Updated: Jul 18
Can you stand in the middle of change with strength, resilience, and a radiant mind?
The month of May awakens the Snake totem symbolizing transformation of energy from a lower vibration to higher aspects of the mind, body, and spirit.
Just as the snake sheds its skin creating a fascinating metamorphosis, we too can leave behind old patterns and change the way we think, act, and approach life.
Self-awareness is a key factor in the transformation process. When you are aware of what is happening around you it is easier to find your way around situations that arise. The question is; "Can you find an equanimous mindset when you shift from habitual patterns that are responsible for disruptive behaviors to what the Buddhist refers to as “The radiant calm mind?” In essence, by shifting from a conditioned mind, you can discover freedom. Freedom from perception or views you may be clinging to.
Change is going to stir up stuff and tempt you to run the other way but can you resist this urge and remain calm? It is possible if you choose your thoughts carefully, remain focused with a calm radiant mind.
Remember, every experience we have in life is for one purpose – spiritual growth. We are all invited to the party of growth and transformation. The question is, "Will you choose growth or will you remain in the anchors of old behavioral patterns? The choice is yours.
An “equanimous mind” means having a clear and unbiased perspective enriched by insight. The “equanimous mind” is unshakable regardless of an unfavorable event. Instead of feeling victimized, betrayed, or embarrassed, it’s more productive to bring that awareness towards something that gives better understanding of the situation. The impulse to react to a situation is replaced with the urge to understand it.
Steps to Take:
Be in a state of contentment before the desire is fulfilled. In other words, when you have a desire, either you have the faith it will be fulfilled, or have a feeling you don't mind if it happens now, later, or never.
Welcome those people who have negative tendencies. Albeit this sounds counterintuitive, these type of people will bring more skills from within you. With a positive person you do not need to develop any skills, but to deal with negative people, you need to have more skill.
Intention, attention is followed by manifestation. These are three powerful behavioral patterns to master in your life to build and sustain an equanimous mind and body.
Meditation Practice. This is the single most important way to develop an equanimous nature. Meditation will keep your health robust, your mind alert, your intellect sharp, and keep your soul connected to the Divine.
What if you could have mental calmness, composure, and presence of mind, especially in difficult situations? That's the definition of equanimity, a state of mind that exemplifies the polar opposite of what many of us experience in our daily lives -- anxiety, stress, and distraction. Here is a simple mental exercise you can do for10 to 20 minutes a day.
Mindfulness meditation results in overwhelmingly positive effects. It has been shown to minimize rumination, emotional reactivity, distraction, anxiety and depressive symptoms, while simultaneously improving emotion regulation, cognitive flexibility, resiliency, relationship satisfaction, immune function, intuition, and information processing speed.
Mindfulness meditation is a mental exercise that repeats a simple four-step cycle: 1) focusing on your breath (this is the "action" or "response"), 2) inevitably getting distracted by a thought or emotion (this is the "event"), 3) stepping back and noticing that you've been distracted, 4) reflecting on the thought or emotion without judgment and letting it pass (this prevents you from perseverating on it), and then 1) returning the attention to the breath. During the course of a given meditation, this cycle is usually repeated dozens or hundreds of times. Each time it's repeated, it's kind of like doing "reps" at the gym -- you learn to make noticing and reflecting default responses, instead of relying on other habits or emotions.
Find a spot that is quiet and away from distraction.
Set up your area. Ultimately you do not want to sit in a chair, as you may fall asleep.
Your posture and postion is important. You will sit cross legged and find a cushion to sit on. The cushion will allow your behind to be raised so your knees are level with your hips, otherwise the posture will be highly uncomfortable and keeping a straight and erect back will be very hard. Be patient with yourself. With time your back muscles will develop to hold the posture.
Begin the practice by focusing your attention on your breath. Notice the sensations, how your stomach rises and expands on the inhalation and falls on the exhalation. Do not try to manipulate your breath. Simply allow your breath to come naturally. When you are mindful of the breath, you may notice thoughts arise. Don't force them in any manner. Simply be mindful of the thoughts. Don't try to force them out of your mind. Simply acknowledge the thoughts without getting sucked into them. Continue to bring your awareness to your breath - the rise and fall of your stomach. This simple act will sharpen your concentration
Develop the habit. Start your meditation practice by carving out 5 minutes a day. That is all. The goal in the beginning is to establish a habit of meditation. The most important thing to remember is that building a habit like mindfulness meditation is a marathon, not a sprint. The second week add another 5 minutes. The next week, another 5 and so on. We are building a habit in this manner to establish the habit, to enjoy it and begin to get an idea of it. These things will lead to a long term commitment and natural yearning of wanting to meditate.
