside. There is no separation. It all becomes one.
When I heard the other students speaking of a feeling of joy during the meditation it surprised me as I didn’t feel joy. But that didn’t make me sad or envious. What I felt was nothing; nothing in a really good way. I realized that while I felt no negative emotions, no sadness nor anger or anything, I didn’t feel any positive emotions either. I felt no emotions at all and that was really freeing. I didn’t have a need for joy. Perhaps that is what Francisco means by emotional coherence.
So, there was this sense of oneness and a lack of craving for positive emotions. And there was also this pure truth that came to me. That all is well in the world. My husband Daniel will often say the affirmation ‘All is well. Everything’s a mess but all is well.’ And I truly felt that during meditation this week. That nothing could hurt me. That nothing was threatening me. That truth and light will always prevail. That I was safe.
So how ironic is that? Meditation replaced such strong sensation in virasana that I almost panic, with a feeling of being entirely safe.
I think I’m going to meditate in virasana a lot more often.