Applied Meditation attempt 1

After trying unsuccessfully to get a meditation practice going for over a year, today I caved.  I went to a meditation class through a meetup group I joined. The class was focusing on applied meditation, following your heart rhythm, which I’m not familiar with. I was very impressed. The theme we focused on was a desire or need that was unfulfilled in our life that we would like to bring into our life.  

I was able to quiet the monkey mind!!  

We did two rounds of meditation exercises.  We began by sitting in chairs, feet on the ground, hands on legs, sitting up straight.  After closing your eyes, you focus on your posture, noticing how your spine feels.  If it feels straight and long, or hunched over.

After focusing on that, then you move on to your breathing.  You concentrate on how your breath feels moving in and out of your body, where its going, if its smooth and even, if its shallow.  You begin to deepen your breathing.  

Then you concentrate on your heart, try to feel your heartbeat. This can be difficult, especially at first. You can put your hand on your heart, solar plexus, or fingers on wrist to feel your heartbeat. How does your heartbeat feel?  How does your heart feel? 

The final step is trying to deepen and synchronize your breathing with your heartbeat.  If you can’t find your heartbeat, you count slowly and synchronize your breath that way.

During the first exercise, I had a hard time finding my pulse.  I couldn’t just feel it, I had to put my fingers on my wrist. I felt my heartbeat very slow and steady. When we timed our breath with the heartbeat, my pulse became erratic and discombobulated. The rhythm was off.  That was a bit strange to me. After that I lost the hearbeat all together, and I might have drifted off a bit… At the very end, I felt a small twinge of pain behind my heart, which I also found to be a bit disconcerting.

The second time around went much better, I was able to keep the monkey mind at bay.  The main reason I think I was able to do that though, was because I had this very strong, intense visualization.  When we were focusing on the breathing, and then on the expansion and contraction of the breath, I had this image in my mind.  A heart, almost cartoon-like, in my chest, and as I breathed in and out, the rib bones opened from the red heart into beautiful blue butterfly wings with the rib-bones as the frame of the wings.  The heart was expanding and contracting with my breathing, and the wings were opening and closing in rhythm with my heart.  It was very macabre, Dia de los Muertes, but still very cool.  

 

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