So, as evidenced by my skip in posts yesterday, I admittedly have been struggling to post every day this month – Christmas duties have tied me up, and the tragedy in Connecticut really hit me hard for some reason. So today’s going to be short and sweet.
In my day to day travels, I have a hard time staying present – I really have to work at it. Probably seems strange for a therapist, but it’s true – my main coping skill now is “checking out” into that place most people call “spaced off”. So I really liked this belly meditation I found on meditationiseasy.com. This Vipassana meditation draws awareness to your belly and slows your cognitive mind down. Check it out!
Watching the belly:
Have you seen the pictures of laughing Buddha ? These pictures are the specialty of Japanese traditions. In contrast to the image of Buddha as a serene enlightened prince, this images depicted his as a jovial, corpulent person who has a significantly large belly. Though the picture seems funny, in reality it contains a very subtle message. The message that the belly has an important role to play in meditation.
The belly is considered as the location of the hara centre. Just behind and below your navel (belly button) lies the hara, which is a point of consciousness that is considered as the center of your subtle body. By focussing our attention on the hara centre, we can easily attain a meditative state of mind. As you meditate upon hara, your thinking process starts slowing down on its own. You achieve a state of choiceless awareness.
The ‘belly watching’ form of Vipassana meditation involves focussing our attention on the breathing process felt around the belly. Whenever we breath, our belly moves up and down. This movement of belly is a continuous process. Just like breathing, this movement (of belly) also goes on continuously. And we can use this movement to attain a meditative state. Let’s see how:
Sit quietly at a comfortable, peaceful place. Close your eyes and take few deep breath. Now focus your attention on the area around the belly. See how it goes up and down along with the breath. Just be watchful of the belly movement as it comes upward & downward during the breathing. Focus your whole attention on this belly movement.
Keep watching this belly movement. Within a span of few minutes, you will realize that your thoughts have gradually started disappearing from your mind. You will feel a state of increased awareness. Be a witness to the changes in your body during this meditation. After 15-20 minutes, stop this belly meditation stop watching the belly movement and come out of this meditation.
Practise the above meditation daily. As you practice daily, soon you’ll start recognizing the presence of a hara centre – a sort of ball of consciousness around the belly. That will help you increase the awareness of your inner self which is the main thing in meditation.