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Meditation du Jour

For Starters

If you have never meditated, this is a good introduction – with one caveat. My suggestion: before sitting – and the whole technique requires you to sit – do something active first. That might be going for a run or dancing alone in your room for 10 minutes. Whatever you do, do it totally so your energy is really engaged. You’ll then find it easier to be still and silent….

Why do I say this method is a good introduction to meditation? – because it enables you to experience what meditation is step by step, rather than dropping you in the deep end immediately.

You start off using the mind (for counting), so the mind doesn’t feel excluded and consequently keep trying to poke its nose in where it is not needed.
Then you drop counting, by which time the mind is bored and ready to leave you alone to meditate. In this phase you just watch or ‘witness’ from inside, all that passes through you, by you – sensations, thoughts and feelings – detached and with no judgement..
Finally, you drop even witnessing, and just relax into being.

Step 1: Some form of activity
Dance, swim, run, or go to your gym class for example.

Step 2: Count each inhalation and each exhalation
5-10 minutes

Your spine straight, put your left hand on the right hand, letting both thumbs touch each other. Make sure you are comfortable so your body does not distract you. However, be aware that if you lie down the tendency is to fall asleep, that is, to become unconscious.
Gazing continuously at your left hand, breathe in deeply, and silently count 1; then exhale deeply and say 2, and so on up to 10, and then repeat from 1-10 constantly for the next 10 minutes. If you lose count or find that you have gone beyond 10, start again at 1.
The first 10 breaths, the first breathing cycle should be very deep. From the second cycle on, the breathing is natural and silent.

Step 3: Count only each exhalations
5-10 minutes

Breathe out, and count 1; when you inhale you are silent. Then exhale a second time, and count 2, and so on, up to 10. Again, if you lose count, when you realize that, return to 1. In this way simply repeat this 1-10 cycle of counting the out breaths for 5-10 minutes

Step 4: Simply Watch
5-10 minutes
Now, with your eyes closed, simply watch the breath as it comes in and out of your body. Watch, too, any physical sensations, any thoughts or feelings. Regard all as passing phenomena, just like clouds passing by.

Step 5: Just be
5-10 minutes
With your eyes remaining closed simply sit silently and be still. Just be, without doing anything.

Like the empty sky It has no boundaries, yet It is right in this place, ever profound and clear.

Yung-chia Hsuan-cheh

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