“You must be calmly active and actively calm. Be intensely aware of everything you are doing.” -Yogananda
I read last year Yogananda’s book Autobiography of a Yogi (a.k.a. I listened to the audio book with my earbuds while going on long runs 🙂 ). It’s this crazy tale of the life of this young Indian guru, born in 1893, and credited with bringing the Kriya yoga mediation concept to Westerners.
My favorite part of this little quote from Yogananda’s teachings is the phrase “INTENSELY AWARE.” It’s a hard concept to wrap our heads around, but it’s the basis for meditation. The more we live in the present moment, the more we are keenly and intensely aware of the sensations of being here & now, the more we will let chaos fall by the wayside, the more we will find calm & peace of mind.
Think of this in terms of your body during yoga. If you can be “intensely aware” of the positioning of each limb, the feeling of breeze on each pore, the strength of each muscle fiber, the rhythm of each breath, then the mind cannot think of our rambling to-do lists. Therefore, yoga is a meditation. Focus is a meditation. It’s our chance to tune in while tuning out.
Now think of this in terms of your mind and heart. If you can be living your life every day “intensely aware” and not taking life for granted, living and moving to your fullest, savoring each moment like it might never come around again, being wholeheartedly alive in how you thoroughly you love and work and play, then the mind and heart have no room for hate, grudge, resentment, or emotional chaos (towards others but maybe more importantly towards yourself). Therefore, living aware of the pricelessness and beauty of each day, is a meditation. Focus on the positive is a meditation. It’s our chance to be open to loving and being loved.
Being actively calm and calmly active to me means that you keep yourself in check, not running ragged, not overextending yourself, not living frazzled. It means putting in the effort to focus inward in meditation or yoga, and putting in the effort to focus on the positive in your heart and mind. It’s not easy- it is definitely an effort, especially at first. It takes a decision to choose calm in everything we do. Be actively and calmly focused to see your infinite strength, beauty, and impact.