The Importance of Meditation
Gannon is a renowned yoga master, instructor and animal rights activist. In 1984, she and her partner David Life created the Jivamukti Yoga Method, which is a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings. They are pioneers in teaching yoga as spiritual activism/activation. The JY Method emphasizes vinyasa, scriptural study, devotion, prayer, music, chanting and meditation as well as animal rights, veganism, environmentalism and political activism.
Jivamukti's passionate focus on the original meaning of the Sanskrit word "asana" as seat, connection, relationship to the earth is as practical as it is radical at this time of global and consciousness shift. The Jivamukti Yoga Method is taught worldwide at Jivamukti Yoga Schools in NYC, Detroit, Toronto, London, Berlin and Munich. The Jivamukti practice is also available on DVDs Yoga Journal has recognized Gannon and Life, as innovators in Yoga and "The New York Times" says, "Without Jivamukti, yoga in the U.S. would still be the obscure practice of a few."
"Time Magazine" recognized Jivamukti Yoga as one of the nine methods of Hatha Yoga taught in the world today. JY is featured in the acclaimed documentary film: What is Yoga? Sharon is a featured yogini in various books: "Yoga" by Linda Sparrowe, "American Yoga" by Carrie Schneider, "Yogini" by Janice Gates and "Women to Women" by Christina Lessa.
Topic: The Importance of Meditation
Sharon Gannon: Meditation, spending time every day in the practice of “stop, look, and listen.” Basically that’s what meditation is about. You stop, you look, you listen. You sit down, and whatever thoughts, whatever physical sensations arise, you allow them to arise and you let them go.
Meditation is the practice of letting go. In other words, you don’t get up and do something about it. For just a few minutes every day. And this may sound contradictory to my passion about activism; but without taking the time every day to let things come and let things go without acting upon it, you won’t have the clarity of mind. You won’t have the calmness that is needed. You won’t be able to come from a place of joy and respect for the other person that you’re going to come into contact with during the day – the many other beings.
The need for meditation is similar to our need for sleep every day. We’re going to be more effective in our waking hours if we have a good night’s sleep. Well we’ll be more effective in our interactions with others if we take some time everyday to meditate, and not thinking that; we’re so habituated to if the phone rings, we answer it. Someone knocks on the door, we get up and see who it is. We’re so habituated to reacting to every stimulus.
So mediation is just when you don’t do that for a few minutes. You just don’t do it. You just don’t react.
Recorded on: October 31, 2007
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