I read in Time (January 16, 2006) magazine that scientists are finding meditation reduces stress and restores brain synapses that refresh you like a good sleep. It was brought home to me this weekend how our multi-tasking, crazy busy, overloaded technological lifestyles can really use something like this. Very intense winds blew through my area in upstate New York and I was out of electricity for 20 hours. While most of my attention was on keeping wood on the fire, I gradually went to a quiet and peaceful place in the mind, and was happily settled under a comforter by the fire with a good book and a candle, calm and serene, just doing one thing.
For most of us in our world, giving up multi-tasking technological overload is not feasible, nor is living without electricity, but meditating every day is! And here is some help: One of my favorite books on meditation is Boundless Healing, by Tulku Thondup (Shambhala, 2001). His meditations help heal the mind and body. Here are eight tips for meditation from this generous Tibetan monk’s book:
* During meditation, if you experience uneasy sensations-pressure, stress, suffocation, worry, or pain-you could use any of the following exercises that you find appropriate:
* Take a couple of deep breaths and expel the sensation of worry or discomfort with the outgoing breath. Feel the peace.
* With the outgoing breath, send the sensation far away in the form of dark clouds that dissolve into the open, empty, clear sky.
* Think of the word and feeling of “boundlessness.”
* Think and feel that your body is boundless, that even its cells are boundless. Allow your breathing to relax in the boundless feeling, as though your breath were totally free and without limits or constrictions.
* Think and feel that all the cells are breathing, in and out, directly through the pores of your body.
* Imagine your body as if it were a body of light. Light is intangible and free. Feel what that would be like.
* Be aware of any uneasy sensation in an open way, without judging it and without wanting to push it away or to cling to it. Continue to breathe naturally and remain in the state of mere awareness. Open awareness is considered a high form of healing and can help anyone, during meditation as in the rest of life.
* If you feel as if you were floating, imagine that your body is filled with light that somehow has a heavy quality. Although light is insubstantial, we could think of it as heavy, the way air is weighed down by moisture or the way the earth’s atmosphere exerts air pressure. Or just remain in open awareness of the floating sensation, without judgment, worry, or grasping.
Boundless Healing offers many specific meditation exercises for enlightenment and healing the body.