A Dance of Perception

A Guided Meditation

2010-11-30 19.13.35There is a moment when the mind ‘flips’ from externalizing and objectifying to an internalizing or integrating perspective. You slow down enough or maybe wake up enough. and you can feel that moment in the mind.

Let’s try. Okay?

  • Sit up right. Allow the energy to drain down through you  as you spine rises straight up. Elongate the yogic stretch of the spine as though the tailbone were a weighty ancient stone arrowhead and the head was gently pulled upward to the sky by a golden string. Imagine the spine extended gently creating space between the vertebrae.
  • Then allow the muscles, organs and sinew of the body to relax down, creating space inside the body for the organs to function and circulatory, respiratory and nervous to flow naturally. Allow room for the body to breathe. Close the eyes and gently relax them. Shut off the point of focus behind the eyes, behind the forehead. Relax the nexus of tension in the back of the neck. Open the throat. As you breathe, relax down to the heart. imagine that opening, as though it were a horizontal lotus, blooming, expanding. In the back ground you are aware of the breathing, the essential rhythm of life. Allow the energy to flow down and open through your stomach, abdomen, groin and hips and seat. Allow the rhythm of breathing to coax the energy out the hands, feet, fingers and toes.
  • Contact the felt experience of the breath.  Allow the breath to expand through you and open you. Allow the rhythm of the breathing to settle you further – even as the spine stretches upward. As the spine stretches upward toward its destiny of wakefulness to the sky, the viscera relaxes down toward a sovereignty of completeness within the earth.
  • Sit breathing for a few moments.
  • Then draw allow your primary awareness into a mindful experience of the breathing. Gently take in information from the experience. Relax the external experience of you. Just become the experience of the breath.  Your primary awareness is the breath. Around the breath, a secondary or harmonic awareness of the open and aligned body begins to occur. Beyond that, an experience of the room around you, the environment, sounds on the street, and your thinking.  As the mind localizes on a thought it will lose its connection to the breath and there will be an experience of you. The experience of you will occlude your awareness, and become insular and self-referential. Release that, as it happens, and relax back into identification with the breath. And through that, into non-identification itself. Be the breath breathing into an open vessel.
  • Simply that.
  • Allow the perceptions of the mind, to be part of the general awareness and allow the breath to lead us back to integration with the physical and emotional planes. Allow the breath moving through an aligned, and open body, to guide your experience away from identifying with the “you” construct and back into a physical experience of now.
  • Releasing yourself from all constructs, place your identification on the simple movement of the breath in the moment. Allow perceptions to come and go, as they will, without relating to “you”. “You” are only awareness of the present moment as embodied by the breath. So, just be the breath. And, at some point, just be.
  • As you continue breathing, feel that recede into the background as you place your primary attention on the left hand. First you notice that in the mind and notice any judgement (“I don’t want to do this?” ” I was just getting to samadhi” “I hate exercise.”  It’s all okay. Allow that information to recede into the background.
  • Then move your mind to the hand. The mind may want to jump off. “Okay, I got it.” But gently move beyond that. Investigate the hand. Is there a temperature? Are there different temperatures on different sides of the hand? Is there an evenness to the way the fingers are splayed? Just notice. Then open.
  • Open to the hand and allow the information from the hand to enter your mind stream. Keep ancillary attention on the breathing as you gather wordless information from the hand.
  • Just be the hand there in the moment, as you breathe.
  • Then bring the breath back to the foreground. First the mind hears that. Then, if there’s no resistance, you move the mind to the breath. Then, if there are no distractions, the mind can momentarily investigate. Where is the body moving? Where is the breath? Then, before words become sentences, open to the experience of the breathing and actually feel it. Open to it and allow the information to touch you

enter you

move you

and, change you.

  • Now, become the breath
  • Place your hands over your heart area. Feel the radiant energy of your touch. Allow the dominant hand to hold the heart. Breath into that. Breath the energy of wakefulness and strength into the heart. Connect to the vertical alignment of rising in a yogic stretch from your connection to the earth through the spine infinitely to the sky. Awake. Now feel the energy of the other hand. Open your heart into it. Relax into the hands and the posture opening the heart, and allowing the energy within to flow through you. Bring a image of something you love into your heart.  And let that love radiate. Then, drop your hands.
  • Slowly open your eyes. Look around the room, allowing the space created from a settled mind illuminate al you see. Let form and emptiness entwine in a magical dance.  Let your eyes naturally fall on an object.
  • Then send your mind to the object. Penetrate it. See it in ways you would have never seen before. Allow the secondary awareness of the breath to settle this process in the background. Relax further into object as you breathe.
  • Now relax. Stop focusing and open. Allow the object in to you. Begin to receive it. And finally be it. Connected.
  • Then let go. Lower the gaze and return to the breath.

When I do this exercise in a group, I’ll have people couple off into dyads. I’ll ask them to turn to each other and sit in silence together with eyes closed.  Then I’ll ask them to open their eyes, look at each other for a minute or so. Then I’ll ask them to mention something they see or feel in the other one at a time. The first person looks a bit deeper and when ready offer a “gift” of their observation. Then the received after a moment of silence, responds with what they heard. Then silence, again and repeat. When the two gifts have been offered, heard and confirmed in silence and strength, I ask them to share with each other how they felt about their gifts. At some point, I usually they relax the form and just debrief the experience.

What is the purpose of this?

To interrupt the momentum of the mind as it burrows into concept and away from clear perception. To see the obstacles to opening to clear perception and to circumvent those obstacles toward a fresh experience of mind.

It is stunning and heartbreaking to see the world we generally miss.


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