This technique will provide a pathway to the silent stillness within and a profound peaceful state.
From wherever it is that you find yourself now, (unless there are immediate responsibilities to be dealt with) seek out a quiet place. From this place you will proceed into a basic meditative state. Stay just as you are, either sitting upright in a flat back chair with your feet firmly on the floor with your arms by your side, or resting comfortably on a couch. If you are limited physically, you may lie down on a flat surface.
Early on in your efforts to complete this meditation exercise, you will be likely to fall asleep if you choose the lying down position. Do not fight off sleep initially because at least you will benefit from some well needed rest! Perhaps you have been unable to cope with overwhelming stress in your life and you genuinely require this rest. If that is the case, do what what is necessary and return to this exercise later.
However, be aware that sleep can also be your ego's way of avoiding having its true nature exposed. It is no coincidence that the term awakening is often used interchangeably with self discovery and enlightenment.
In the early stages, try to find a balance between the sleep you genuinely require and the sleep that is merely avoidance of being here now. Sleep is not our goal here. Awakening is our objective.
Gently and effortlessly become aware of your entire body and breathing. Slowly direct your attention as if scanning your entire body; beginning with your individual toes, moving up from your feet and calves and so on.
Take your time. As you encounter and become involved with each area, become aware of the blood flowing in that area. Be aware of the warmth that this flowing blood produces in that area. Be aware of a mild tingling sensation that occurs as you place your attention on that part of your body.
If distracting thoughts arise (and they certainly will!), calmly but intently bring your attention back to the awareness of that body part. Regain your focus and attention time and time again.
Notice how your breathing is a continual process of giving and receiving. Realize the impact of that exchange and how it may relate to other areas of your life. The flow of giving and receiving. The flow of life. The flow of your life. Continue this body scan for ten minutes or so.
When you have completed this scan of your entire body, begin to focus in on your hands. Become aware of your hands. Feel the tingle, the flow of blood in your hands. Now choose to concentrate on one hand only, preferably your dominant hand, but either will do. Now just stay there! Stay in the present moment, continually aware of that hand.
Remember that if and when your mind drifts off, you will remain diligent in your efforts to return again and again to the sensation in your hand, the flow of blood, the awareness of that hand, the awareness of all of this occuring in the present moment.
You are now grounded in the present moment. Clearly realize that nothing else exists but this moment. Here and now. The past is no longer here and the future has not yet arrived. Therefore the past and future exist in your mind only. You are absolutely here now only.
Be aware that even when your mind is unaware that it is involved with the past or the future, it is still operating from within the now. The eternal now.
Without reference to memories of the past or anticipations of the future, the now is absolutely timeless. This is a state in which you can abide and prosper. This is a powerful understanding indeed and an essential building block for what is to follow.
It can take a lifetime or an instant to fully grasp this idea of the now and to live according to it. Your sincerity will be the determining factor. The only reality is here and now. Realize this. Discover this.
During your meditation, when a thought attempts to pull you away from the awareness of your hand and consequently the now, bring your awareness back softly.
Do not become frustrated with this barrage of emerging thoughts that pull your attention away. Do not wrestle with any thought; for that only energizes it and enables it to maintain sway over you. Rather, attempt to witness the thought dispassionately with patience, acknowledge the thought, and then bring your attention back to your hand.
With continued practice this will become easier and your ability to calmly observe and gain control over your thoughts will astound you! You are merely seeing a glimpse of the control you can exercise over your thoughts. You will soon discover the immense life altering benefits this control will surely bring. Just simply approach this exercise with patience and sincerity and your efforts shall be rewarded.
The changes; positive, fantastic and unimaginable will take place right here. Here in the present moment, there is access to your creative source and infinite potential.
Remember that when a random thought draws you away, you must bring yourself back to the awareness of your hand without exerting effort; again and again. You are certain to be able to do this with increased frequency and ease as your practice continues.
Your ability to concentrate both during the hand technique and throughout your daily activities will improve in slight but sure increments. Continued practice is certain to have results!
Your nightly dreaming is possibly the most creative, spontaneous thing you do in your life. These dreams present a wonderful opportunity to find missing and disowned parts of your true self. When your self censoring mode is off in the dream state, certain people, symbols, feelings and meanings will emerge. Often you awake from a dream quite puzzled about what you have experienced.
You may have managed to repress certain strong feelings in your waking hours, but left unbridled and able to roam in the dream state, they will always emerge. It may take some courage to face these holes in your personality however there is immense potential for self discovery when these dreams are experienced in the present moment.
It is possible to re-experience the dream using the following technique. Begin taking advantage of this simple technique to allow yourself to recapture these lost parts of your personality.
Begin by choosing a vivid dream you recall, whether it occurred last night or decades ago. Often the more bizarre and confusing the dream may be, the more vital information it contains.
Make a mental note of all the individual parts of the dream. All the people, places and things. For example, I may dream that I was in an old blue truck that was parked outside a cottage.
On the seat next to me was a chain saw and a pair of work boots. The sky was cloudy and it looked about ready to rain. Approaching the truck and carrying a potted plant was someone who resembled a former teacher. I awake feeling completely bewildered by this dream.
The old blue truck, cottage, seat, chain saw, work boots, cloudy sky, potted plant and teacher are all of supreme importance. Our intent is not to analyze these parts of the dream, rather to re-experience them in the present moment. We do not want to involve the intellect.
Remember that this dream is uniquely yours, created in your mind with meaning to you only. Books which interpret symbols tend to miss the mark, because meaning is unique to the dreamer and the dreamer's life experiences.
Once you have made this mental list of dreams items, begin by using the previously learned meditation to center yourself in the now. Use the hand technique to get grounded in the present moment. One by one we are going to, in the now, become or re-experience each individual part of the dream.
This may sound difficult or strange so let me clarify. Each and every part of the dream is originating from within, telling a story about you for you, relaying a message from your subconscious. Follow patiently because this absolutely works!
In my dream example, if I become or re-experience the old blue truck, really become it, I may say (as the blue truck) " I'm dependable" or "I've never let you down before" or "I've given you my best years" and at the same time I am "blue" or sad or depressed. You may be saying, "So, what does that mean?"
Well perhaps upon examining this previously puzzling dream, I have the following realization. I am currently in a relationship where I feel that I could honestly say to the other person " I'm dependable" or "I've never let you down before" or "I've given you my best years" but at the same time I feel "blue" or sad. Perhaps on some deep level, I feel that there is a certain amount of inequality in this relationship, but I've never expressed these feelings because of the threat of a painful end to this relationship.
So I have managed to repress these feelings during my waking hours. They are never totally repressed however; they will arise in the dream state. With this new found realization, I could approach this person with honest expression and possibly find a resolution. With resolution, the dream item would then disappear from future dreams.
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