Session 1: Upright and Relaxed
Let's start by introducing the three principles Will has developed to guide our sitting posture. First, we'll settle into a gentle vertical alignment and see how this supports relaxation.
Session 2: Relaxed and Awake to Sensations
We've explored the first principle and how being upright supports letting go and relaxation. Now let's lean in to relaxation and see what we discover when we reconnect with the body: a shimmering field of sensation.
Session 3: Moving with the Breath
Upright and relaxed, now we come to the third principle: we allow the body to move in subtle ways in response to the breath. A relaxed body will move as the breath moves through it. We don't have to strain ourselves to sit like a stone statue of the Buddha. The body will move naturally, and we can be aware of that movement.
Session 4: Breathing Through the Whole Body
The Buddha spoke of breathing through the whole body—not only the nose or mouth—as a perception we can cultivate. The body becomes like a balloon of shimmering energy, inflating and deflating. Will shares two practices that put us in touch with this feeling of breathing through the whole body: virtual acupuncture and breathing in the six directions.
Session 5: Finding Your Posture
Our posture is guided by principles because there's no fixed way that we all should sit, all of the time. Will offers more detail about your options for following the breath and different ways to sit cross-legged, if you wish to, including the easier, Burmese style. We'll also try some gentle, fluid stretches that facilitate the posture and deepen our experience of relaxing the body through the breath.
Session 6: Opening Your Eyes
In the beginning, we close our eyes to help us tune in to the felt experience of the body. But we don't want to exclude the wider sensory world either. Let's try opening our eyes and integrating embodied awareness with the visual field. Sight is such a big part of our day-to-day experience, what if we could bring it more fully into awareness?