ॐ MEDITATION GUIDELINES ॐ
Step 1 Meditation: Become aware of the contact of your sit bones with whatever surface they are touching. Notice whether your pelvis is easily upright, or rolled under, or arched with the top tipped forward. Allow any tension around the sit bones to diminish. Let go of any tension holding the legs and pelvis together, particularly around the inner thighs and the tops of the thighs. Try gently rocking slightly backward and forward on your sit bones, with your pelvis and spine as a single unit. Even when sitting still, imagine that there is enough freedom between legs and pelvis that you could rock forward and back.
Step 2: Next, imagine water flowing up the spine from the firm foundation of the pelvis. Let the water support the skull as if it is unfixed from the top of the spine. Let the crown of the head be gently raised up by the stream of water so the head tilts slightly forward and the back of the neck lengthens slightly back and up.
Step 3: As you sense the support from your spine, let your awareness fill the whole three-dimensional volume of your body, then let it expand further so you have a sense of the space around you. Let go of the content of your thoughts and allow yourself to feel your thoughts in your body, so that you experience them as ripples within the energy field of your body rather than as noises in your head. In this way, you can begin to let go of the habitual feeling of your body as a kind of dense, isolated physical object with thoughts going on in a separate mind and tune in to the experience of your body as a living, breathing, open energy field, always relating to the environment around it. This is a part of awakening to your true self: whole, open, and alive.
Step 4. Anchor your mind to your breath
The Breath, Prana, Chi, Anapanasati
Watch the turn between the in-halation and ex-halation Breathing In and Out creates a circle. Inhalation -Exhalation are not parallel lines because parallel lines never meet. The breath coming in and the breath going out are not two breaths—they are one breath. The same breath coming in must also go out, so there is a turn inside. As the breathe turns as a circle pay attention to the 2 gaps.
So, breathe normally–when the breath touches your nostrils, feel it there. Follow your breath, let the breath move in and allow your belly to rise and expand. (A rise and a fall of your belly is proper breathing. If you have forgotten, then just recall watching a baby breathe. A baby breathes from its belly). Continue to follow your breath, as your breath goes out, your belly will go down. * Allow your Out-breath to be at least 2-seconds longer than your In-breath.
This longer out breath, of at least 2-seconds, super activates the parasympathetic system (Vagus nerve CN X ending branches in the belly) for greater relaxation response.
*Remember, stay conscious and aware–Breathing In and Out—the circle created and where the turn/2-gaps occur in the circle.
The power of pausing and using conscious breath reconnects you to your inner body, quiets the turbulence of your emotions, quiets the mental thought stream chatter of your mind (i.e. Talking Head), and initiates your body’s relaxation response.
The conscious breath helps you to relinquish energy charged frequencies of emotions: fear, anger, stress, anxiety, panic, & grief.
The conscious breath tunes you into recognizing the tension, the physical sensations, and the stress in your body. The conscious breath helps mitigate physical pain.
The conscious breath also suppresses the brain & body’s physiological/biological response of the release of very harmful sympathetic system stress cortisol and stress hormones (i.e., Fight-Flight-Freeze response).
Cortisol and stress hormones are released when you are stressed, angry, depressed, anxious, fearful, panic, or grief stricken.
The conscious breath initiates the super beneficial healthy relaxation response of the parasympathetic system. The parasympathetic system calms the activity of the brain, body, emotions, thoughts.
The way we start producing the medicine of Meditation is by stopping and taking a conscious breath, giving our complete attention to our in-breath and our out-breath. Anchor your “monkey-mind” to your breath and the “monkey-mind” will subdue.
When we stop and take a breath in this way, we unite body and mind and come back home to ourselves. We feel our bodies more fully. We are truly alive only when the mind is with the body. The great news is that oneness of body and mind can be realized just by one conscious breath.
Maybe we have not been kind enough to our body for some time. Recognizing the tension, the pain, the stress in our body, we can bathe it in our mindful awareness, and that is the beginning of healing.
The conscious breath also subdues the mind-stream narrative (self-talk) of self-habitual and conditioned thought patterns that are moving from past to future, and are correlated to the emotion that you are currently feeling. Use the conscious breath to anchor your mind to the present moment awareness. This is the essence of Meditation…turning you deeply inward to spaciousness and stillness ॐ.
Meditation is the beginning of the path to enlightenment.
“Rule your mind or it will rule you” —-Buddha
Also read my other Blog posted on May 13, 2017
HOW THE BRAIN CHANGES & IMPROVES WITH MINDFULNESS INTERVENTIONS & MEDITATION
Author: Shawna M. Freshwater, PhD