Here’s a short meditation practice to help you tune in to yourself and shift your state from distraction to expansion. It’s preceeded by a movement and breathing exercise, and ends with a simple self-inquiry to help you initiate a direction for your meditation.
There are three steps to this process. Do these steps sequentially, as together they help you prepare you to sit quietly and focus your mind.
STEP 1 – Movement and Breathing
START sitting in a comfortable position on the floor or in a chair.
INHALE sweep the left arm up from the side and lightly touch your forehead, slightly lifting your head as your spine and neck lengthen.
EXHALE tighten your belly, and bring your arm down, slightly lowering your head and chin.
REPEAT 4 times, alternating arms, gradually lengthening both the inhalation and exhalation with each repetition.
Then for 4 more repetitions: inhale and bring both arms up from the sides and touch your forehead. Exhale and bring both arms down, lowering your head and chin, gradually lengthening both the inhalation and exhalation with each repetition. Keep your breath long and smooth. Pause after each breath for a count of 2.
STEP 2 – Meditation and Self-Inquiry
When you’re finished, sit quietly with your eyes closed for a minute and feel your body and mind. Then begin with a simple inquiry. Carefully observe whatever way your heart draws you:
- What spiritual or emotional quality do I need right now?
- What would happen if I allowed that quality to grow?
Reflect on the answers within you for a few minutes.
STEP 3 – Meditation and Self-Inquiry
Allow an object of meditation to come–any idea, image, phrase, or symbol that appears. Let something bubble up. Even if whatever comes seems totally illogical, it may be exactly what you need. Then ask yourself:
- What does this object mean in my life?
- How does this help me to understand myself right now?
As you inquire, keep your eyes closed, and create a dialogue between you and the object of your meditation. Internalize the object. Absorb it into you. Continue this for a few minutes longer.
End by sitting or lying down quietly for a minute or two and feeling the energy in your body.
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