Some of you who read this may be experienced at meditating.Others may have tried it in the past and found they couldn’t seem to do it. And some of you may have convinced yourselves that you could never do it, and have never tried.
When we approach meditation with the idea that unless we immediately meet our guides and angels and have a mystical experience, disappointment will inevitably result. You wouldn’t take your first swimming lesson and expect to win an Olympic gold medal the following week, and meditation is a kind of exercise which is similar to physical forms that you improve with practice.
What I am about to describe is a very basic form of meditation, which will teach you one of the basic prerequisites: correct breathing.
IN COMES THE GOOD AIR
Many years ago I learned that I didn’t breathe naturally. In natural breathing the solar plexus expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most people do the opposite, which increases rather than release emotional tension.
Babies breathe naturally, but most children learn that shallow breathing seems to reduce feelings of emotional pain. The next time you get upset try to observe your breathing. Are you holding your breath? Are you trying not to feel? This is specially obvious when people are afraid.
The emotions we feel do not go away though. They accumulate in the forms of stress and tension in the solar plexus, where they can cause all sorts of physical ailments such as asthma and ulcers. Shallow breathing also depletes our intake of oxygen, which can cause anxiety.
Relearning how to breath is the first most important step in releasing stress. Try practicing natural breathing for five minutes a day. Imagine your breath rising from your feet and traveling up your body to the top of your head as you inhale. On the exhale feel your breath descending again to your feet.
Do this also whenever you feel yourself getting tense. Lean back in your chair and just breathe
Gradually increase the amount of time you spend on this breathing exercise. You may want to put o a favorite piece of classical music while you do so.
Once you feel comfortable with the basic breathing exercise, you’ll find that it creates a relaxed mood which is conducive to problem solving. Remember, you’re increasing your oxygen supply, which stimulates the brain.
The more regularly you practice this relaxation technique the more readily you’ll be able to apply it in a crisis situation. After using it you may not feel ready to take on the world, but you’ll be more at peace with yourself and ready to go into deeper states of meditation.
Next post will give you some tools to take your meditation to next level. Keep practicing your breathing everyday, for longer and longer periods of time.
Until then, sending you much love and many bright blessings