Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A full time meditation if you please: 10 fingers, 10 toes...

Five ways of Meditation:
Two: Sensing Arms and Legs and Noticing Gravity
Do you want to wake up to the now?
The now is always now and so “meditation” is a bit of a cop out: what about the other 23 hours of the day. If you even meditate an hour a day.

And why sit, eyes closed, or open, and see what happens with an agenda to do nothing, to stay away from texts and internet and talking and cleaning house and driving and talking.
Talking, talking, talking.
Have you noticed what a waste of time this usually is?
If not, start to notice: do you have anything new or useful to say? Does the person talking really care about talking to you? Can they listen?
Can you listen?

And here meditation comes in handy.
What if you practiced really listening to yourself, moment by moment for ten or twenty or thirty or forty minutes?
What would you discover?

Meditation is a chance to slow down the conditions and see who we really are without all the hubbub.

And this meditation is about having a container for anything you might be feeling or thinking.
It has a strikingly simple premise: we live, on this Earth, in a body. Paying attention to this body, not in a narcissistic way, but in a moment by moment way of sensing what is, this paying attention is to ground ourselves in the stunningly obvious and often forgotten truth.

So here’s the meditation. It is about you spending time for ten minutes or more twice a day noticing this subset of the obvious: you are in a body that has a skeleton.
Moving the skeleton is how we stand and walk and hug and eat and cook our meals and build our houses and play tennis and make love and dance.

We move because we are alive. Knowing where the skeleton is, either consciously or unconsciously, is linked to everything we do.
Almost everything.
Even sitting here, or standing, or laying and reading this, your skeleton is arranged, usually without your knowing it, in ways that keep the book where you want it to be.

Now, we’ll meditate on how to be more aware, all day, of this wonderful skeleton of ours.
Specifically: the arms and fingers. And the legs and toes.
Just for a starter, before we even meditate: notice  that something is holding your head up.
Notice that your have ten fingers, probably, and that each set of fingers is at the end of an arm, an arm that goes from finger tip to the shoulder blade.
Notice that you have ten toes, again usually anyway, and that each set of toes is at the end of a leg that starts at the hip.

You have two arms and ten fingers.
You have two legs and ten toes.

You have a spine that holds up your head.

Your head has two eyes that see the world.
Two ears that hear the world.

You have a nose that breathes in air and a belly that could be the bottom of your breathing as you take air deep into your lungs by expanding your diaphragm out by letting your belly soften and expand.

This is it.
10 fingers
10 toes.

That’s the ditty to remind you of where to go in this meditation.

You might want to read this several times before you try, or have someone read it to you.
There is no real correct way.
It’s just filling up with attention on the animal basics of you in the present moment.

Meditation #2:  10 fingers, 10 toes, belly, eyes ears & nose

Sit in a chair or on a bench or at the edge of your bed. 
Have both feet on the ground.
Breathe easily and feel the air coming in your nose.
Breathe a little deeper and feel as if you are breathing into your belly.
Love this.
Smile a little bit if the urge comes.
Smile a little bit if the urge doesn’t come.
Start to sense the toes of your right foot. Grove on that, and then easily add on the rest of your right leg, moving slowly up, through the ankle and the lower leg and the knee and the thigh, till you “fill in” the whole leg with sensing and awareness from five toe tips to the hip.
Hang out their for awhile, just with the right leg. (“Just!” Notice how big a chunk of your real estate that even one leg is.)

Now, keep the right leg in awareness, and add your attention to the tips of the fingers of your right hand. Then slowly move attention to add on the rest of the fingers and the palm and whole hand and the wrist and the lower arm and the elbow and the upper arm, all the way to the shoulder.
There is no rush in this.
You keep the right leg “lit” with awareness, as you add the right arm.

Then enjoy this two limb, one sided feeling for awhile.
Sense your right leg and your right arm in their entirety. Recall the air in the nose and down to the belly, too.

After a bit of this, keeping those two in awareness, add on attention to the left shoulder (you are going “around the world” in attention).
Sense the left shoulder and then slowly bring your attention down, through the entirety of your upper arm, and then your left elbow and then your lower arms, wrist, left hand and out the fingers of your left hand.
Breathe easily and fully.

Sense all three limbs you’ve “lit up” so far.
When attention strays in this meditation, come back to where you were on the circle and continue.

Add the last limb, the left leg, starting at the hip bone, and then going through your left thigh to your left knee, and then down through the lower leg to the left ankle and left foot out to all five of the left toes out to the tips.

Now you are four.
All four limbs in awareness.
Breathing into and enjoy the rootedness of that.
Stay there for awhile.

Add on your pelvis, both sides, and then go slowly up your spine, lower spine, middle spine, top of the spine (aka "neck") keeping the arms and legs in attention and awareness too.
Feel your “five lines,” the main organizing tool of your brain when you are in any movement.
Enjoy your five lines.
Breathe, from your nose, down into your belly.

With the belly reminding you of the bottom of the spine.
And the nose reminding you of your head at the top of the spine.

Keeping all this in awareness, add on the ears, and what sounds are coming into your attention.
You are now grounded in inner and outer attention, all in present reality.
Sense what you sense.
Hear what you hear.
Skip all labelling and comparing and commenting on any of your sensations.

Hang out in the fullness of sensing and breathing and listening.
Then open your eyes and see what light is bringing into your eyes as images of the outer world.
Return to smiling if you forgot.
This is a fun world.
This is a full world.
Arms, legs, spine, breathing, ears, eyes.
Enjoy this.

Realize that you can be in this fullness all day.
Talking, walking, reading this book, doing your work, driving your car.

It’s harder the more mental the activities become.

And this can be the grounding of all activity no matter how mental.

Can you do this?
Sometimes maybe.
See how often you can return to this as a reality grounding for the rest of your life.
This is you, alive, in a living body, right now.

Be fascinated, because you are fascinating.
You are alive.


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