Foundation

The most important part of my dinacharya, my daily routine, is the time I spend in stillness. You can read about my full Ayurvedic dinacharya here, but for this post, I’m going to focus on the piece that takes place on my meditation cushion in my sweet little spiritual corner.

One of the things I love most about my spiritual path is that it can be a completely solitary practice. All that is needed for spiritual commune with the divine is to turn inside myself. The Siddha Yoga mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, means essentially that God lives in you, as you…so you don’t need to seek anything outside of yourself. You are whole and complete, just as you are. While it’s wonderful to share space and intention with others of the same belief system, it’s also so lovely to be able to rest, restore, renew and recharge every single day without needing to leave my home.

Beginning

When I come to the cushion, the first thing I do is to light candles and incense to invoke and connect with my spiritual teacher and the aspects of divinity within myself that I treasure most- motherhood and love, joy and compassion, foundation and family, goodness and contentment, power and strength. And then I slowly sink into my inner stillness and inquire how I’m doing on the four dimensions of wellbeing- physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. I rotate through each of them and listen and feel for what is coming up, what areas I’m feeling like I could use some support. And this is how I choose my malas for the day.

Energetic Choice

I select a full mala with 108 beads for my meditation practice and at least one wrist mala to wear throughout the day as a reminder of my practice. I am fortunate to have a fairly substantial collection of malas made from different materials that are designed to bring forth certain qualities. My favorite store to purchase malas is The Beautiful Nomad. I prefer the 8mm beads included on the tassel malas. Each mala is named after an attribute that is drawn from the stones they are crafted from.

So, on days where I am feeling drained or tired, I might choose Resilience. On days where I am feeling anxious, I can choose Peace or Tranquility. On days where I am feeling adrift or muddled, I can use Clarity or Illumination. On days where I have too much rajas energy (overactive) I can use Grounding. Or on days where I am feeling raw, I can choose Comfort or Soothe. For days where I want to harness creativity, Dream. Or when I need to go deep, I can choose Wisdom. Or if I need to connect to nature, I use a sandalwood, rosewood, cedar or bodhi seed mala (these, I mostly buy from Dharma Shop, which is also where the bulk of my Tibetan singing bowls were sourced.

For the wrist mala(s), I may select the same wrist mala as my full mala, or I may go in a different direction. For example, I might choose Heal or Calm, or a protection against negative energy. Building in a scan of my wellbeing as part of my daily ritual helps me to call in what I need and to make sure I am bringing my self-care to the forefront of my day.

Your Practice

I invite you to think about the feelings you feel most throughout your day that you’d like to counterbalance or reduce and think about ways you can do that. It doesn’t have to be a mala- it can be a stone you carry in your pocket and rub, or a scarf or shawl you drape around yourself. The key is to be in touch non-judgmentally with your needs, find ways to bring in more of what you are craving and to release that which does not serve you.

Love and light,

Mariah

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