A Moving Image Becomes the Meditation

Meditation has been a hot-topic in my (Carol) treatment room since the beginning of the new year. Patients express the desire to meditate, and I share their intention, but it’s hard to hit that mark each and every day.

Tom sent this time-lapse video of Yosemite, and watching it had a tranquilizing effect. There are so many ways to meditate, I’m adding this one to my arsenal.

Here’s the one I reach for most often, from Bruce Frantzis, qi gong and ba gua teacher back in the day. He repeated over and over while we practiced (standing): “the mind moves the qi.” I prefer to do this sitting or lying down, justifying the increased ability to focus within.

Sit up comfortably on the couch or against the wall, legs crossed, or lie with head on a pillow, so your heart is propped up a bit.

Starting an inch or so above your head, do a slow sweep down your body, as if you were a block of water that is emptying out. When you inevitably reach a tight spot, acknowledge it, breath into it, then move on once it’s softened. If your mind wanders, go back to the last place you remember you were aware of and continue moving downward.

I try for 3 sweeps if it’s daytime- bedtime is another story, since this can put you to sleep when lying down. Sweep 1 is often full of tight spots and takes awhile, but 2 and 3 go much faster, and the luxurious sensation as the sweep goes down and out of your arms and hands, and legs and feet is something to experience.

Tight spots are places we hold tension, and could arise from many sources. Like any meditation, instead of pushing them back and glossing them over, when we look at them squarely, they dissipate. This takes time, but be patient. I’ve found some areas will actually get tighter right before they loosen up.

This is the opposite direction that yoga classes do in shavasana (corpse pose). The reasoning is it is more grounding, emotionally, to move our “stuff” down and out: as westerners/living in the 21st C, we’re all way too much in our heads.

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