A Meditation to Settle the Mind
John offers a short meditation using the breath, to prepare the mind for exploring the teachings. You are invited to join in, and you are encouraged to use this practice throughout the course whenever you feel close to an "a-ha!" moment.
"We meditate when we get to that point of an a-ha! moment, or a breakthrough."
Unit 1: Practice Instructions
Settling the Mind
Here are the key steps of the practice. You can use this technique to settle the mind prior to reflecting on the teachings. This meditation is also especially useful following an aha! moment during contemplation.
- Find a good position for meditation using a chair or cushion. Your spine should be erect but flexible.
- Bring your attention to the sensations of breathing: the sensations at the abdomen.
- Breathe through your nose or mouth. Your mouth can be open if you prefer. Having your eyes open is most helpful.
- Notice the sensations of breathing.
- There is no need to pursue thoughts: just notice that they are thoughts. There is no need to judge or give them meaning.
- Return the attention to the breath.
- Allow the attention to be loosely on the breath. There is no need to fixate. Allow the attention to ride on the breath.
- The mind likes to have an object: offer it the breath.
- Allow the mind to ride gently on the breath.
- See now if you can step back. Begin to open your awareness so you are aware of the background of your experience, with the mind still on the breath.
- Gently let go of the breath all together. Simply be aware.
- If you feel distracted or scattered, or the mind is thinking: bring the mind back to the breath.
- To end the session, gently let go and release the breath altogether. Open your awareness and set a positive intention for your practice.