In the first lesson of the 40 lesson series Bob Smith broadly defines meditation, works with breathing practices and with concentration – contemplarion exercises. Meditation is described as the process of going inward to witness underlying patterns of one’s own pyche, to open the mind to a broader perspective, to open our being to great archetypal energies and ultimately, finding union with all that is. In the first lesson Yogic meditation is explored (asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, Union). The seated posture for meditation is looked into. Bob goes over numerous breathing techniques to open the lungs and chest cavity and to open one’s understanding of what it takes to breathe well. The breath work is thorough. In the last part of the offering Bob works with concentration exercises of points around the head and within. Contemplation upon an infinity sign between the two ears occurs, followed by the visualization of a flame within the center of the brain. Time is given for corpse pose a couple of times in the offering. Background music is that of the night sounds of Bali. The first offering gets the 40 lesson program off to a great start – this is a new version of lesson #1.
In the second offering of the 40 lesson series Ki leads meditations on the breath, the Yamas and Niyamas and upon the image of the lotus flower. Posture and breath exercises are carefully explored, followed by a meditation on the underpinnings of the path of yoga, the Yamas and the Niyamas. These are the first two steps of the eightfold path of yoga. The lotus meditation is a classic yogic meditation theme that is embellished with beautiful lotus imagery. Other parts of the offering also have inspiring meditation images to go along with the ever steady presence and radiance of Ki. Background music includes Ki playing chimes or melodiously chanting softly. It is a beautifully constructed meditation that gently leads you into a state of expanded awareness. This offering has a voice boost to it and otherwise is the same as the previous version.
In the 3rd offering of the series Bob begins with an overview of the whole meditation course to set the stage. This is a wide ranging meditation on the body, the breath and on developing concentration – asana, pranayama and dharana (concentration). As long time Hatha Yoga instructors, Ki and Bob have a lot to offer concerning asana and meditation position and Bob gives many good suggestions, while sprinkling in numerous simple asanas to help your back feel better. There is a lot of focus on the breath in this lesson Bob leads you in three pranayama exercises: ujaii, bhastrika and alternate nostril breathing. The clarity of explanation on how to breathe is refreshing. The concentration exercises include focusing attention on points surrounding the head and then into a deep place inside the head. Corpse pose is explored twice in the offering. The background sounds are of night sounds in the jungle. This is a gentle and yet involving lesson on asana, pranayama and concentration. It is a completely new version of lesson #3.
In the fourth offering of the 40 lesson series Ki McGraw leads a contemplation exercise upon one of the basic tenants of yoga, ahimsa. Ahimsa translates as non-violence towards self and towards others. Ki sets up the meditation with ujaii breathing and increases the length of time of the exhales and inhales slowly for centering purposes. Bhastrika breathing is used as a way to clear energy and as a way to help you look at the underlying causes of any kind of violent thoughts or feelings you possibly hold in your psyche. You will learn a lot about yourself as you are guided through security issues – ultimately finding that the security of the Divine light in your soul will give you the greatest security. Photos nature from Ki and Bob are sprinkled in to enhance the beauty and elegance of the offering. Ki’s strong presence and clarity lead you into a peaceful presence. Harmonious background sounds are birds singing and Ki playing wind chimes. Filmed at the HYC in Seattle, this fourth meditation is foundational to the lessons that follow. This is a remake of lesson #4.
In the fifth lesson of the series Bob explores pranayama and meditation upon a candle flame. The pranayama breaths, all led iin great detail, are: ujjaii, bhastrika and alternate nostril breathing. The candle takes front and center stage for the second half of this masterful offering. Tratakam, open eyed meditation is a part of the experience with the flame, as is bringing the flame into the third eye. Ultimately the concentration – contemplation exercise leads to a state of union with the candle. Ki McGraw’s beautiful chanting, as well as melodic wind chimes add background music. The lesson has contained within it an awakening experience.
In this sixth lesson of the series Ki introduces the concept of the chakras. It is a beautiful meditation in which you will experience the seven energy centers. Breathing practices, hand mudras and concentration exercises will help you to open the chakras within your body. This foundational meditation is the key to understanding the spinning wheels of energy that are frequently talked about and yet infrequently understood in terms of experiential knowledge. This initial chakra meditation leads to the many that follow. Ki chanting and playing melodic wind chimes accompany as background music. Beautiful chakra images are sprinkled into the offering, as well as an action video of the chakras in energetic motion.
