Friday, February 11, 2011

Hara Meditation

I have no idea where this came from... I'm just methodically clearing out my "drafts" here at Shirley Twofeathers, this one is a couple of years old, and I was apparently pretty lax about making note of my sources. I wonder how well it works... maybe I should try it!

This is not strictly a Reiki technique but it is a useful practice to get in touch with your hara.

Your head should rest comfortably on your neck. Pretend that a puppeteer has a string attached to the centre of the top of your head. Your spine should be straight but not rigid so that your head balances there without much muscle tension keeping it in place. Your shoulders should be relaxed. Sit up straight and find that balance point. Your gaze should be slightly downward.

Your nose and your navel should be in line. So should your ears and your shoulders. You may rock a little front to back and to each side to find the balance point. Let your shoulders relax.

Shunryu Suzuki, in his classic Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, says, "If you put your left hand on top of your right, middle joints of your middle fingers together, and touch your thumbs lightly together (as if you held a piece of paper between them), your hands will make a beautiful oval. You should keep this universal mudra with great care, as if you were holding something very precious in your hand. Your hands should be held against your body, with your thumbs at about the height of your navel. Hold your arms freely and easily, and slightly away from your body, as if you held an egg under each arm without breaking it." This hand position will assist you in focussing on your hara.

Now release any remaining muscle tension and concentrate on your breathing. Let your breathing become very natural. It will find its own pace and you may notice that it slows and deepens. Breath in and out through your nose. Allow the inbreath to sink into your abdomen. Imagine that the breath is moving like a wave between your lungs and your hara, that point in the centre of your abdomen about eight centimetres below and behind your navel. Visualise your breath falling there.

Where the mind goes the Ki follows.

Allow the out breath to leave your body gently and loop out in front of your nose. On the in breath pick up that loop again and let it fall down to your hara.

Bring your attention fully to that energy centre, that balance point we are referring to as hara. Allow all of your attention to focus at that point. It may be helpful to imagine a point of red light in the dark of your abdomen. Whatever image you choose, allow it to aid you in focusing, and then when it has lost its usefulness, let it go.

Continue to return your awareness to your hara whenever it drifts away. Focus all of your attention there. Be in that place. Own that part of your body. Note any sensations you have there and let them go. Releasing your mental constrictions there will allow the energy of the hara to move up your spine and throughout your body. You may feel energized, yet at the same time you may feel the peace of being in balance.

Experience whatever comes without grasping. Focus your attention without desire for any particular result. Check your posture and bring it back to balance when you feel it slip. Allow the emptiness of non-doing to bring you peace.

You are back with the source... your true nature.

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