DEEP ROOTS MINDFULNESS MEDITATION CD

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Starting and Ending 

In the Deep Roots Mindfulness Meditation CD, the sound of gongs begins and ends your practice. These sounds provide the timing for each of the practices so one may relax into each session.

All practices  start with three gongs. This is an invitation to listen deeply as each gong starts off at a higher volume, becomes lower and moves into silence.

The listening of these sounds helps you to enter into the space of attention. Over time, when your body-mind hears these sounds, it will know that meditation is starting and it will help reduce the time taken to settle into the practice.

At the end of practice there is the inviting of two gongs. This is to let you know that formal practice is coming to an end. Take a few minutes to come out of this space.

Throughout your day gently remind yourself to stay present bringing this practice to everything you do.

Posture

It is important to follow good posture habits in practicing meditation. This will help you to reduce distractions that can come about from not attending to alignment. When aligned you become physically more comfortable and energetically centered and grounded. Listen to the instructions regarding posture on the CD. There is also extended guidance on posture as well as illustrations about how to sit effectively on the Path and Method tab in this website.

Practices

There are three practices on this CD. They have been designed to be used in the morning (practice 1), afternoon (practice 2), and evening (practice 3). However, any practice can be done anytime. You might even feel or experience that one of these practices is better for you and practice it all the time or more than the others. This is fine.

 Breath – Natural

All three practices in this CD use the technique of Breath Awareness (based on the Buddhist meditation teachings of the Anapanasati Sutra).

Your whole task in this practice is bringing your full attention to your breath.

1)    Watching the breath as it enters your body through the nostrils,

2)     Noticing the expansion of your abdomen, and then

3)     Observing how your body contracts as the breath leaves your body through your nostrils.

(The breath is inhaled and exhaled always through the nostrils).

There are many different types of meditations that use the breath as a focus point. In this CD we allow the breath to be natural, meaning that we don’t try and control the breath or judge it in any way. We allow it to be what it is when we come to our practice. Sometimes it’s deep, sometimes it’s shallow, sometimes it’s ragged, and sometimes it’s smooth. We just notice all these variations in experiences of our breath. That’s all.

Breath – Active

Even though our practice in this CD is natural breath awareness, it is helpful in the beginning of each practice session to take in two intentional, active breaths. This helps to release tension.

Active breath instruction is as follows:

1)    Taking a breath in through the nostrils and gently directing it down into the abdomen

2)     Allowing abdomen to expand fully and then

3)     Holding for a moment and then

4)     Releasing the breath gently but thoroughly through the mouth and then

5)    Holding lungs empty for a moment before breathing in again.

If you like, you can take two active breaths at the beginning of your meditation, and two active breaths at the end of your meditation.

Please note that the holding and suspending of breath is done while doing the Active (Intentional) Breath ONLY. 

Distractions

It is common to have your focus of attention distracted away from your breath awareness practice (the breath is your “object” of focus in these meditations). You may find yourself drawn away by physical sensations, feelings/emotions, and thoughts.  This is to be expected.  As you begin to practice, you come face to face with your mind. Your mind is always working – jumping from place to place. This happens constantly under our radar or awareness. As we start to bring our attention to the object of our focus (in this case the breath) we see the mind as it truly is.

Sometimes beginning practitioners think that they must be doing something wrong since their mind is so active. In fact, this awareness of an active mind is just that – awareness – which is what mindfulness meditation is all about. What was happening unconsciously before is now brought into focus and more clarity. It doesn’t matter how often you become distracted.

During the course of your meditation, as you become aware that you have been pulled away, you just bring your focus back to your breath. THIS IS THE PRACTICE. Over time, you discover that the length of time between distractions becomes longer. You will also begin to notice less reactivity in your day to day interactions with others.

Words and Silence

In this CD there are periods of voice guidance and periods of silence. The voice instructions provided can be seen as training wheels supporting you toward proper posture and breath technique. Eventually, as posture alignment and the breath awareness technique become more familiar, the voice instruction will fade into the background. You will find that you become more confident and comfortable within the silence. The silence is there for you to practice on your own what has been instructed – to begin to move more deeply and authentically into your meditation and in daily living.

Theodore Tsaousidis
Copyright 2012
 
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