In lesson #7 of Introduction to Meditation each chakra is explored in detail. Cleansing breaths for each chakra go along with Bob’s meditation upon intricacies of the yogic chakra system. Beautiful graphics of each chakra are displayed as the ancient system is uncovered in brilliant detail. The individual chakra themes and the grand picture of how they are intertwined and work together make this meditation very special. The meditation ends with a heart chakra opening. The guidance of the great Sufi mystic, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, inspires this offering.
In lesson #8 of Introduction to Meditation Ki McGraw leads a captivating meditation upon the seed syllable sounds of the seven chakras. Ki guides you through each chakra, with the sound vibration of each. The bija mantras for the chakras are: lang, vang, rang, yang, hang, ang, om. These seed syllable sounds, that you also chant along with Ki, will help to wake your chakra field up. The seven bija mantras will be chanted all together to bring the entire chakra system into alignment. It is a simple and powerful sound meditation practice.
In the ninth lesson of Introduction to Meditation Bob leads a meditation upon the channels of energy called ida, pingala, and the sushumna. How to open the chakras is explored by engaging the three main energy channels in which the chakras are embedded. The pranayama breaths include bhastrika, ujaii and a lot of alternate nostril breathing, done in numerous ways. The spiraling energy of ida and pingala helps the opening of each chakra, within the sushumna channel. Special meditation focus is upon the opening of the third eye, and how all the chakras support each other.
In the 10th lesson of Introduction to Meditation Ki works with purification breaths for the chakras, in particular, for the first four chakras. Pranayama pervades throughout the lesson, with Sufi purification breaths used to cleanse the elemental forces embedded within the chakras. Those of you who have not been introduced to the Sufi purification breaths will find these cleansing breaths to be revivifying. Nature sounds and Ki chanting make the background music pleasant as the first four chakras are brought into harmony and balance, so the entire chakra system can flow with energy.
In the 11th lesson of the meditation series Bob continues the chakra meditation work of the previous five lessons. Alternate nostril breathing is explored in numerous ways. Ida, pingala and sushumna and how to move energy through these channels is explored in depth. The three main bandhas of pranayama practice are introduced (mula bandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha). In the last part of the meditation the first four chakras are paired and worked with, and then the top three chakras. Soft and melodic wind chime music and Ki chanting serve as the vibrational background to Bob’s clear voice instruction in this offering.
In the 12th offering of the series Ki continues the work of opening the chakras. Alternate nostril breathing ties in the meditation of the previous lesson, and this leads to deep, internal body work with the bandhas – mula bandha, uddiyana bandha, and jalandhara bandha. Ki’s precise muscular explanation of how the bandhas work is brilliant in its depth and clarity. Practice with the bandhas is intertwined with the awakening of particular chakras. Attention is directed into the manipura chakra in the last portion of the lesson, and this leads into a meditation upon inner guidance and inner power. This, in turn, leads to a balancing of all the chakras. It is a powerful meditation lesson.
In the 13th lesson of their meditation course Bob continues to develop the concept of how energy moves through the chakras. The pranayama breath exercises include bhastrika, alternate nostril breathing and ujaii, with the three bandhas applied at very specific moments. The meditation turns to the inlet of the third chakra and the outlet of the heart chakra and there is rich work done in the manipura and anahata chakras. Throat chakra and ajna chakra focus concludes the meditation. The background music of the Tibetian singing bowls and some special effect video visuals of the spinning chakras enhance the meditation lesson.
In the 14th lesson of the series Ki works with the crown chakra and the ajna chakra. Ki guides you into opening and receiving energy through the crown of the head and then sending a transformed out the third eye. The main practice is an 11 minute Sa Ta Na Ma chanting practice,with mudras, that is introspective and powerful. The meditation footage begins in Seattle and then is dynamized by video footage of Ki in Bali. It is a captivating lesson.
