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Season 2 - Episode 7

Pranamaya Kosha Meditation

20 min - Practice


Subtle, conscious energies must be wooed like a lover by one who is receptive. Ravi guides us through a meditation designed to enhance our receptivity to the mystery of our life's purpose. He helps us invite wonderment through relaxation and alignment of the body, emotions, and intellect.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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It's good for us to remind ourselves of something which has been said by all the sages in the history of humanity and by all the great philosophers and scientists that the whole universe, the whole space is filled with subtle and conscious energies. Naturally, the actual terminology varies from culture to culture, language to language. Some would say it's filled with consciousness or with overarching intelligence or with the Holy Spirit, Buddha Mind or Allah or Brahma, what is common to all of these labels that these energies are subtle and conscious, more conscious than we are and subtler than our mind and our body. This room is hardly excluded from the whole space so the Holy Spirit is right here or Brahma is right here. Since these energies are subtler than myself, I cannot control them.

I don't engineer them or create them. How can I become receptive to them? Already then we see that they are not in my control but they can be wooed by me as a lover, wooing the beloved. Or to use a traditional language as an attitude of prayer, an invocation. So to be able to receive these energies, what is my part?

The fundamental requirement of receptivity is relaxation. It's easier to begin with physical relaxation so take a few moments to be sure that I don't have any unnecessary tension anywhere in my hands or forehead or eyes. Most of us carry some tension in the area around the navel. Perhaps good physiological reasons for this. When the umbilical cord is cut for the first time, a person is an individual.

Much excitement, exploration of the world, even conquering the world. But also much anxiety and fear, being alone. All our existential anxieties reside in that area. So to take special care of this, that I am relaxed around the navel and that relaxation immediately affects the quality of breathing. Movement of the abdomen up and down corresponding to breathing in and breathing out.

Not artificially imposing anything on the breath but just to watch that if I am relaxed, there is a natural correlation in the movement of the abdomen and of breath. But even more important than physical relaxation is emotional relaxation. All anxieties, worries, reactions, resentment, hatred, anger, all these are emotional tensions. But these have very deep origin, certainly from childhood onwards, even how my parents behave to each other or to me. But even certainly coming from India easily speaks about carrying these tensions from previous lives.

But only when I can be a little freer of the superficial physical tensions, I can even become aware of these deeper tensions. Sometimes in meditation past events, past memories reveal the source of some of these tensions. And the only reliable antidote of anxiety, worry, fear is a sense of wonder. But that is a very high feeling and not in our control but if I begin to take interest in some great mystery which is not solved by the mind, it can gradually lead to a state of wonder. And the mystery which is intimate for each one of us is the great miracle of our own existence.

That out of this very large universe, for a few decades a little piece of matter is energized and made coherent to feel, to think, to listen, to speak. In my case called Ravi but for each one of us this is an intimate mystery. Why has the universe taken the trouble to create me? The more interested I can be in this, the more it brings me close to a sense of wonder. Then anxiety or worry cannot coexist with it. Also we have intellectual tensions, very emotional, related deeply with the emotional tensions.

So if I can simply keep coming back to the reminder that I do not know and cannot know all there is to know. Therefore a slight more willingness to listen, to be quiet. Keep coming back to this very great mystery. Why would these subtle energies pervading the whole universe as held by all the sages in the history of humanity? What is their interest in bringing me about or around to create me?

This mystery is deeply connected with the meaning of my life or the purpose of my life. So in addition to deeper and deeper relaxation there is another requirement of receptivity. Right alignment, again beginning physically, the head needs to be essentially an extension of the spinal column. And if my eyes were open, I shall be able to look horizontally. As far as we know, human beings are the only creatures who can have a vertical posture and look horizontally.

If one has any feeling that there really is some cosmic intelligence, this structure of the human beings makes a special call on us to find the right posture. So just as with relaxation, similarly with postures, we have intellectual postures, emotional postures. Here also to come to this intellectual clarity that I don't know all there is to know. Therefore allowing mysteries to exist, willing to be surprised. And the mystery of existence is more easily kept in our awareness if I keep in contact with the most obvious manifestation of my existence, namely the fact that the breathing is taking place.

So I let my ordinary mind ride my breath. And continually returning to the very mystery of my own existence, perhaps slightly differently expressed now, connecting it with breath, do I breathe or am I being breathed? Not knowing, not searching for this answer or that answer, but wondering. So just to stay with this mystery, letting your mind ride the breath, remaining as relaxed as possible, retaining the right alignment. Do I breathe or am I being breathed?

Do I breathe or am I being breathed? I thank you.


Gabriella N
I love finding new episodes from Ravi in his 2nd seasons of his show. So much tenderness in this one as he supports us connecting with the Pranamaya Kosha. Thank you Ravi and thank you Kira.
Claudia Jean
Thank you for this contemplation, "Do I breathe, or am I being breathed?"
Kate M
Beautiful reflection. Such an invitation to release into the wonder of the mystery we inhabit...
Zette A
Beautiful presentation...lovely voice. I do not understand what is meant at minute 15 by "being able to look horizontally"

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