Well, aren’t we in some strange times, and it all happened so rapidly it’s a bit mind altering. For years-and-years I’ve had a twenty-minute daily meditation practice. When I started years ago, I needed a focus item, so I created this meditation for myself. Now seems the perfect time to share it with you.
This is a meditation technique that may possibly help bring a bit of calm to your mind. It’s a breath meditation I’ve used since the early 2000(s). It’s easy, and can be done anywhere, anytime for one breath, or a thousand breaths. There’s a basic formula involving the image of Earth, and counting during an inhale and exhale. After that, you can make it your own.
The image of Earth helped hold my focus. Here’s the basic premise—do you remember the vintage Sherwin Williams Paint Company ad with paint dripping from the top of Earth down the sides to eventually cover Earth? Well, that’s it! It’s pretty simple. Instead of paint, it’s your breath, and a visual image of your choice that you wash over Earth.
Step 1: Forget all those yoga pictures of people in cross legged lotus position. You don’t need to be in any specific place, or sitting in any specific position. Wherever you are, softly close your eyes. Sit up straight. Don’t slump forward, you need the openness.
Step 2: Think about your breath for a few moments. Inhale and count, exhale and count. See what your personal count is.
I personally inhale 8, exhale 10. I have been doing this so long that my lungs will inhale a 20 count, but it has taken a while to get there.
Step 3: Now, roll your shoulders back, open your chest/heart space and inhale to the point that you expand your rib cage, and your lungs can’t fill anymore. Check into your body and see how good that feels. Did you know most people are shallow breathers?
Step 4: That deep of a breath may not be comfortable for you right now, so for this meditation I want you to inhale to your comfort level, a level that doesn’t leave you gasping for air, but maybe begin once a day, with one breath trying to expand those ribs.
Step 5: Your eyes…softly close them.
Step 6: With your eyes closed, place your visual focus just a bit above your eyebrows in the center of your forehead.
Step 7: Breath through your nose.
Step 8: You are going to breathe as slowly as is comfortable for yourself. No light headedness. I want you to start with a slow inhale count of 3. Hold the breath for 2. Slowly, with control exhale 5 or 6…or choose whatever count is comfortable for you. It may be more, it may be less. I only give these counts as a guideline to get you started.
Step 9: Now the Earth image. This will help you focus. When you inhale, visualize your breath going through the center core of the Earth from the bottom to the top. At the top, holding the breath for a 1 or 2 count change the vision to whatever you like. Sometimes, I use white light, or falling hearts, or the color green for growth. As you exhale, cover the Earth in an image of your choice.
You may also use a mantra. For instance on the inhale, I silently say “God is All”...on the exhale, “God is Everything.” Or inhale “This day is Perfect,” exhale “This day is wonderful.” Make it your own.
Step 10: Here’s the cycle:::inhale to the count of 3 through the center core of Earth from bottom to top. Hold the breath for a 1 to 2 count. Exhale covering the Earth in your visual image, and/or mantra. Hold the breath for a 1 to 2 count, and repeat. It’s a cycle of up through the Earth, out over the Earth. There is no set time for doing this. You can do this for a few breaths or a minute.
That’s it. A simple, calming breath meditation that works for anyone, anywhere. Nothing special is needed. What I offer with this post is a guideline for you to take, and make your own.
In the comments, let me know how it goes, or offer what works or doesn’t work for you. I’m here if you have questions.
Here’s a post I wrote a few years ago. It has research links you may find interesting.
Some of the Places and Teachers Where I Learned Meditation
Retreats with the late, John Randolph Price, author of 20-something books on spirituality.
Vipassana—a 10 day silent meditation retreat. Yep, 10-days! It was crazy.
The Expanding Light at Ananda Village.
The Tree of Life, under direction of Dr. Gabriel Cousen’s in Patagonia Arizona.
Here’s What I’m Reading This Month
Phebe Phillips lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and cats. She also creates The Literary Catcast Podcast—dedicated to the preservation of vintage books and writings with cats as main characters, bringing their awareness into the modern form of a podcast. The Literary Catcast is available where all podcasts are found, or on the Website.
Phebe is the author of Why Me, Positive Verse for Loss and Sadness. Available on Amazon in English and in Spanish. (Make sure you get the Hard Cover…it’s a prettier book). Here’s what Writer’s Digest had to say: Link Here