Slow Down… Into Your Meditation
Ever feel like you are rushing from one thing to the next without so much as a breather?
Well, needless to say… your meditation practice should not follow this pattern. There will be times when you are feeling impatient or rushed to commence your meditation. At these times you may feel a tendency to try and ‘jump’ directly into meditation. However, it is best to take a few moments to slow down and allow the mind and body to settle prior to ‘officially’ starting to practise.
This can be done by simply taking 3 long deep breathes or scanning the body mindfully (as you do when I guide you in class). Simply continue this tradition, even when you are practicing on your own.
A wonderful monk I met in Thailand (on my personal retreat in February) always starts his meditation by exhaling fully (and loudly too). This is what he called a ‘cleansing’ breath. I too have tried this now and I find it is an excellent way to let go and slow down.
Another way to gently begin meditation is to take a few moments to be mindful of your current mindset or emotional state. Do not linger on the emotions you are feeling or get entangled with them – simply notice the state that you are starting from. Simply ‘tune-in’ to your body and ask “how am I feeling right now”. Lets start by paying attention, being interested in how we feel within our own body. Observe it, mentally note it, and then begin your main meditation.
You can try these ways or find your own. The important thing is to take a short time to settle before ‘rushing in’.
Just tell yourself ‘Slow Down’ – it serves as a great reminder!