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Monday, April 25, 2011

Rebirth and Renewel: Sa Ta Na Ma

My blog has been neglected, but this is my personal space and it misses me, or rather, I miss it. After writing the last entry in September, I ended up going through some shifts in my life, wringing me out and catapulting me so far and so quickly I feel I've lived many lifetimes since. 
Today is Easter and I found myself in some nostalgic moments, beginning last night when my son refused to decorate eggs with us (sniff) and then this morning when some music from my college days came blaring through my speakers reminding me of those days I lived for everyone else's vision of who I should be.  How I have changed since then and how many more (sniffs) will I have as I watch my children grow and change.
Easter and Spring encourage the feelings of optimism, inspiration, and growth.  For growth to occur, change must take place, when something changes, something else must cease to exist as we know it.  We often fear change, but without change, we aren’t living. 

It’s simple to grasp concrete objects such as eggs bringing forth new life or seeds manifesting new growth and even still, the birth or death of an animal or human being, but what about those things we cannot see, but feel? The cycle of life consists of many deaths and rebirths within a single incarnation as life brings us experiences.
In this life I have lived many and the person I was  just 5 years ago, while at the soul level is still the same, I am now someone I could have never imagined myself “growing” into. The growth I have experienced came from the death of dreams I had with tumultuous relationships, failed goals, and embarrassing mistakes. At the time the pain and suffering of these events were not welcome, but now I view these things as the fuel behind the person I am today and I love who I am today even more because I went through all of these things and never lost the sense of my truest essence.

While I have experienced and continue to experience many deaths and rebirths, the most notable came for me when I was married and then divorced within two years. Madly in-love, I married a man when I was in my early 20’s who was an emotionally abusive addict, someone suffering on such a deep level that it brought out every part of me that had been suffering silently from past trauma for years. I never knew I could be so hateful, fearful, and desperate.   He isolated me from my family and friends the best he could, literally telling me to run from him, yet leaving me no way out. I remember one early morning, after one of his drunken episodes and night out with other women, I had locked myself in the bathroom, afraid of what he might do, having already thrown up from his insults, when I realized I was either going to die or this stage of my life had to be over. No matter how much he was suffering, I could not complete this cycle of karma for him or myself if I stayed.  It was time for this dream to die and a new life to be born and so it began. It was a painful death, but one that eventually led me to where I am today. The people I know, the career I have, my current husband and children, I experience because I moved to Texas when I married him. What a wonderful gift he gave me.  From the birth and eventual death of that marriage, came many births and deaths, and more continue still and for each of them I am grateful.

As I watch people go through this cycle I realize how necessary it is and I hope they may be as blessed as I have been in understanding it is all a part of our growth process. Life is not made better up on the mountain top, but in the deep valleys where we have the choice to either give up or come face to face with our true grit and move on to that next chapter.

One of the first Chants I ever practiced is Sa Ta Na Ma.  The Sa Ta Na Ma Kriya Meditation is used to embrace and celebrate the cycle of Life, Death, Birth, and Rebirth. When we can accept and embrace that change is the only constant and that we are here to evolve and grow, each death we experience becomes a little less painful than the last and each birth comes a little bit easier than the one before.

Sa Ta Na Ma: The Five Primal Sounds
Each Sound Evokes a Feeling:
Sa: Expansion
Ta: Transformation
Na: Universal Love
Ma: Communicativeness

Each Sound Represents The Eternal Cycle of Life:

Sa: Birth
Ta: Life
Na: Death
Ma: Rebirth

For Each Sound You Use a Hand Mudra:
Sa: Thumb to Index  Finger = Gyan Mudra
Ta: Thumb to Middle Finger = Akash Mudra
Na: Thumb to Ring Finger = Prithvi Mudra     
Ma: Thumb to Pinky Finger= Varun Mudra

The Meditation Practice:
Yogi Bhajan once said that if there is any meditation you practice, let this be the one.
Combine each mudra with it’s sound repeating each 3 times out loud, 3 times whispering, 3 times silently, 3 times whispering, 3 times out loud. As you progress, you may then practice this for 11 minutes, then work towards 31!

Embrace the Cycle!