To experience a relaxed state beyond thinking
A method to move systematically from mind to simply being
For whenever you have 30 minutes or so to spare
If you have never meditated, or tried in the past and given up on it, this particular method is excellent. It leads you step by step into meditation, rather than dropping you in the deep end immediately.
You start off using the mind (for counting). In this way, in subsequent stages it doesn’t feel excluded and so keep trying to poke its nose in where it is not needed. This helps you experience what ‘witnessing’ or being the internal observer is. Then by the final stage you can relax into simply being – present, alert and relaxed. At home.
This is a passive method so you might find it helpful to precede it with some activity. Such as swimming, running or dancing for a minimum of 10 minutes. Whatever you do, stay conscious and do it whole-heartedly so that your energy is really engaged. Then you’ll find it easier to be still and silent….
Step 1: Count each inhalation and each exhalation (5-10 minutes)
Spine straight, put your left hand on the right hand, letting both thumbs touch each other. Make sure you are comfortable so that your body does not distract you. However, be aware that if you lie down the tendency is to fall asleep.
Gazing softly at the palm of your left hand, breathe in deeply, and silently count ‘1’; then exhale deeply and count ‘2’, and so on up to 10. Now, breathing normally repeat the above counting from 1-10 for the next 5-10 minutes. If you lose count or find that you have gone beyond 10, start again at 1.
N.B. The first 10 breaths, the first breathing cycle should be very deep. From the second cycle on, the breathing is natural and silent.
Step 2: Count just the exhalations (5-10 minutes)
Still gazing gently at your left palm, breathe out and count ‘1’; when you inhale you are silent. Then exhale a second time and count ‘2’, and so on, up to 10. Again, if you lose count, when you realize that, return to ‘1’. Repeat this 1-10 cycle of counting the out breaths for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3: Simply watch (5-10 minutes)
Now, with your eyes closed, simply watch the breath as it comes in and out of your body. Watch, too, any physical sensations, any thoughts or feelings. Regard all as passing phenomena, just like clouds passing by. No need to become engaged in any of it.
Step 4: Just be (5-10 minutes)
With your eyes remaining closed simply sit silently and be still. Just be, without doing anything.
(Osho: The Shadow of the Whip)