A gentler approach: a little more instinctive.
I'm sharing with you class preparations, life-thoughts, for my newest meditation group. I feel we are ready to relax a little on the structure. It’s been either lots of quiet concentration or gentle snores during our half hour practices together to date.
As always, my challenge: how to capture one's sense of intrigue while remaining relaxed and alert? ... Aha! Let’s wake up our sometimes sleeping friend … intuition!
In the Catholic faith, they say we get our intuition as a gift from the Holy Spirit when we are confirmed, around age 12. The Spirit flies down like a dove, or something like that, magically into the thumb of the archbishop which is placed on your small forehead between your eyebrows. This spot corresponds with Ajna Chakra in the yogic tradition, our ‘third eye’.
Once confirmed, it is said we have the ability to look within and instinctively know what is right, what feels good to us. Think, for example, of the moment you feel full and another bite of food would actually be too much. How many of us can recognise that perfect moment, the moment when we have had just enough?
As we refine our ability to look within we begin to look at what are we bringing to the world around us, what impact are we having? What else are we brining to the world within us; what are our reactions to our thoughts?
Can you observe this inner world; can you laugh at the absurdity of your sometimes irrational mind? Can you notice anger rising and decide rationally what to do with that surge in your body’s reactions? Can you notice joy, serenity, contentment, the happy moments, and really stay present with them and let them soak in?
Can you take a gentler approach; can you be a little more instinctive?
Today we’re going to practice that. We’re going to exercise our ‘instinct-muscle” as if we were doing planks for our core! It’s going to start with a very simple, gentle, alignment-based meditation practice and evolve from there. Curious, full of exploring, full of tiny subtle shifts, tiny moments of new perspective and insight.
All taking place, as always, with the rhythm of the breath as our anchor.
“Every time you get lost in thought: which you will, thousands of times, gently return to the breath. I cannot stress strongly enough that forgiving yourself and starting over is the whole game.”
Dan Harris. 10% Happier.
Wishing you all the ability to pause, notice and relax.