Continued from: Duration of Respiration
Though we have called the following technique a meditational practice it is really a continuation of the previous technique, which was intended to develop your awareness of the body. The subject of meditation will be fully discussed at a later stage. This practice, like all meditational techniques, is excellent for inducing deep relaxation. It can be utilized instead of shavasana.
It is important to maintain full awareness throughout the practice. This is not so easy because one tends to fall asleep, or become involved in the continuous stream of thoughts that invade your perception. But whatever happens you must not create more tension by trying too hard or suppressing thoughts. Let them arise but be aware of them. Awareness of them is sufficient in itself to help redirect your attention back on to the practice.
One can either lie flat on the back in shavasana, or sit in a meditational asana such as sukhasana or vajrasana. It is easier to relax in the lving position, but it is also easier to fall asleep. Unless it is performed prior to sleep at night it is important to remain awake and aware. With practice a sitting position will become comfortable and there is less likelihood of falling asleep. However, the choice is left up to the practitioner.
If you sleep every time you do this practice then you should wash your face with cold water before starting and should certainly practise in a sitting position.
Take a comfortable lying or sitting position. Cover yourself with a blanket if necessary. Relax your whole body and adjust yourself if you feel any discomfort. Close your eyes; for a minute or so be aware of your whole body.
Completely relax, but remain aware.
Then become aware of the heartbeat inside your chest.
Feel each beat pumping blood throughout the entire body.
Try to feel the whole body pulsating with each beat.
If you find this difficult don’t worry; with practice it will become easier and easier.
The heart continues its duties without rest day and night throughout your life.
We are rarely aware of it.
Now for a change become aware of this organ and realize that it never ceases its beating, pumping action.
Transfer your awareness to the pulse in the wrist of either arm.
Again this may be difficult at first but it will become easier with practice.
Soon you will hear the pulse and heartbeat like a drum being beaten.
Be aware of the pulse.
If you cannot feel the pulse don’t worry.
Now try to simultaneously feel coordination between the heartbeat and the pulse and feel them occurring as one.
After some time try to feel the pulse in different parts of the body: the neck, the head, the legs, the abdomen and any other place you can think of.
At first this may be a little difficult, but it will definitely become easier if you persevere with your practice.
Eventually you will be able to become aware of the pulse in any part of the body at any time you wish.
Be aware of your body pulsating in harmony with your heartbeat. Let this absorb your whole attention.
After some time be aware of your breath. Feel the air entering the nostrils.
Taste the air. Imagine it is the first time you have ever breathed.
Respiration, like blood circulation, never stops.
Continue to: Meditation: Practice. Part II