This technique takes less than a minute and yet it can dramatically increase the body’s energy. It is believed to have been created by the first patriarch of Zen, Bodhidharma. The purpose is to spread energy around the body, following the principle that where your attention goes, energy flows.
This exercise naturally and automatically moves energy from your belly to your upper body–all in one minute!
1. Relax the muscles in your lower and upper belly.
2. Breathe in and gently allow your stomach muscles to become full and rounded.
3. Breathe out.
4. Breathe in and quickly force your breath out in a short, sharp push through your nostrils.
5. Take a quick short sharp breath in. . .in less than a second.
6. The sound should be like an old-fashioned bellows working quickly.
7. Continue this for ten seconds while holding the posture. You should be able to make between twenty-eight and thirty-four out-breaths in ten seconds.
8. After ten seconds take a long deep breath into your lower belly.
9. As you breathe out, move your attention up your spine to the top of your head. Repeat this slow breathing for five breaths.
10. Repeat another cycle of short, sharp, shallow quick breaths for another ten seconds.
11. Again, slowly move your attention up your spine to the top of your head and this time bring your attention slowly down the front of your body to rest at your navel.
1. The more strenuous the short in- and out-breaths the better.
2. You know you are doing the exercise correctly when you feel out of breath after the ten seconds of short in- and out-breaths.
3. The exercise can also be done sitting down.
Adapted from Meditation in a New York Minute, by Mark Thornton (Sounds True, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Mark Thornton. Reprinted by permission of Sounds True.
Adapted from Meditation in a New York Minute, by Mark Thornton (Sounds True, 2004).