In the 15th lesson of the series Bob Smith introduces the meditative voices of Pir Vilayat Khan and Pir Zia Khan and with them, the message of Sufism. Bob was initiated into the Sufi Order in 1971 and in this lesson he brings forward a glimpse of the brilliant meditations of his teacher, Pir Vilayat, as well as the clarity and insight of Pir Zia, Khan. The meditation segments are drawn from the library of work Bob did for the Sufi Order International in 2005 & 2006, when he helped to digitize and reformat worn out audio cassette tape recordings of Pir Vilayat Khan. In this offering he introduces Pir Zia Khan, present head of the Sufi Order International – this is followed by numerous Pir Vilayat Khan meditation segments. The presentation includes a visually pleasing array of photographs of the three great Sufi masters, and of nature and imagery that apply to the particular meditations. Included is some treasured film footage of Pir Vilayat Khan. The voice, emotion and brilliance of Pir Vilayat Khan will likely make this a personal favorite of yours to watch and practice with.
In the 16th offering of the series Ki McGraw leads a meditation on Spiritual Reading. KI reads from Sufi poets, the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutras in the last part of the offering. A guided meditation in which you discover a unique and particularized sacred book forms the body of this lesson. Background sounds of nature and Tibetian Singing Bowls add to the ambience.
In the 17th offering of the series Bob works with purification of the body-psyche through the water element. The meditation begins with a visualization of the the flow of blood through the circulatory system in timed harmony with the breath. Bob explores the sacral, heart and crown chakras in the purification of these chakras with water. A flowing river becomes the subject of contemplation and this is likened to the river of consciousness that flows through us. Pir Vilayat Khan wraps the meditation up with words of inspiration concerning how to purify the chakras through the power and magnetism of water . Beautiful video footage of the Ayung River in Bali, Indonesia and inspiring photos of streams, lakes and rivers add richness; as does the background music of Tibetian Singing Bowls.
In the 18th lesson of the series Ki leads a meditation on the tortoise channel and how to transmute the stresses of life into inner resolve. The work is on opening to the strength, courage, truth and innate wisdom that is to be found within. Ki works with the heart chakra and on the opening of the tortoise channel above the heart chakra to help us use the greatest challenges of life to bring out the best qualities in us. It is an inspiring meditation with Tibetian Singing Bowls as background music
In the 19th lesson of the series Bob leads a meditation on entering into the consciousness of a flower, a pet and another human. There is a lot of depth and wisdom shared in the contemplation-meditation upon these life forms. As you enter into the consciousness of a particular flower you will know what it is like to be this flower. As you enter into the memory of a particular pet you will rediscover the endearing qualities of this pet and reflect on the bonding that occurred. As you enter into the consciousness of a human who is near and dear to your heart you will find an ability to know and love this person in a new way. Background photos of flowers, dogs and cats, as well as video footage of four of Bob & Ki’s furry creatures add to this offering. Tibetian singing bowls serve as background music.
In the 20th lesson of the series Ki explores the subject matter of life and death. Breathing practices in which life and death are both experienced in the light of understanding of the Divine consciousness are explored. The physical, astral, and causal planes of existence are developed in a unified whole picture that Ki develops delicately and intricately. How to bring the light of conscious understanding to friends and family who are facing death is reflected upon. Looking into one’s own physical mortality is looked at in relationship to one”s own immortality. How to stand in the light of the eternal Divine presence is the theme of this lesson. Beautiful photos and Tibetian singing bowl background music enhance the offering.
In the 21st lesson of the series Bob relays a meditation on the seasons of the breath, and the seasons of one’s life. Timing a phase of each breath to winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons begins the meditation. The contemplation turns toward an examination of the seasons in one’s life of intimate partnerships and family; business life and spirituality. It is a well developed meditation that will help you to understand the cyclical nature of your life, and. Beautiful photos of all four seasons as well as Tibetian singing bowl background music add to the offering.
In the 22nd lesson of the series Ki leads a meditation on the mountain of our being. Her creative visualization begins by tracing the pyramid shape that the body creates in a cross legged seated position. Ki then guides you through a journey that leads to a mountain temple residing within the mountain of your being. You will find yourself at the inner sanctum of the temple, and there discover a great priest or priestess, who ultimately turns out to be none other than you. You are then led back down the mountain. Beautiful photos and Tibetian singing bowl background music enhance the offering.
