Stage 1: preparation
Lie down on a blanket facing upwards.
Loosen all your clothes so that you feel perfectly comfortable.
If necessary, place a blanket over you to keep warm, or a sheet to keep away insects, as the case may be.
Keep the feet and legs a little apart.
Place the arms beside your body, palms facing up.
Adjust yourself so that you feel perfectly comfortable.
Tell yourself firmly that you will not move your body throughout the practice.
Make a determined vow not to sleep (unless you are specifically practising to induce sleep).
Then proceed to the next stage.
Stage 2: sinking of the body
Look at the space in front of your closed eyes.
Imagine that the space surrounds your whole body.
Imagine that your body is immersed in that space.
Simultaneously be aware of your body .. . it feels very light. . . as light as a leaf. . . falling from a tree.
Imagine that your body is slowly sinking in the space that you see in front of your closed eyes .. . like a falling leaf.
Your body is sinking . . . sinking. . . sinking.
Slowly your body sinks into the depths.
Be aware of this feeling.
Continue in this manner for a few minutes.
Then proceed to stage 3.
Stage 3: rhythmical breath awareness
Become aware of your breathing .. . at the navel.
As you breathe in count 1.
As you breathe out count 2.
As you breathe in imagine that you are pulling in air through the navel.
As you breathe out, imagine that you are pushing air out from the navel.
It is a rhythmical process.
You should be aware of the up and down movement of the breath and the mental counting.
Count up to 20.
Then be aware of the area of your chest.
With inhalation, imagine that your breath is being drawn downward and into the centre of your chest.
With exhalation, imagine that your breath is being pushed upwards and outward from your chest centre.
Be aware both of the flow of breath and the mental counting.
If you lose count start again from 1.
Continue until you reach a count of 20.
Then become aware of the breathing process at the nose.
As you breathe in, feel the breath being drawn in through the nostrils.
As you breathe out, feel the breath moving out of the nostrils.
Be aware of counting and the breath simultaneously.
Count up to 20.
Then proceed to stage 4.
Stage 4: Sankalpa
Repeat your sankalpa over and over again.
Remember: it should be a short sentence.
Do not change it.
Say it with feeling, from the heart not the lips.
Repeat your sankalpa at least 3 times.
Then move on to the next stage.