Many of you have asked me to share my meditation secrets with you. There are no secrets, but there are many techniques that can help you center yourself. Here's a very simple technique to help you center yourself (to find the space within yourselves that is pure being; i.e. no stress, no worries, no anxieties. The place of strength, courage, and contentment). You can do this meditation while waiting in line at the bank, or in the supermarket; while waiting at a red light, or while waiting for your computer to boot up. The possibilities are endless!:
1. PAUSE and BREATHE DEEPLY
Bring yourself into the present moment by taking at least 3 deep inhalations and exhalations.
2. BECOME AWARE OF YOUR MENTAL STATE
How do you feel right now?
What emotions do you notice?
3. BECOME AWARE OF YOUR PHYSICAL STATE…AWARE OF YOUR BODY
What part of your body needs to relax right now?
Where do you need to release tension?
4. LET IT GO
Let go of any tension…breath into it, and breathe it out on the exhalation.
Acknowledge—but don’t judge—any thoughts or emotions that come up. Simply acknowledging them usually helps to weaken their grip.
Some of you have asked me to share meditation techniques that alleviate pain, while others have asked me how to relieve stress by way of meditation. The following is a technique that I learned years ago while practicing Chi-Kung. The same practice can be found in Tantric, Hindu, and Buddhist texts. It's a relatively universal meditation technique! The instructions may seem simple, and this may appear to be a 'beginners' meditation technique, however, the more you do it, the deeper it takes you and the richer your meditations become. My point is, it's a terrific meditation/centering technique to teach beginners, but don't let its simplicity fool you: it's powerful beyond words!
The following is Sally Kempton's rendering of this practice which you can find in her Heart of Meditation book:
*UJAYI BREATH—(3-part breathing)
The Ujayi Breath is when you fill up the lungs in three sections: the lower third, then the middle third, then the upper third.
· Sit in a comfortable, upright position. If you are sitting in a chair, make sure your legs are hip-width apart, and your feet are flat on the floor. Sit up nice and tall, extending the spine upwards.
· Breathe in with the feeling that you are filling up your lungs in three separate sections. You may find it helpful to place your hand on your abdomen and actually feel your lower lungs fill with air. Notice your stomach area filling with air. Notice your upper chest rising as the upper third of your lungs fills with air.
· Breathe deeply, and long. Deep inhalations. Long exhalations.
· The ratio to inhalation vs. exhalation is 1:2. Breathe in for 4 seconds, filling all three parts of the lungs, abdomen first. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Breathe out long and slowly for a count of 8 seconds. Pause for 4 seconds before your next inhalation. For deep, instant relaxation, repeat this breath for 3-5 minutes. If you start to feel lightheaded, you simply need to slow down, and let your body acclimate itself to all of the newfound oxygen!
If you find it difficult to learn the meditations on your own, you can always do a guided meditation. I would highly recommend Sally Kempton's Awakened Heart Meditation CD (click here for more details).
If you'd like to learn more about Sally Kempton's Heart of Meditation book, click here. Note: 30 years of meditation experience wrapped up in a book! :)
Visit www.sallykempton.com for her workshop schedule (SHE'S IN NEW YORK CITY THIS WEEKEND!!)
I hope these meditations prove fruitful for you. They are pillars of strength in my life. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at any time.
(Note: NONE of these meditations should be used to treat medical conditions unless by the advice of a doctor. Do NOT do these meditations while driving. Be sensible.)