More assessing, in terms of Chogyam Trungpa’s four wheels of meditation, which I’ve written about several times as being handy guidelines for placing your attention during meditation. I’ll cover technique and relaxation today.
Technique. My technique, given to me by my teacher, Peg Syverson, is whole body awareness. I didn’t know how to do this at first, so I’ve experimented. My most recent experiments have been (after I’ve scanned my body and relaxed) to see myself sitting there as if I’m outside looking in.
I start viewing myself from the back. My point of view has to be at a certain distance to be able to see my whole body from the back. Then I shift to viewing myself in 3/4 profile from the front left, then directly in front, then in 3/4 profile from the front right.
Seeing my whole body in my imagination at the same time that I’m feeling myself sitting is a stretch. In NLP, when you’re experiencing being in your body, we call that first position. Third position is viewing yourself from outside your body, like a movie camera.
So in essence I’m practicing being in first and third positions simultaneously and moving fluidly between them.
Whole body, whole life. Since I started doing this a few weeks ago, my internal maps about my whole life seem to be changing. New finding: I am much less static and much more dynamic than I’ve previously believed.
I am in awe of transformation. From the meeting of a sperm and an ovum, changing moment by moment, with physical growth, developmental stages, experiences, memories, imagination, awareness, to being this 57-year-old broad who blogs and is a grandmother, wow, what a trip!
And not just for me. For you too. Your life is bigger than you think. Honor your whole life, even the parts that sucked. It’s your unique gift to all-that-is.
Relaxing. I have become much more aware of tension in my body, of places where I’m holding, where I feel stiffness, or even just a lack of flow. When I sit down to meditate, that is often the first thing that comes into my awareness. I slow my breath. I scan my body. I breath into the holding places.
One of the most awesome skills I’ve learned in the last few years is that there is no end to refining one’s sensory acuity or one’s awareness.
Thus, perhaps the greatest benefit of meditation is that it’s a skill that when practiced daily just brings deeper and deeper levels of self-awareness.
One thing that’s amazing is how difficult it is to stay relaxed. I get up off the mat, and I have people to connect with, places to go, chores to do, money to earn, fun to have, et cetera. And before I know it, I’m holding somewhere – or several somewheres – and I’ve completely lost the experience of being relaxed.
Some stress is good stress. Learning that, and how not to hold, is a skill I intend to refine.
I’ll post about making friends with myself and being open soon.