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Friday, February 22, 2008

Meditation - Breath and Navel Meditation

Meditation is one of the Five Principles of Yoga. It is the practice by which there is constant observation of the mind. It requires you to focus your mind at one point and stilling the mind in order to perceive the self. Through the practice of Meditation you will achieve a greater sense of purpose and strength of will. It also helps you achieve a clearer mind, improve your concentration, and discover the wisdom and tranquility within you.

Breath and Navel Meditation is the oldest Meditation Method on record in China as well as India. It is also the method usually taught to Beginners. Breath and Navel Meditation works directly with the natural flow of breath in the nostrils and the expansion and contraction of the abdomen. This Taoist Meditation is a good way to develop focused attention and one-pointed awareness.

Breath and Navel Meditation

  1. Sit cross-legged on a cushion, on the floor, or upright on a low stool and adjust the body's posture until well balanced and comfortable. Press tongue to palate, close your mouth without clenching the teeth, and lower the eyelids until almost closed.

  2. Breathe naturally through the nose, drawing the inhalation deep down into the abdomen and making the exhalation long and smooth. Focus your attention on two sensations, one above and the other below. Above, focus on the gentle breeze of air flowing in and out of the nostrils like a bellows. In exhalation, try to 'follow' the breath out as far as possible, from 3 to 18 inches. Below, focus on the Navel rising and falling and the entire abdomen expanding and contracting like a balloon with each inhalation and exhalation. You may focus attention on the nostrils or the abdomen, or on both, or on one and then the other, whichever suits you best.
From time to time, mentally check your Posture and adjust it if necessary. Whenever you catch your mind wandering off or getting cluttered with thoughts, consciously shift your attention back to your Breath. Sometimes it helps to count either inhalations or exhalations, until your mind is stably focused.

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