The fire element is stirring in the month of May. The third chakra "Manipura" known as the "city of jewels," awakens. This is the place where the reign of light and the reign of matter cross paths. There is a lot that can happen when these paths cross. Therefore, it is important we are focused, centered, and disciplined in whatever we take on this month.
Tapas is the heat of self-discipline. Whether we are disciplining ourselves to do yoga asana, to meditate on the breath, or to finish a task at hand. It is through discipline and earnestness we are able to achieve the end goal.
Tapas gives us the focus and willpower we need to keep showing up, face and work through the difficulties, and emerge on the other side transformed and more aware. If you think of yourself as the bindu or seed point to everything else that is going on around you, you can
effectively and efficiently transform one aspect of your life at a time. This is tapas - a simplicity that evolves into a laser like discipline.
The most important dynamic is to show up again and again. Remaining centered and disciplined enough to focus on one thing at a time is essential. With a needle-like focus, you can find the middle way where both sides of the physical and mental self can find perfect balance. This is the point where transformation emerges. Each moment of discipline leads to a grand moment where you come to realize all the hard work paid off.
The 8 (Gen) Earth Star in combination with the Snake month, generates the energy of the sun shining down over the mountain. The sun is not an element of the planet earth, but it is the most important of them all because the sun gives us light, energy and wisdom. This is the element that doesn’t need to receive anything in return for its endless capacity to give. The Sun is the hub of creativity – the producer of new and revolutionary ideas. The minor stems of yang earth and yang metal hidden within the reserves of the snake, represent the mountains, large rockery, and the ores within the earth. The trigram Gen represents the mountains in nature and all of the resources they provide for Mother Earth and all living things. The attributes with Gen trigram are strength, stillness, perseverance, fortitude, and self-cultivation. The intertwined energy of the snake and the mountain this month provides the perfect foundation for our meditation practice. Melding your mind and body with that of the mountain will lead to clarity of who you are. Climbing a mountain is not about conquering it. It’s about conquering You.
Positive Energy Points to Consider:
East: There is a strong quality for leadership and new possibilities this month especially when you derive knowledge from experience or from those who can show you the ropes. Practicing good organizational skills and managing your time efficiently is important. Be precise in the actions you take and listen to your intuition. Place fire and earth elements in this direction to benefit from this energy.
South: There is a very active trigram this month that fuels your soul's mission and goals. Get ready to work overtime on projects or developing new strategy. It is important to slow the pace, however. Remember, the snake totem is methodical, precise, and patient as it sheds its skin. Heed those qualties as you approach your goals this month. Add fire element to this direction to slow the pace of this trigram.
West: The energy that enters the aspect of fun, relaxation, and joy this month has a natural ebb and flow like the ocean waves. Take everything in stride including your approach to work and play. There is natural abundance contained within the energy of this trigram. Therefore, what you can do this month is unlimited. This portent/area of your life, is a reminder to take breaks and replenish your energy so you can be joyful in in everything you do.
Northwest: When it comes to networking, guidance, and leadership this month, create strategies from your higher self. Think of the mountains upon the earth and what they represent; inner stillness, quietude, a sense of calm, strength, and fortitude. Invite your mind and body to become one with the mind and body of the mountain. This is the place where you can guide and lead others to achieve their goals while fulfilling your own. Place earth elements in this direction.
*Keep the center of your structure clean, organized, and open so the energy can matriculate with ease. Moving water or plug-in incense burner bodes well to activate this powerful resource trigram.
Build fire in the month of the snake and mountain trigram with forearm plank pose. This pose is a full body practice that tones your core, arms, and legs. Energetically, this shape offers grounding, strengthening, and an opportunity for deep focus. It’s a great posture to practice to fire up your whole body and build heat in your core. Start in plank pose. Place one forearm on the floor, followed by the other. Align your shoulders directly over your elbows and keep your torso parallel to the floor. Hug your outer hips and inner thighs toward your midline to help you engage your core.
Press your inner forearms and elbows firmly against the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and spread them away from your spine. Similarly, spread your collarbones away from your sternum.
Press your front thighs toward the ceiling, but resist your tailbone toward the floor as you lengthen it toward your heels.
Lift the base of your skull away from the back of the neck and look straight down at the floor, keeping your throat and eyes soft.
Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then, release your knees to the floor with an exhalation and press back into child's pose.