06 July 2013

Meditation during Revolution: Meditation for a Calm Heart

The last few nights have been challenging to keep a focused mind and focused breath. Military helicopters flying overhead. The energy pulsing from Tahrir. Constant checking Twitter to find out where gun fire is coming from. I can't settle into sleep. Nervous. Anxious.
 During the day, we can see the people in the streets. At night, we can only hear gun fire and shouting. A battle is being waged, but I don't want my fear to play into the scene. I am in the middle of this war zone. But, I chose to be calm for those that are not calm.
Rather then fret, I practiced a meditation that I frequently teach in class. I practice it when I find it hard to be calm and find center.

Meditation for a Calm Heart 

POSTURE: Sit in an Easy Pose, with a light jalandhar bandh. 

EYES: Either close the eyes or look straight ahead with the eyes 1/10th open.

MUDRA: Place the left hand on the center of the chest at the Heart Center. The palm is flat against the chest, and the fingers are parallel to the ground, pointing to the right. 
With the right hand, make Gyan Mudra (touch the tip of the index (Jupiter) finger with the tip of the thumb). Raise the right hand up to the right side as if giving a pledge. The palm faces forward, the three fingers not in Gyan Mudra point up. 
The elbow is relaxed near the side with the forearm perpendicular to the ground. 

BREATH: Concentrate on the flow of the breath. Regulate each bit of the breath consciously.
Inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils.
Then suspend the breath in and raise the chest. Retain it as long as possible.
Then exhale smoothly, gradually, and completely. When the breath is totally out, lock the breath out for as long as possible. 

TIME: Continue this pattern of long, deep breathing for 3-31 minutes.
To End: Inhale and exhale strongly 3 times. Relax.

When you hold the breath in or out for "as long as possible," you should not gasp or be under strain when you let the breath move again.

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