In the 23rd lesson of the series Bob works with the consciousness that lies behind a garden, a river valley, a forest, the wind and the sun, among other groupings He develops the theme that it is conscious energy (chit-shakti) lying behind the whole evolution of life and that it is conscious energy that lies behind organic groupings of life forms. Bob picks the Ayung River Valley in Bali, Indonesia to work with. Reflection upon the valley leads to reflection upon the wind and sun, and how conscious intention lies behind all aspects of life. Beautiful photos and videos accompany, as does background music of Tibetian singing bowls.
In this lesson Ki McGraw reflects and meditates on that which is the energy of the feminine, and upon the Divine Feminine. Opening up the ida channel and reflecting upon the cyclical nature of the moon and internal body energy leads to a discussion of the how to tap into the Divine Feminine. Ki leads a beautiful flower cleansing meditation with particular flowers used to purify anything negative residing within the body-psyche to do with feminine characteristics. A bouquet of flowers is used as all aspects of the feminine are explored. Ki is radiant and clear in her presentation. Photos of the moon, mother nature, goddesses, and many other aspects of the Divine Feminine add focus; and the background music of Tibetian Singing Bowls helps to create an atmosphere that is harmonically peaceful.
In this lesson Bob Smith leads a meditation on the Divine Masculine, following Ki’s work with the Divine Feminine in the previous lesson. The focus begins on the sun and continues into that which is, by nature, masculine. The ego driven male energy is looked at in its distorting tendencies to conquer mother nature and rule all institutions in a patriarchal ruled society. The way to bring in the great archetypal male qualities into one’s life is reflected upon. The beings of Shiva, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Abraham, Moses and Christ are invoked and brought into the present moment of the meditation. The Divine Masculine archetypes are explored. Photos of the sun and the avatars enhance the offering, as does the Tibetian singing bowls as background music
In the 26th lesson of the series Ki McGraw explores the marriage of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine in breathing practices and in prayer. Ki reflects on the Lord’s prayer and the Hail Mary prayer in new and engaging ways. The way of prayer is developed as a meditation, as a way to unite the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine. Ki’s reinterprets the Lord’s prayer by developing the chakras in with the familiar Christian prayer. She next develops a beautiful reinterpretation of the Hail Mary prayer that is full of inspiration and heart. Bob comes in to join Ki in the Salat, a Sufi prayer brought forward by Hazrat Inayat Khan. The Salat, is a prayer Bob and Ki do on a daily basis. This lesson is heartfelt and prayerful. The background music is the sound of Tibetian singing bowls.that add harmony to the offering.
In the 27th lesson of the series Ki works with forgiveness as the theme of the meditation. As a psychotherapist and as a meditation instructor Ki has found that forgiving others for what they have done, and do, becomes crucial to the evolution of one’s own soul, and the evolution of others . Ki leads you to explore the particulars of some painful experiences and then the possibilities for forgiveness are explored from the meditative perspective. The breath is used in conjunction with emotions to direct energy and consciousness to all possible ways to bring forgiveness through. Birds singing in the jungle serve as background music.
In the 28th lesson of the series Bob Smith works with prayer and the subtle differences between prayer and meditation. The five stages of prayer, as outlined by the great Sufi mystic, Hazrat Inayat Khan, are reflected upon. The five stages of prayer are: 1)Thanksgiving, gratitude 2) Purification, repentance 3) Invocation 4) Supplication, asking for help 5) Union with the Divine. Each aspect of these five stages are explored in depth by Bob in the meditation lesson. This is a very inspiring reflection that will bring light onto the subject matter of how to pray and how to become prayerful. Background sounds of birds in the jungle add to the offering. In the last 10 minutes of the lesson you are treated to a recording of Pir Zia Khan on he particular aspect of prayer, repentance. Pir Zia’s articulate reflection adds depth and insight to the subject matter of prayer.
In the 29th lesson of the series Ki leads a meditation on an examination of loss and grief in our lives and what we can do about it. Losses include dreams, ideals models, hopes, people and anything that has been dear to one. You are led into an examination of how particular losses have gone for you in your life. The recollection of past moments is linked with the growth and evolvement that has led you into the present moment. In the loss and the grieving processes you will be carried on a journey of healing. The image of the banyan tree is brought forward as the great symbol of grief. Ki’s and Bob’s video footage of the majesty, beauty and elegance of the banyan trees of Bali is used as a symbol for grief. These great trees show that new growth can come from the weeping vines of the older parts, and in fact, the many weeping vines bring forward new roots and new trunks out of the surrounding ground. This meditation is all about growing and evolving a past story of grief and loss into the light of the present understanding.
