For as long as I can remember I have been intrigued by hypnotherapy (hypnosis). My first real encounter with it was when I was twenty years old and trying to stop smoking. I wasn’t nervous about going to the hypnotist; more than that I was excited and curious.
The experience was revolutionary to me! It was the first time in my entire life that all of my thoughts stopped, and there was silence in my mind. None of that daily prattle of the conscious mind. I felt as though I was in heaven, or under water with no noise. It was pure bliss!
I did stop smoking from that one session, although I had a follow up session on the hypnotist’s advice, just to make sure. Again, the deep blue abyss, my thoughts just suspended in time.
This experience lead me into meditation, a practice that I still carry out daily today. Science has shown that meditation slows the heart rate and lowers the blood pressure. It also brings one’s threshold of anxiety down, meaning that we cope with stressors more effectively.
I’m going to share how to meditate (there are endless ways) and some of my favourite techniques.
To start with, relax in a sitting or lying position. Keep your hands at your sides or resting on your thighs, with your thumbs making a circle with your index or middle fingers, and with your palms facing upwards. This is symbolic, meaning that life force (prana, chi) can flow in through the up facing palms, and that the flow will be whole, complete, symbolised by the joining thumbs and fingers.
Now it is time to watch your breathing. Imagine to be sitting on the tip of your nose, and breathe in deeply and slowly, watching the breath flow into the body through your nose. Just go within. And, you may hold your breathe for a few seconds, or just breathe out now, through your mouth. At this point, imagine yourself at your lips, watching the breath flow out.
Continue to breathe in this fashion, for a few rounds, just watching the breath going in and out, and holding the breathecomfortably in between if you wish.
Now when you are used to this, consciously watch the next breath come in, and let it flow into the heart area. And watch this area now- take your consciousness inside to your heart. Keep your breathing rhythm with your breath flowing in and out, but you don’t have to watch the breath anymore, just sit within your heart. Your breath is likely to be more shallow now, and some people find that at this stage the breath changes to nasal breathing fully now, instead of breathing out through your mouth.
Just stay around the heart area, and without any strain, just be conscious of being here and watch out for invading thoughts. As soon as you realise that you are thinking of something else, imagine you have a pair of scissors in your mind which cuts off that thought, and come back to the heart centre, gently trying to make it the still focus.
Just keep on meditating in this manner until you are ready to rejoin the day.
A little ritual I practice just before I finish, is to silently say “Love to all beings, North, South, East, West, Above, Below, Love to all beings”. And then, again to myself I say “Peace to all beings, North, South, East, West, Above, Below, Peace to all beings”. I am then ready to stretch and to open my eyes, rejoining the day, feeling refreshed and blessed.
Thankyou for reading this post. Further regular posts will continue to offer other meditation techniques.