Practice Series: Burn Through the Noise that Stifles Your Truth

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The theme for this month’s practice series is BURNING THROUGH, and we’re drawing inspiration from the volcano.

If you watch the flow of lava, it rises up and dissolves everything on the surface—rocks, plants, trees, trash … all of it. It reduces it to its purest essence, which is the earth itself.

This week, we’ll explore how to burn through internal noise to communicate our truth. Before we can tell someone else the truth, we need to be able to say it to ourselves.  Especially in times of uncertainty or challenge, our internal landscape can quickly fill up with competing voices and opinions. Most of it isn’t tied to what we actually need or want, or even to reality itself.

Here’s a way to clean up the noise and discover what’s actually true for you. If you’re feeling scared or anxious, please consider doing last week’s practice before starting this one!

This practice can be done at any time, but is especially helpful if you feel like your mind is spinning from many different options and opinions, and/or you feel small, restless, spacy, overwhelmed, or otherwise agitated:

  1. Gently turn your attention inward, toward yourself. Instead of focusing on various thoughts and ideas, bring your attention to the sensations of your body.
  2. Communicate to yourself something that is undeniably true—you may want to stick to body sensations to start. For example: my throat is tight; my stomach feels hot; my feet are cold.
  3. The mind might immediately create a story or identity around this; e.g., “I’m —- because I feel —-” or “If I feel —- it means —–.” Try to avoid this and stay with what is real.  Notice if there’s a slight release and softening in the body, a sensation of ease and space. You may also feel more warmth and energy flowing through your body.
  4. After articulating a truth statement, rest in the space and stillness of it. Our bodies naturally relax in the presence of truth.
  5. Let the next truth emerge naturally. Stay aware and let it present itself to you in its own time. For example, you might first notice “My throat is tight,” and after a few moments, “My chest hurts,” and a bit later, of its own accord, “I feel angry.” Try not to let the mind jump to whatever it thinks it means (for example, “Tight throat means I’m scared”).
  6. As you listen for the truth, the body might have an emotional or physical release; let this happen and keep listening for what’s real. Let the truth flow through, like hot lava, turning everything back into itself.
  7. Eventually, you will arrive at what is most true in that moment, at the deepest level. This is the point where the noise, questions, and competing voices come to rest, because you’re faced with something so real that your whole being goes quiet in its presence. You can’t argue with it, and there’s nothing left to say. It’s the pure essence of that moment. It might be anything, at any level of significance—from “I’m really hungry” to “I was abused” to “I love my child” to “I am one with all life.” No matter what it is, after stating it, you will feel complete and whole, at least in that moment. Enjoy! 

 

Photo by the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

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Shivani Ray

About

Shivani Ray is a multi-disciplinary artist, meditation teacher, and the founder of Living Sanskrit, an online school for traditional Indian wisdom and practices. Born both American and into the yogic tradition, she’s dedicated to helping steward and correctly utilize ancient indigenous wisdom in modern times and non-native contexts. She’s deeply curious about basically everything, which leads to lots of joyful trouble all over the world. In her resting hours, Shivani can usually be found outdoors, singing to trees or napping in moonlight.


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'Practice Series: Burn Through the Noise that Stifles Your Truth' have 2 comments

  1. March 15, 2016 @ 7:55 pm Andrea

    I really love this exercise. For the past few days, I’ve become increasingly aware of a low-grade neck and shoulder ache that nags me each time I have a moment of down-time (i.e. a moment to become aware of what’s built up). Going through this exploration, I discovered an explanation for this tension, which is basically that I’ve been carrying a great deal of mental stress & ruminations. The message I discovered through this exercise was simply “Let it go! It’s not your work to do!!!”

    It was lovely to learn- through this intuitive process- that I really don’t have to think or try so hard 🙂

    Reply

    • Shivani Ray

      March 15, 2016 @ 9:55 pm Shivani Ray

      Thanks so much for sharing, Andrea! I’m glad it was helpful 🙂 And thank you also for that much-needed reminder to let go, and that it’s not always our work to do!

      Reply


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