“Be the Beauty You Love” – a meditation and retreat inspired by Rumi

By Natasha Scott, ERYT500 and SOYA lead trainer
Meditation deckOne of the many things I look forward to is an early morning meditation on the yoga platform at God’s Mountain Estate. There is this beautiful deck that has been built in this wild field overlooking Skaha Lake. Often when I arrive on this platform I feel like I could sit here forever and meditate on the vast beauty of what is. Surrounded by the birds, the deer, mountain sheep, the sky, the warm breeze, trees and the lake, it takes me to that quiet still place within, so quickly.
In yogic philosophy there is a place inside of us that is always still; that always knows. The ability to connect and listen from this space is meditation.  I have found that in those moments when we start to feel “burnt out” it is the “Samadhi Station” we need to get ourselves too. Samadhi. meaning “sameness of vision.”
One of my favorite ways to enter into meditation on the platform is this:
Slow down your breath. Become aware of your senses.  Feel the temperature of the air on your skin. Feel any breeze. Become aware of any sounds you can hear, whether they be way up high in the sky or right beside you. Become aware of any scents in the air, such as the cedar of the deck or something being carried by the wind.  Be aware of any tastes that you have in your mouth. Take a moment to watch the back of your eyelids, becoming aware of any shapes that appear. Spend some time here.
Connect to a softer and longer breath. Once you have connected to a softer and longer breath, start to watch the breath, like a parking lot attendant watching cars go in and out. Watch the breath come and go.  Spend some time here.
Settle in for a while. If you find that your mind starts to wander (and that’s what minds do!!), just notice. That is the key. Notice and bring you mind either back to the senses or back to your breath.
If your mind needs more than this, give it the mantra “So Hum” to ride on every single breath. On the inhale silently say “So” and on the exhale silently say “Hum”. This simple, beautiful mantra means “I am That,” meaning you are one with all this beauty surrounding you. The mantra will help the mind slow down so you can connect to that still, knowing place within. You are this beauty. You are the silence and the knowing. You are the sameness of vision…
After about 30 minutes of meditation you may start to take deeper inhalations and exhalations. Slowly start to open your eyes.  Pause here as your heart is refueled. Take in the beauty, become aware of the vividness of colors; aware of how beautiful this feels.
I have found myself lately creating yoga classes that have at least a 10 minute meditation practice.  A quote from Max Strom says, “It does not matter how you connect with the silence, it matter’s that you do.” We all need to get to the “Samadhi Station.”
The meditation platform at God’s Mountain Estate inspired me to offer a retreat there next summer. There will be morning meditations on the yoga platform from 6:30-7 am, and a few evening ones too. I can’t wait to sit with like-minded students and refuel ourselves at the Samadhi station on the yoga platform at God’s Mountain.
At God’s Mountain the food is locally grown and prepared with love. The rooms are unique and cozy. I hope you will join me for adventures, the beach, acupuncture and yoga! Just like our meditation. We may travel far away looking for peace, stillness, and knowing. But the truth is, it is always inside of us – we just need to come home to the heart.  This retreat is in honoring of reconnecting with home. I hope to see you here next summer, in this paradise I call home.
Natasha2Natasha Scott, E-RYT500, SOYA is a lead trainer for the SOYA 200 hour yoga teacher training at God’s Mountain Estate near Penticton each October. To learn more about her 5 day retreat, “Under The Sun: An Okanagan Lifestyle Adventure” at God’s Mountain, August 4-8, 2016, go to: www.underthesunok.com