Yoga Mind, Peaceful Mind: Simple Meditations for Overcoming Anxiety
In ancient times, the sage Patanjali set forth the Yoga Sutras, an eight-fold approach for living which encompasses ethics in society, personal ethics, bodily posture, breath control, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and absorption in the divine. In the Yoga Sutras, there are five concepts described for ethics in society and another five for personal ethics.
Something unique about Yoga Mind, Peaceful Mind: Simple Meditations for Overcoming Anxiety is that authors Mary and Rick NurrieSearns focus on two of the concepts in personal ethics in the Yoga Sutras: study of spiritual books (or with a master) and self-surrender (study of the self). They introduce Yoga Mind, Peaceful Mind as a way to train the mind to be an instrument of peace, using yogic disciplines, to lessen anxiety and to fulfill life’s purpose.
“Neuroscientsts define the mind in ways that parallel how yogis describe the chakras.” Authors NurrieStearns use seven primary chakras, or energy centers, to present their practices for managing life energy and consciousness.
The book explores core beliefs and begins with a calming chant for peace within. Yoga Mind, Peaceful Mind continues with ten practices each described on two pages that are easy to see and read. Sanskrit terms are explained as the text goes along; however, pronunciation tips would be helpful, as would basic instructions for sitting for meditation.
The journey through the chakras includes a description of their energetic significance and the benefits of the practices/affirmations (ten are provided for each chakra) in Yoga Mind, Peaceful Mind. Some examples follow.
- Root chakra: gazing, mudra (hand postures); connecting with nature
- Sacral chakra: visualization; being touched by life without “charged” emotional responses
- Solar plexus: breathwork, rejecting harmful thoughts, making life decisions with discernment
- Heart chakra: cultivating peace, understanding, empathy, purity, kindness, forgiveness; experiencing contentment, joy, gratitude
- Throat chakra: mantra repetition, breathwork; exploring unexamined viewpoints, truthful interaction with others, asking questions, neutralizing negative energies, expectations and judgments
- Third eye: self-observation; accessing the seat of intuition
- Crown chakra: embodying one’s spiritual nature in daily life; gaining clarity about the yogic teaching, one’s practice of the teaching, and the practice with a community of yogis
Authors NurrieStearns offer Yoga Mind, Peaceful Mind as a way to begin a daily meditation practice without burden. The reader discovers how to develop the benefits over time—with diligence and confidence in the outcome. Journaling is encouraged.
Yoga Mind, Peaceful Mind concludes with a concise bibliography. This book is recommended for individuals who want to gain or improve health, emotional stability and spiritual awareness. The practices are simple, and anyone can do them, indoors or outdoors. Once readers let go of the idea of certainty and learn to tolerate life’s ambiguities, these gentle meditations support lasting peace of mind.
For example, this mantra:
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti
Peace within, peace among each another, peace throughout the entire universe.