In the 30th lesson of the series Bob Smith continues the work with prayer and meditation. Conscience is worked with. Guilt, anger and resentment are reflected upon, with practices to cleanse and purify. Bob explores prayer as a way to ask for help from all the great beings and from the Divine Being. The world wide crises that presently distorts all the major institutions is looked at as a world wide spiritual crisis. Evolution is required right now. We need help. We need to pray. Bob relays the prayer of Hazrat Inayat Khan, the Saum, and reflects on how the prayer is put together. What are the essential ingredients of a powerful prayer? The layering of the hierarchy of guidance is described and the way that the great archetypes can be brought forward into our lives becomes the prayer and the meditation. It is a profound offering. Background music are the birds of the jungle singing.
In the 31st lesson of the series Ki McGraw leads a meditation on transformation. Bhastrika and other breathing exercises allow you to the direct energy and consciousness into the third eye, with its two wings. A deep, central issue is explored and the wings of the third eye are used to see through the issue. Ki uses creative imagination to bring you to explore your challenges as having stages of development, much like a butterfly has stages. The butterfly metaphor is used to explore the stages that are taking place within you, and how they are taking place. It is a poetic offering as Ki moves from breathing to brain anatomy, to third eye abilities, from the caterpillar to the cocoon to the butterfly, from the cocoon of one’s innermost problems to the opening of the butterfly wings of one’s understanding, from the inner to the outer, from problem to transformation of problem, and all in a seamless manner. Beautiful video footage of Ki and Bob in a Balinese butterfly park enhances the offering, as does the background sound of birds singing in the jungle.
In the 32nd lesson of the series Bob works with the ancient Yogic meditation technique – tratakam. Tratakam is meditation with open eyes. There are two meditations worked with. The first is tratakam upon a particular object of nature that you can look at and through. Bob uses a flower of a Plumeria Tree growing in Bali and the meditation leads to a connectivity with all that surrounds the flowering tree. The 2nd part of the meditation is sitting before a mirror and looking right through yourself into the third eye point in the mirror. It is a powerful meditation that works on many levels of attunement. You will be transfixed by this meditation into ultimately seeing the eternal face that lies behind your face while witnessing all kinds of other phenomena passing through the screen of the mind. Background music of birds singing in the jungle add to this offering.
In the 33rd lesson of the series Ki McGraw works with the idea of co-creating your future from a meditative state. This meditation she refers to as rehearsal for life. It is all about bringing the vision of our higher mind into our everyday reality. Looking at the real problems of our life while in the meditative state brings forth strategies for the best possible outcomes. Inspiration from the great archetypes are brought forward and options for the best way to face our challenges is reflected upon. The tests of life can bring out the best in us if we open to what each test asks of us. Human greatness can be measured in how we handle our everyday responsibilities – if we can pursue duty as our most sacred trust then the highest qualities will be brought through in any possible situation. The Sufi teaching is that it is the Divine desire to accomplish and achieve that comes through us, and we must honor this. Images of great human beings, and background music of the night sounds of Bali add to the offering..
In the 34th lesson of the series Bob reflects on the concept of the spiritual warrior. The Sufi notion is that we have made a pledge from a higher plane to serve the knighthood of the Divine Being while on the earth. The plight of the world, in all its distortions and illusions, is clearly pointed out, as is the way through these issues. It comes down to us as individuals safeguarding the needs of our own soul, as well as the souls of all beings. The last part of the lesson includes video footage from the eloquent Sraddhalu Ranade from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram discussing the crying need of humanity at this moment in history. The sounds of birds serve as the background for this inspired meditation.
