For this week we will continue to practice the “Basic Meditation” exercise and introduce a new breathing meditation practice “QiGong Rolling Breath”. Practice these for the duration of at least 1 week, twice a day.
Week 4 Practical Meditation Exercise: Basic Meditation
This exercise is a simple, but effective breath awareness technique used to cultivate Energy. By using visualization to help keep our focus on breath, you are better able to maintain a steady and healthy tempo. Breathing is focused on promoting a natural breathing pattern; in through the nose, filling, expanding, and contraction of the abdomen and out through the mouth.
Step 1: Sit in a comfortable position on a cushion or chair, or lie comfortably on the floor, avoiding your bed or couch (To help from falling asleep). Allow your body to relax completely, from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet. Feel each part of your body relax as you focus your attention down your head and face, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, hands, fingers, abdomen, groin, thighs, lower legs, feet, and toes.
Step 2: Breathe slowly and deeply through your nose, the tip of your tongue resting on the top palate of your mouth. As you breathe in, breathe in bright light or healing Energy. Let it fill your entire body, going deep within your body.See it filling in every part of your being with your mind’s eye.
Step 3: As you breathe out, allow all the pain, sickness, or stress to leave your body; see it as a dark smoke or mist on each and every exhale. With your inner eye, watch that mist fade off into the air.
Step 4: Maintain a proper tempo for breathing; slow and deep. Keep allowing your body to fill with healing, relaxing Energy and let stress and all other negativity leave you on the out-breath. Start by doing this for at least 5-10 minutes. Feel free to do this for longer periods if need be.
Practical Exercise: QiGong Rolling Breath
Said to be useful for relaxation, the building of Qi, and the strengthening of the body QiGong breathing is one of the most misunderstood forms of breathing meditation and one worth taking a look at. Most people look at QiGong and imitate the postures, and compression of breath, used in the final points of movement for expelling Qi. In this, they lose focus on the points between movements where the practitioner is using what we will call the Rolling Breath, as well as those times where they may be seated in meditation practicing with this breathing technique.
Step One: The first step in breathing is to do so, fully and deeply focusing on bringing the breath down the body. An awareness of the breath filling, and focus on it moving down the torso into the legs and even into the feet is the core of this first step. In this, you should not be breathing beyond your maximum ability to take in air comfortably, but instead, you should be breathing to “the maximum comfort level.” In other practices of QiGong such as the expulsion of Qi in a strike you move air and Qi violently, but this is about building up a natural rhythm. During this, as you fill up you should push outward gently but continually with the abdomen as you “fill up” the lower airways.
Step Two: During the exhalation of breath you want to follow the same advice as from Step One, exhale deeply, and completely, contracting the abdomen gently as you focus on breathing out as much as you can up to the point where it is no longer comfortable. The secret to QiGong breathing techniques is that you never move beyond the level of “comfortable” into “stressed” breathing. Where many breathing techniques move into stressed zones, QiGong is not one of them.
This two-step process while being the core of the rolling breath is not the end of your understanding. The position of the tongue in the mouth is often of great concern to those doing QiGong Breathing, and it is mostly accepted to keep the tip of the tongue position on the roof of the mouth behind the front two facing teeth. It is important likewise to never be holding your breath during this exercise. There are methods of Qi energy work as well as other energy techniques where this is done, but the QiGong Rolling Breath is not one of them. While there is more to QiGong than this iteration of the Rolling Breath, for our purposes this simple explanation will suffice.
Week 4 Journal Exercises
- Contemplate the following points. In your journal, write your responses.
- How do you feel while practicing this “Rolling breath” technique? How do you feel afterwards?
- Did you notice any subtle shifts physically/mentally/spiritually?
Continue to write down in your journal your experiences with your meditation practice. Note what is working for you and what is not. Make notes on how and what you have had to change (if any) to make your experiences better with meditation.
This week we introduce a Vipassana meditation technique. Vipassana meditation is all about focus on breath and breathing while identifying what comes to mind. It translates literally as “to see things as they really are” and is a traditional Buddhist meditation. … Continue readingMeditation week 5-Exercises
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