It can also be called something like "contemplation" or mental relaxation.
However, I don't meditate. I appear to have created something else. Perhaps "Focus" is a better word. I will consider this, and perhaps my notes will be moved somewhere appropriate.
Meditation is a big thing in Buddhism and other religions and philosophies.
My revival of this topic ∞
Previously, I didn't meditate, but It's been many years and I wanted to make this a little project and give it another try. What I'm now going to view this as is the elastic being pulled back to slingshot or the winding up before a swing. This will initially become part of Unplugging and then of every day.
They're all wrong ∞
After having considered this topic and written it, I come to realise I have created something different from what others practice.
Fundamental differences in culture make all existing meditation practices wrong. They may be right and healthy and helpful for their culture, but for that to translate into the greater Western traditions is to take Western practitioners and bend them into some shadow from some alien culture. This "colonization of the mind" may have great value, at least for some, but I submit it is far better to build on existing strengths in the Western culture than abandon them for the assumption of the superiority of some part of some other culture.
What I will think of as "Western meditation" is about strength and purpose. It is neither about emptiness from nor about submission to reality. This is not soft, this is hard. It is about wilful control and the ownership of self. This is individualistic and not collectivist, which is why this is very, very, male.
Things that don't matter ∞
It should be your everyday space.
- A special space does not matter.
Noise and other outside distractions do not matter.
- A quiet space is not needed.
It should be your everyday clothing.
- It isn't that clothing doesn't matter, but that it should be the clothing you normally wear.
Time is irrelevant
- A schedule, or a period or time don't matter. Don't set a schedule and don't set a timer. Do this whenever and for however long. Try doing this at least once a week.
- Stop when you think about stopping. Perhaps it is merely a moment of concern or hesitation, or perhaps you shouldn't push yourself or otherwise "try".
Things that do matter ∞
Shocking sounds might really matter.
- Interruption with a loud bang might give you a twenty-minute panic attack. You will learn this about yourself.
You should not be hungry or thirsty.
- These are fundamental problems you should immediately address. It is even more important if you are dieting.
You should not be cold or hot.
- Don't dress in anything specific to this task.
- Dress appropriately, as you normally would for that climate.
Sit on a chair
- Don't sit on the floor.
How to position ∞
your bottom ∞
- Sit in an everyday computer chair
- Extend your legs a little
- Touch your feet together
Put one ankle over the other.
- It should be easy to find a comfortable fit.
Pull your feet underneath you.
- Feel free to prop your feet up on some part of the chair underneath you. If this ever becomes uncomfortable later, then avoid this in the future.
Don't worry about how your feet are placed, at some point you will be able to relax and your legs will be comfortable in that position.
your hands ∞
Place your hands in the void between your thighs.
- Because of the position of your ankles, your knees will be splayed-out, leaving a space.
- Your palms will roughly face one another.
- When relaxed, your hands will be open.
When relaxed, your fingers will be slightly curled.
Note: If you have a chair with arms, then feel free to use them. Because your arms will be pulled back somewhat, your hands will likely rotate to point your palms down a little. This may be more relaxing for you in one way, such as straightening your back and opening your lungs, but it may present a slight challenge for posture. Think on these things.
your back ∞
Aside from staying upright, there are two things to be aware of:
- Pull your shoulders back, resist them rolling forward and slightly-closing the top part of your lungs. Your palms being pointed together will slightly help with this.
- Try a small exercise of pulling your elbows back, almost to touch them together, and then relaxing your arms to "reset" them into their relaxed position.
Your lower back.
- It's arch should be prominent, even slightly exaggerated. This is almost certainly going to be the thing you are continually concentrating on. That's fine, and even a good thing.
- To get into that position, take a deep breath and try to stretch tall. If you have to engage your thighs and even push into the floor with your feet (without moving them much) then that's fine.
I personally breathe through my nose at almost all times in my everyday life.
Close your mouth, open your mouth: Who cares. The purpose is to be relaxed, and most people are more relaxed with their lips together and their jaw relaxed. Experiment to find your comfort. Your goal is to be relaxed and unconcerned about breathing, not to learn a new way: You will not focus on your breathing.
Breathe calmly. You may yawn, and even yawn frequently, and that's fine. If it is too frequent then perhaps your posture is poor and your lungs are not open enough. Perhaps you also need to lose weight. You may need to occasionally take a slow deep breath to open your lungs, pulling back your shoulders and arching your lower back. This, too, is fine. You do not need to have one constant pattern of breathing.
Perhaps breathing through your nose is relaxing for your face but not for your lungs. Perhaps you need to explicitly breathe through your mouth for better air flow without constant yawning. Maybe just inhaling, or maybe just exhaling. Learn this about yourself.
Your body ∞
If you yawn, sometimes try exaggerating a stretch. Perhaps open or crunch your lungs when you yawn. Let your eyes water. Do whatever feels right.
Tense any part (or all parts) of your body if you ever desire. Perhaps tense your buttocks or thighs, or move your legs out and then back again if that feels right.
The aforementioned pulling-back of the elbows or exaggerated arch of the back are all fine to do whenever you see fit.
Your head ∞
Who cares. Relax it. Don't make exaggerated movements, but gently shift your head around to stretch your neck a little. Wobble it like a bobblehead for all it matters, but find a position to be in.
You will likely find that your chin pointed too far down will close your throat and distract you, and that your chin pointed too far up will also distract. Do not sag, and in your mind do not submit; you will find agency in keeping your chin up.
Your eyes ∞
Closed, open, it matters not.
This is a fine opportunity to read from a well-positioned monitor, but it being well-positioned is unlikely and brightness will likely bother your eyes.
Look around, or close your eyes. Do not "visualise". Be physically you, in you, sitting.
Your pulse ∞
At some point you will feel your pulse: Perhaps at your heart, and perhaps elsewhere. You will feel it thrumming throughout you, and when relaxed and with a good posture you will feel it rock you.. let it.
You are not trying to control your heart beat, such as breathing in some special way. Just let it do its thing.
The difficulty is realising that what you are feeling is usual and in no way modified by this relaxation. You may believe your heart is somehow racing even with all this relaxation, but that is an illusion. You may think there are different moments of, and feelings to, your heart beat, but everything is normal. You may even begin to hear the sound of your blood, and this, too, is fine. You may even think you can feel your blood rubbing up against your veins, and this is fine.
There will be illusions and assumptions with this experience. Feel free to entertain them, but above all else do not worry. Once this is done, all things which occurred to you must remain there; walk away from the experience. The only thing you bring with you is your heart beat, and not the mysticism of your wandering imagination.
Your thoughts ∞
Wander, focus, it doesn't matter. You're being physical here, so you can focus on your breathing if you like so long as your pulse is not forgotten.
When you find yourself planning or otherwise considering your life, then do not stray from actions with clear success. Do not think on the past, especially on failures. "This is what I will do today." and "This is what I want." are valuable to have in mind. You want to empower yourself to act and succeed.
The whole point ∞
The physical goal is to feel the beat of your pulse and the rocking of your relaxed body.
By having the environment be usual and in no way special, e.g. your environment, attire, timing, etc, this will trivially carry into your everyday life. This is the whole point; to have this moment persist throughout the experience of existence. Within all of this is clarity and focus. The fire of your will is ultimately projected from your body, and is grounded in your blood. Your burning passion is in your heart.
What you get ∞
- Setting and accomplishing a goal.
Time to yourself.
- Away from your obligations.
Time as yourself.
- Body awareness.
- Relaxation without submission.
A focused mind with a hotter will that applies at all times to all things.