Updated July 14, 2020
One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain. –Rick Godwin
If you are a beginner to meditation or if you want to vary or strengthen your existing meditation practice, this practice is for you. Instructions include what to do with your body, mind, and when and where to meditate.
Let us start with the physical positioning. Sit straight up. Keep your eyes closed. Another option is to look down about eight feet in front of you. If it is noisy, put on some earplugs. Then, do the following:
- Engage or lift the “Mula Bandha,” which are the anal/perineum muscles.
- Engage the “Uddiyana Bandha,” which are the abdomen muscles.
- Engage the “Jalandhar Bandha” or tuck in the chin.
Note that “bandhas” are etheric energies, and physical muscles or body parts correspond to the etheric “bandhas.”
Then use a “hand mudra.” A simple “hand mudra” is to turn your palms up to face the ceiling with your fingers not touching each other.
Now watch your breath. Inhale for four counts and exhale for four counts. Keep on paying attention to your inhales and exhales.
Then wait for physical sensations (flatulence or beginnings of a bowel movement, energy moving up your spine, or warm energy between your eyes).
Then wait for a feeling of calmness, peace, and unity with everything. Depending on your day, you may not get to this specific point, which is perfectly fine. If you realize you can’t get to this point, the mere realization is a worthy goal to achieve, because you can see that perhaps you are so busy with things that you have to do during the upcoming day, that it is hard to have inner “unity with everything.”
Start off meditating, preferably within one hour of waking up, for at least ten minutes per day. The first hour you spend upon waking is critical as subconsciously; you are programming your mind and body for the rest of the day. You want to start your day off correctly. If you do not, you might as well stay in bed and wait until you can!
Personally, this is my routine right after I wake up in the morning, and I will be specific because it is imperative to prepare correctly for morning meditation. I wake up without the blare of an alarm clock: soft music, sunlight, or sounds of animals can be wake up calls. Minutes after, when I begin to think of what I need to do for the day as my thinking starts to get active, I gently wiggle my toes or slightly stretch my legs. Then I get out of bed, brush my teeth, use the toilet, comb my hair, etc. I also drink one glass of plain boiled, filtered, or distilled water. Do the above to have a relatively clean body before you start to meditate.
Then, I sit near to the same place I slept, and I start to meditate. The most comfortable place to meditate is right at your bed or bedside. Find a relatively quiet place where you are alone and free of distractions. If there are too many morning sounds, I put on earplugs. The point is to go within and observe your inner thoughts and not look for things outside of you.
Emy Louie is author of “Fast Trains: America’s High Speed Future,” and is the former Director of Public Outreach for the US High Speed Rail Association, which is based in Washington DC. Ms. Louie was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Hawaii and received a degree in Architecture from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She once hosted “The Emy Louie Show” where she produced content and interviewed the movers and shakers of the Western Feng Shui and Green Building movement. She is currently working on conservation, environmental and design projects in Hawaii and Central America.