In my last blog I wrote about my long way towards meditation. As you know now, it took me a few years and uncounted experiences before I discovered my personal approach to meditation practise. I figured out on my own what the inner and outer climate is that I need to experience stillness.
And yes, it is a movement-related approach to meditation that interests me which, at first sight, sounds like a contradiction in terms. But it is not. Outer movement does not exclude inner stillness. Just think of whirling sufi dancers or people practising Tai Chi. And more over: Even your breath is related to movement. The truth is: It's much easier for an overstressed body to calm down by movement, breath and conscious action. And then, by and by, silence has the chance to 'slide in'.
“ ‘Without a happy body, no meditation,’ I tell my clients. I'm convinced, that there is no genuine experience of meditation without a balanced Soma.”
To get in touch with that “active” approach ...
I invite you to read the first three Q&A from my book “Meditation: Body Bliss & Inner Glow”. One of the handpicked awareness exercises will give you an instant experience:
Excerpt from the book:
Chapter 1: Start-Up Time
This is a question that I have been asked the most. I am especially reminded of Isabell, a client of mine, who wanted to book a series of Meditation Sessions. She wrote in an email:
“I’m asking myself what it can bring to me. Actually, I’m ok. But of course, I have everything that everyone else has … a stressful job, the demand of time, always a lot to do, trouble with my boyfriend, who wants to get married, and I don’t. And I never have enough money. I would like to have this be different, of course. I’ve heard that meditation can help with various situations.”
Isabell points out here the core question: What can meditation do? And what, concretely, can it bring?
For me, meditation changes everything, in so far as when it deals with the inner-world. Consequently, it can also change everything as soon as the state of the inner-world affects the perception of the outer-world. But, so as not to be misunderstood, meditation is not a problem-solver, nor a universal remedy for every little scratch, nor is it psychotherapy or a question-and-answer game for what moves the modern man. Meditation as a technique is a way in which you can explore yourself so completely and deeply that even the centre of your organism can be experienced. And making this connection changes a lot, if not even everything.
"How to begin?"
Become clear with what you need and what attracts you. From this basis, choose the right technique. There are many meditation techniques: an array of traditional series and many more techniques that were created in the meantime by people who meditate and those who teach meditation. It is not always easy to find your way in this information jungle, but through practice and trial, you will discover your preferences. Every meditator, whether beginner or intermediate, should test the practice, so that it is coherent with his own current situation. What deeply moves one on the inside, what "clicks" and resonates with his individual neuromuscular system is what shows the way. The clearer and easier your experience is, the better.
Here is a short breath awareness exercise to begin:
Breath Awareness Exercise: "Feel your Navel Breathe“
Breath Awareness Exercise: "Feel your Navel Breathe“
1. Sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes, and direct your complete attention to your navel.
2. Feel your navel breathe. That means be aware how your navel goes up and down while breathing. In case you do not feel movement in your navel, take one hand and place it on your belly. Keep your attention there for approximately 10 breaths. In case your mind wanders, bring it gently back and keep going, paying attention to your navel.
If you like this practice, you can use it as often as you wish. Mornings after waking up, evenings before going to bed, when you sit outside, or wait somewhere, take a moment to turn your focus inward and relax. When your mind is overloaded with thoughts and you only get yourself into loopholes, this attention-sequence can be a fast and simple way out. If that sounds like a fit for you, start now!
"If I want to reduce my stress, what is most effective? I have almost no free time and not much room in-between things.”
There are some short-term tools that don’t need much time, and in addition, some that can be used while you are active. Generally, I would argue for techniques that are body-orientated, so that the orientation inside the body, or actually, your sensory-motor perception, is easier. But at the end of the day, personal preference is what counts.
A good start is to pay attention to the breath in relation to movement. Practice with the movement of the navel, or to the sternum or the ribs in order to shift your focus to the inside. When you take your breath as a measure, you will be automatically more aware of what is going on inside of you. Awareness in relation to the breath cannot be limited; it will eventually spread to the whole body bit-by-bit. Awareness is always spreading.
But never put yourself under pressure. Invite yourself rather than creating pressure. Also, bring more awareness in the middle of what you are doing. This intention precisely paves the way for the basic understanding of meditation. And that has nothing to do with dedicating more time.
To get a practical experience ...
You are welcome to join my workshop in London on the 21st of February 2016
Each participant will receive a signed copy of the book. To read more, please check the calendar
Enjoy reading and exploring and have a great time!