You can begin your daily practice with any questions or any prayer you feel like starting with. It’s common to begin by asking ourselves a series of questions known as the soul questions. They are explored in greater depth in the book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. The questions are:
- Who am I?
- What do I want? and
- What is my dharma or purpose in life?
These are the questions that hundreds of thousands of meditation practitioners ask themselves before they begin repeating their mantras.
And it is by asking these questions, listening to answers, and then letting go of outcomes that we begin our daily practice. There is no need to bring the questions or the answers into your mind during the meditation. They are already a part of who you are. And as you expand in consciousness, the cosmic dialogue will continue to expand within you, and you will gain clarity into who you are, you will receive all that you desire, and you will discover your purpose for being here.
(Remember: Don’t bring any thoughts, concepts, ideas, plans, or expectations into the meditation—only your mantra.)
These are some of the deepest questions you could ask yourself, which is why we do nothing with the information that comes to us during meditation. That’s simply a process for making the soil more fertile. It’s outside of meditation, when the seeds you’ve planted are growing, that you feel more expanded, more creative, more intuitive, and more insightful. It’s not during meditation that the value of this process takes form. It’s back here with the rest of us, when you’re eyes are wide open, and you’re interacting with the world.
Who am I? What do I want? What’s my dharma or purpose? How can I help, heal, and serve others using my unique gifts and my special talents?
These are the stepping-stones to an effortless daily practice, and they are the building blocks for living my life. Of course, you can begin your practice with any ritual that feels comfortable.
What are the questions that are important to you? Write them down, explore them before meditating for a solid week, and you will feel them unfold in your life.
(Remember: Don’t bring these questions or their answers into your meditation.)
After you have asked and answered (and sometimes there will be no answers) all these questions, simply release them. You can add emphasis to your letting go of them by physically releasing them. Take a long, slow, deep breath in and then let them go. As you exhale, send them out into the universe. Then begin your practice, using your breath, mantra, or another object of your attention.
Please share your experiences in the comments, or send me an email at email@example.com. Peace. -davidji