Meditation Is The Key That Unlocks Your Secret Garden

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  • Before I discovered the physical aspect of Yoga in my early twenties, meditation and mindful day-dreaming were always part of my daily life. It was something I practiced naturally as a little girl. I have memories of walking my dog in the rose gardens at my local park and I’d sit quietly with the flowers, cloud gazing or being present with the bumblebees, sometimes with my journal, other times with a novel. 

    Katie Kalyani

    When I say “mindful day-dreaming” I mean, this isn’t something that just happens and I am suddenly away with the fairies. I meditate on a visual journey I wish to explore and I take my mind there. It has been my foundation for all my art, creative writing and poetry projects. It also gives me the concentration I need for yoga asana practice.

    In Ayurveda my constitution is Vata-Kapha, so this means I am naturally a very grounded and earthy person in the body (which is a very Kapha trait). Kapha types are also known to be loving and calm, while having a great sense of stability. The Vata aspect to me is extremely creative with a vivid imagination. Combining these two doshas enables me to have groundedness and patience to sit in meditation and allow for the mind to explore without losing touch with reality whilst being in the present moment. Like a kite tied to a tree.

    My practice in meditation has greatly strengthened my imagination in waking life but it has also gifted me the ability to lucid dream and astral project. I’ve had these abilities since I was a child and thought everyone could do it so it felt a little lonely growing up realising this ability is not common. Therefore, I had to hide away a large part of my personality and felt very misunderstood when adults and kids alike learned of my “spiritual” nature and thought me “weird”.

    I was bullied throughout school and ridiculed by family members during most of my childhood. Meditation gave me the inner strength of self reflection and an inner tranquility that encouraged me to remain true to myself and lead with a heart of integrity and compassion. I am at peace now with my past; people judge what they do not understand. 

    Without meditation and the ability to tap into other realms of consciousness, I wouldn’t be who I am today. In my personal and professional life I am known to be a calming yet mystical presence in people’s lives and that is truly humbling. It is also greatly healing for me to hear this feedback from others, to be finally seen and validated rather than ridiculed. That my way of being and my “gifts” have a place in the world. There will always be people who misunderstand me and those walking a similar path but that’s OK! If we were all the same, the world would be a boring place!

    Meditation has helped me overcome social anxiety, shyness, writer’s block and feelings of low self worth. Meditation with a hint of visual journey magic brings my mind to focus. Meditation allows for difficult thoughts to surface peacefully and encourages emotional regulation through observing and combing through thoughts and feelings that bubble up. I allow myself to cry, smile and even drift off to sleep sometimes. I simply surrender to the moment.

    Katie Kalyani

    When I sit in meditation I can take myself to a place in my heart where my grandmother resides. She’s always waiting for me there, in my heart temple, reminding me I am loved and that I am a Being of love. 

    As a sensory person I enjoy meditating to soft soundscapes and being in environments of sacred beauty that add to the experience such as the use of candles, singing bowls, mantra, essential oils and flowers. I find it difficult to meditate in complete silence. Perhaps this would be a fantastic challenge for me to explore, however variety is the spice of life and I believe there are multiple ways people can meditate. 

    Similarly to finding the right yoga class, teacher and style that brings you joy. It is important to find what works for you in meditation also.

    I created these two meditations during lockdown as a way to help others in my own small way. I’m not very good at sewing, so I couldn’t contribute by making face masks. My environment wouldn’t allow me to teach online yoga classes and I don’t have a car so I couldn’t help the elderly in my local community with their shopping. 

    Pondering on how to be of service somehow, I remembered lovely comments being made about my voice by past work colleagues in my retail job. They remarked that I sounded as calm as a zen monk, even in such a chaotic environment. Then whilst in Bali during my yoga teacher training, my teachers told me I have a powerful throat chakra. Soon after in my Reiki level 2 attunement, my teacher told me there is great healing in my throat chakra, not just for myself but that it will expand and help others. I figured, there must be something to this if people keep saying such sweet things? But it is very difficult to let go of old thought patterns from your past. I suffered a great deal with a throat chakra that had closed down.

    Katie Kalyani

    The magic of mantra and sanskrit during my meditative practice soothed that hurt locked in my throat chakra. Chanting mantra or singing kirtan felt like lullabies that healed that part of my inner child and now I sing all the time at my altar. 

    This healing gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself. These two meditations were born through my love of visual journeying and through the healing of wounds locked in my voice. 

    Alchemy of the Heart Meditation takes you on a journey through worlds within your heart chambers. Allowing you to explore your inner temple, a place of refuge when the outside world feels too chaotic. All of us struggle with a wounded or broken heart, this kind of trauma can affect the whole body. Tapping into the heart space allows for love, compassion and forgiveness to grow. This is a great guided meditation for anxiety and insomnia as well as self love and soothing emotional wounds. It includes a sample of my Earth Prayer Poem too. Ayurvedically this meditation is perfect for Vata types, it is creative with a warm loving vibe and set to solfeggio tones that resonate with the frequency of a heartbeat.

    Ocean Dreaming Meditation was inspired by three dreams I had. The first when I was 15 and was visited by a woman on a beach. The second was a recent dream in a lagoon full of lions and mermaids relaxing on the rocks; they seem to be primary dream symbols in my life. 

    I wanted to create a meditation that encourages the individual to play with and expand on their third eye; their imagination. We tend to lose that childlike wonderment when we become adults. But it is deeply healing for calming the mind and helping to navigate intuitive realms of thinking. This meditation is great for teenagers as it helps regulate emotions with the ebb and flow of the ocean. It is also fantastic for Pitta types in Ayurveda, who need that sense of adventure but will still benefit from the serenity of my voice and the cooling properties of the ocean.

    My third meditation will benefit Kapha dosha. I am currently writing the script for that.

    Both these meditations are free, a gift from my heart to anyone who feels will benefit from them. I hope that being of service in this way, provides people the comfort they may need during difficult times in their life. 

    With most things I create I consider bringing multiple themes together, such as the elements and nature. Magical realism, I focus on a chakra, I think of the seasons, I bring Ayurvedic ideas, and dream symbolism into the mix to manifest something that is holistic and yummy for all the senses. 

    My mission now is to help people remember and reconnect with the magic inside themselves. As a Libra, I love to share and in the future I’d love to help on projects that bring meditation, yoga, art as therapy, reiki and women’s circles to social enterprises. I would love to bring wellness healing to mental health clinics, domestic abuse survivor groups, refugee organizations and more because I know what it feels like to be bullied, abused, neglected and abandoned. Like a gardener, I want to support and guide individual’s through their darkness to find the light, love and strength from within so that they may bloom like sunflowers standing tall and free and radiant.

    Meditation to me is that balance between Chronos time and Kairos time, waking life and the dream world, the mind-body and the soul space.

    It has been my sacred place and one of my saving graces: assisting me to come back to myself which is essentially what I was taught on my Ayurvedic yoga teacher training- To Ayu-Yog is to go within. Meditation is the key that unlocks the door that enables you to go within. 

    It is the secret garden of life, you just need to find your door to unlock its magic.

    “And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles…If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

    – Frances Hodgeson Burnett

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