What you focus on is what you create. So the time before meditation spend time bringing your focus to think about your meditation time. What do you want for your meditation today? Is there a prayer in your heart for your meditation? Is there an issue in your life that needs attention, clarity, resolve? What do you want from meditating today? Focusing in like this is preparing your mind and heart for a powerful start of your meditation. You are not wondering whereabouts unknown. You have an intention, a purpose, you are moving through your day with your eyes on your inner compass.
For day 20 you’re going to have a go at what you will hopefully be able to do in 10 days. Sit down somewhere comfortable and simply do your deep breathing; while visualising energy travelling around your body. Put your hands on your knees with palms facing upwards. Imagine that with every breath you take energy travels to your palms. Imagine the energy as heat and try moving it around your body till it gets to your palms. Towards the end of your zen meditation baltimore, turn your palms over and hold them an inch or so above your leg. As you focus on moving energy around your body imagine it travelling out of your palms and into your leg. See if you can feel the warmth travelling from your hand, heating the air and heating your leg.
Exercise 1: Do your deep breathing while lightly and rapidly rubbing your palms together. After a few minutes continue deep breathing and put your palms an inch apart, facing each other as though you were holding a large lump of clay. As you breathe in let your palms naturally separate and as you breathe out bring them together. Focus on your deep breathing and on energy travelling around your body. Start to feel a ‘pressure’ between your palms.
If a thought or worry happens to be weighing heavily upon your mind when you begin a meditation, let this meditation be an opportunity not to “escape” from or “shut off” this thought, but to lighten around it. In other words, use the meditation simply to release some of the heaviness — the worry or fear or pressure or perfectionism surrounding this particular “matter.” By doing this, you restore balance to your mind and free up more of your “knowing” to understand and address the matter more effectively.
It is important for you to let go of any expectation you might have about your meditation. Sometimes we desire to have an experience we had before again because it was so wonderful. This desire can stop the flow and be in the way of what wants to happen in meditation right now and we might not get the experience we needed to take our next step forward. Letting go of expectation help us to be more open to what is happening and that what wants to happen in response to our desire.
And just to clarify… our minds and our meditation should not be at odds. Meditation should support every faculty and strength within us. And our mind is a great strength. In relaxing our thoughts through meditation, we are not so much getting our mind “out of the way” as much as we are giving our mind its much needed time to rest and recover. Yes, releasing from our “mind chatter” certainly plays a key role in our meditation, as this “noise” can distract us from our deeper, more centered awareness. But doing so also gives the mind a chance to settle so that it can more fully integrate the information we have gathered — and draw upon additional information that we may not “consciously” know we’ve gathered.
For day 3 you will need 15 minutes again. From today onwards there will be no distractions, so find a nice quiet time and place to do this. As you do your standing deep breathing exercises start imagining energy flowing through your body. In your minds eye give the energy a nice warm, positive colour. Imagine it originating about an inch below your belly button, right below your hands. For the masculine deep breathing exercise imagine it making a circuit: up your spine, to your head and back down to your hands. Imagine it radiating from this circuit into your fingers and your toes. For the feminine deep breathing exercise, just imagine it radiating outwards into your fingers and toes and out into the world. Feel it being intensified with every bit of energy you draw from the world.
In conclusion: Whether you decide to use meditation for health reasons or spiritual reasons is up to you and what you need in your life personally. Meditation is a great stress reliever for those times when things get tough. No matter your choice you will benefit greatly from meditation.