In the 35th lesson of the series Ki leads a meditation on how to bring the Divine expression through in working on the very problems you have. The key is to find a way to resource yourself from the Divine supply. Ki leads numerous breathing and attention focusing exercises that open you to face your greatest challenges in the meditative moment, recognizing that it is the biggest challenges that can lead to the biggest breakthroughs. It is life’s tests that strengthen us and evolve us, if we can be resourced by opening to the Divine attributes that are always inside of us. When we are in a time of need the strongest attributes can be awakened, and we can open the channel for this to happen in meditation. Ki leads you into a transcendent state with some powerful imagery and then carefully back down the mountain. It is an inspiring meditation in which you will find yourself quite ready to embrace whatever life has to offer. The background music is of night sounds in Bali.
In the 36th lesson of the series Bob works with a Sufi practice called the Zhikr. The Zhikr is a remembrance prayer that the Sufis regard as THE prayer to practice on a daily basis. The mantra is worked with in the Christian words of Christie Eleison and Kyrie Eleison, and then in the Sufi words, Ila, llha hu. The meaning of the of the prayer is brought through in the second half of the offering. How to bring the unitive state into our diurnal life is only completed by bringing God through into our everyday lives. Keeping the presence of God alive is explored by keeping a powerful prayer, such as the Zhikr, going inside of you while you are in the midst of daily life. Background music are the night sounds of Bali.
In the 37th lesson of the series Ki McGraw works with the meditation of co-creating the life we wish to lead. The reflection is about breaking free from internal and external entrapment to find peace within, and then to bring this deep resonance forward. How to manifest well is the focus of this meditation. Co-creating with the Divine has grand ramifications in that the ego needs to take a supportive role for it to be co-creative. Ways to be in touch with the Divine and use your ego-personality self effectively while in the world is the work of the second half of the offering. This meditation is another stage of coming down the mountain in Ki and Bob’s meditation series. Sounds of birds singing make for a pleasant background.
In the 38th lesson of the series Bob leads a Sufi meditation. After the Sufi Invocation and its explanation, the full Zhikr is worked with. Zhikr is the quintessential practice of the Sufis. The layering of the Divine manifestation is then explored in terms of how the Divine qualities come through the masters, saints, prophets, devas, suryas. angels, archangels and humans of all varieties. It is the Divine desire to expand the great archetypal qualities through the tests of life. It is our very own personality that can bring these qualities through into life. The guiding light of Hazrat Inayat Khan comes through as Bob reads some of the great master’s strategies for bringing the radiance of our soul through into our everyday life. The offering ends with an amazing meditation talk by Sraddhalu Ranade, from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Background music is the night sounds of the jungle.
In the next to last lesson of the series Ki works with biological and Divine inheritance. Ki has you reflect on the genetic encoding of your family history, and upon the slow evolution that has occurred through sacrifice and learning in your family. This encoding is carefully looked at as the object of this meditation. The meditation moves to our Divine inheritance and how to contact the higher attributes. We have the infinite potential of bringing forward gifts from the planes of light from which we have come. Ki asks you to bring forward light from the ancient ancestry of the planes of light of the Divine, as well as to bring forward the highest potential of your genetic encoding. We do this for the evolution of our soul and for the betterment of humankind. Night sounds of Bali enhance the offering.
In the 40th and final lesson of the meditation series Bob looks back and gives an overview of the course. The course has included: Yogic meditations, chakra meditations, Sufi meditations, nature meditations, the Divine Feminine & Masculine, a deep look into prayer, being a spiritual warrior, rehearsing for life, samadhi with open eyes, coming down the mountain and many ways to bring the Divine through into everyday life. Lesson #40 is a celebration as Bob picks some of his favorite meditations from the course and works with the themes in this lesson. The meditation begins with numerous pranayama exercises and this leads into concentration exercises, including gazing at a candle. Focus on the chakras, in turn, leads to a creative visualization of creating sacred space inside of you to commune with a very high being, who turns out to be none other than your highest self. In the early part of the chakra meditation Ki comes in and Bob and Ki lead you in chanting the seed sounds for each chakra. At the end Ki comes in to close the work of Bob and Ki with the Gayatri Mantra. Background sounds are of birds singing. After the closing of Bob and Ki’s words, next you have the opportunity to listen to Pir Vilayat Khan give us the Sufi message that is embedded within the entire 40 lesson meditation course. Pir Vilayat brings forward the teachings of his father, Hazrat Inayat Khan, to conclude the lesson and the entire course. Thank you for helping to change the planet through an expansion of consciousness.