by Donna Quesada: I remember my teacher saying to “dive into the cosmic self.” I thought to myself that whatever the cosmic self was…
it would be like a magical turquoise pool with a waterfall, where I would feel totally at ease inside.
PART I—The Cosmic Self
There may not be waterfalls, but metaphorically speaking, he was talking about calm waters. The Cosmic Self is a space, or state of being, where anxiety diminishes. In Kundalini Yoga, we refer to this space as The Neutral Mind. Mostly, we are braving the waves of life, reacting emotionally to life’s challenges and problems, often feeling like they’re too big to deal with. But the neutral mind is the tranquil lagoon where we find clarity.
As I sit here, stewing in the aftermath of a minor dispute with someone I love, my main objective is to find my way back to that space… the neutral mind. When someone does something or says something that feels neglectful or needlessly harsh, the inner warrior wants to rise up, and wave the red flag because we feel injured. Or we may feel that our boundaries have been broken, in the sense that whatever was done felt unacceptable. But then in the very next breath, we question ourselves… maybe they didn’t mean anything by it. Maybe I’m just taking it too personally. This is the negative mind versus the positive mind.
The negative mind’s sole purpose in life is to protect us, while the positive mind just wants to see the good. The negative mind says “that’s not okay.” And many times rightly so and not soon enough. The negative mind looks for those red flags. The positive mind overlooks and sees beyond. It’s the classic rose colored lens. But because it overlooks, it can sometimes miss the red flags and consequently make silly decisions.
The idea is to have all three minds working in tandem, together, with each one taking the load at appropriate times.
The neutral mind, on the other hand, considers the perspectives of both the positive mind, as well as the negative mind. And when it is strong… when we’re able to tap into it, it is able to access a special vantage point that is more in sync with what is best for you in the long haul… it sees beyond the shortterm emotional responses, which tend to be reactionary.
That space beyond is what my teacher referred to as “the cosmic self.”
PART II—The Practice
I have found that when I’m able to access my neutrality, it is as if a pathway into the heart opens up at the same time. My emotional stance softens and my perspective becomes wider. I’m less entrenched in the fear-based stories my head is spinning, and more established in the heart—which is driven by love… and boy does it feel better to reside there! I’m able to see things differently… and the effect of that shift feels like balm on a wound.
Here is a healing meditation to open up the heart:
MEDITATION—The Healing Mantra: RA MA DA SA
1.(Posture) Sit comfortably on any cushion, so that your spine naturally elongates.
2.(Mudra) Bend your elbows and tuck them down comfortably, but firmly, against your ribs, with your palms open to the sky, as in the photo above.
3.(Mantra) This mantra consists of 8 basic sounds: Ra Ma Da Sa, Sa Say So Hung. It taps into the energies of the sun, moon, earth, and the Infinite Spirit to bring deep healing. As you chant the mantra, pull the navel point in, toward your spine, on Hung. Note that the word Hung is not long and drawn out. Rather, it is clipped off, as you pull the navel in. Chant one complete cycle of the entire mantra with each breath. Then deeply inhale and repeat. Enjoy the feeling that chanting brings… allow yourself to melt into it. Feel the vibration and resonance in the mouth and in the sinus area. Feel your heart opening.
4.(Drishti/Gaze) Eyes may be gently closed.
5.(Mental Focus) Let your concentration fall on the qualities that are evoked by the combination of sounds.You may be chanting for your own healing or you may choose to send the healing to someone else, in which case you would try to visualize the person or pet that needs healing, as you send them this healing energy.
6.(To End) Try to chant for 11 minutes. But any amount of time will work! This mantra opens the heart and heals all emotional wounds. To end, inhale deeply and hold your breath. You may chant for yourself or to send love and healing to others. If you are chanting for someone, visualize the person, or pet you wish to heal. See them completely engulfed in healing white light and completely healed. Then exhale and inhale deeply again, hold the breath, and exhale. To complete, inhale deeply, one more time, then stretch your arms up high, and vigorously shake out your hands and fingers for several seconds.