Saturday December 26, 2009: I sat for Saturday’s meditation following a Yin Yoga practice and used the bija mantra. In spite of a calm, quiet house and a calm, quiet body, my mind was in no mood to settle down. As I chanted the mantras and moved the energy up my spine, I found that I was replaying a conflict I had with someone several months ago. I was considering if and how I might approach her and whether she would respond. In my investigation of chakra meditation, I have read that part of the process is purifying each chakra. As I understand it, we store a lot of our mental and emotional baggage in each of our chakras and, as we meditate on the chakras, we are forced to sort of unpack that baggage and face it in ways that can be really challenging to our egos. In order to achieve bliss, it seems, we have to recognize the ways that we think and behave that prevent us from understanding our true nature and the true nature of the world around us. Part of this work is looking deep enough within to recognize those patterns so we can do the difficult work of changing our behavior. In previous meditations, while I have occasionally been distracted by passing thoughts or mental “to do” lists, I have not really found myself considering past actions. So, I stayed with my internal investigation of this conflict and just let it play out during the meditation. Part of that involved composing an email to her in my head that involved an apology and an explanation. Eventually, I decided to try to shift my focus by coming back to the bija mantra. Using the mantra, I was able to navigate away from my thoughts of this person and our conflict and back to an awareness of my body and the energy flowing through it. When I finished the meditation, I felt fairly calm and I did not return to my thoughts of this person and our difficulties. But, thinking back on it now, I realize that my train of thought during meditation was geared more towards how I might “fix” things with this person. While I did consider things I might have done at the time to prevent the conflict from developing at all, I was more stuck on how I might change this person’s opinion of me now. So, my desire to resolve the conflict is more ego-driven than selfless. I want her to like me and to think well of me. I want us to interact in a way that is more pleasant and less stressful for me. From a yogic perspective, a more helpful approach might be to forget this person’s opinion of me and instead ask myself, “Do I continue to do the same things that led to this past conflict and, if so, how can I change the way I think or act in these situations?” I miss the beginning of this meditation challenge when it was all cool sensations and pretty colors. Digging this deep can make you feel kind of small and hopelessly mired in bad habits.