In an earlier post I wrote that I’m trying to maintain an open attitude to life , intending to accept whatever comes my way. This intention is still with me. I’m done being mentally in the past , enslaved to my mind’s whim. I’m trying to be alert to the direction life is nudging me to , maintaining curiosity to what’s next. Also I’m more aware of my mind state and emotions , letting them flow through the body . Energy and positivity are on the rise again.
I’m reading the book ‘Healing Love through the Tao’ by Mantak Chia which, so far, seems to be dedicated to describing the microcosmic orbit practice in detail. Of course I haven’t finished the book yet but I try to incorporate what I’ve read so far. I will dedicate a page on this site soon to describe my MCO process and I will update that page as I learn.
For this 30-minute session I sat on the edge of a chair instead of cross-legged on a pillow. I put a slight smile on my face and started with a few minutes of smiling to my vital organs as described in the book. (The Inner Smile is a Taoist practice). I used abdominal breathing a described in the book but not forced, the book states that if you can hear the breath it’s too forceful.
I put the tip of the tongue a little further back than usual but I put it back against the teeth after a while because it was too much to manage along with the other changes to my routine. Mantak Chia says to envision the energy coming in through all the press of the body so that’s what I did. I let the energy go up the spine at the in breath and down the front at the it breath. Abdominal breathing is a bit more difficult in this sitting position , I had to find the exact right angle where my abdominal muscles are relaxed enough for this type of breathing while still able to maintain a straight back. I was also contracting the pelvic floor muscle at the out breath but this felt wrong somehow so I stopped that to feel the difference and it was better , so I didn’t do that anymore for the rest of the session. Maybe the book had something to say on that soon.
In terms of energy it felt ineffective at first, but after 10 minutes or so a subtle warmth was building in the spine and in the abdomen. Picturing the energy going up the spine is easy , it’s the energy going down there front that I find difficult to ‘see’. At the end of the session it did feel like I accumulated some energy in the form of warmth and I let it collect in my abdomen for storage. As I write this report the subtle warmth is still present in my belly. It does feel different though, compared to the previous meditations. I’m curious how this will develop.
I did this 15-minute session at work , same approach as yesterday. Started with a few minutes of deeper abdominal breathing , no pauses between in- and out breath. Breathcycle is about 3-4 seconds total. The tip of the tongue always rests against the roof of the mouth. After 3 minutes I started the MCO , starting from root chakra going up the spine towards the crown at the in breath and going down over the front of the torso at the out breath while contracting the pelvic floor muscle. I try to feel energy centers along the way but I do that loosely otherwise I can’t manage co-ordinating everything. This time the meditation actually felt a little uncomfortable in the spine and the front, but this can also be caused by fatigue. (I don’t measure how good a meditation was by how good it felt , everything is okay.) About 5 minutes into the MCO things became more of a flow , it was easier to keep everything going. There were however no energy sensations , only the usual pressure at the 3rd eye.The meditation felt lively though. When it was time to collect the energy at the lower dantian, I felt it might be nice to nurture the lotus on my heart with the energy , which I saw as a white cloud in my abdomen at that moment. So I let the energy flow upwards toward my heart like a liquid or a heavy fog. When it reached and enveloped the heart the feeling of my body changed subtly. There was more aliveness in the body , all sensations were a little more vivid. I saw the lotus flower before my mind’s eye , consuming some of the energy and it started twinkling and rotating , shining brightly. I enjoyed this for a minute. I considered leaving the energy there but I figured it would be better to lead it back to the lower dantian en let it be absorbed by the crystal ball there. I felt nice afterwards and slightly more open in my heart area.
Today I will finish reading ‘the Surrender Project’. This book was extremely inspiring. So what book to read next? I have a long list waiting for me in Scribd , I’m happy that I subscribed to that service. My interest at the moment is seeing how I can make the microcosmic orbit meditation more effective, I’m ready to work on the next phase. I partially read a book a while ago by Mantak Chia called ‘Healing Love through the Tao, Cultivating female sexual energy’. It was interesting but of course not entirely applicable to me. At the time I could not find the male variant of that book. Now that I’m reminded of it I checked my Scribd subscription and it includes that book so that’s nice , but I also read the comments saying it actually is a follow-up to another book called ‘Healing Love through the Tao’. This book too is available in Scribd so I’ll start with that one to build from the base up.
Tonight I kept it simple, I just sat with the intention to keep my attention with the breath while being generally aware of thoughts, emotions and sensations. Actually, the key is to be aware of being aware, knowing where your attention is. Lately I have the strategy to use a mala that I always wear. It’s a string of beads and you hold it in your hand.
With each breath you let a bead go through the fingers and you move to the next. This way you couple an action to the breath, this makes it easier to stay present. I also use it during meetings or presentations, it’s inconspicuous and I’m actually meditating while still aware of what’s being said. But I digress.
I sat for about 35 minutes with the mala and it calmed me down a lot. There were emotions and thoughts but they were observed, they had far less power over me. It’s in moments like this that I see the truth of my experience; you see how peaceful and quiet everything can be in the absence of thought.
I just did an 11-minute meditation at work, simply being aware of thoughts, emotions and body. I noticed a subtle heat, like a hot tennis ball behind my belly button. It’s been there all morning I think, it’s quite pleasurable to focus on.
This morning meditation was a bit odd. I decided to do an MCO and lead that in with some faster deeper bellybreathing so I did deeper breath cycles of 3-4 seconds total with no pause between the in- and out breath. I did this for about 10 minutes and started the MCO, maintaining the breathing. During the in breath I envisioned the energy coming in to my body via the mouth and moving to the crown while the energy in the body moves up the spine to the crown. During the out breath the energy travels down the front of the torso towards the root. On both sides I try to be conscious of every energy center during this. I think it was a bit too much because I kept losing track, breath would return to normal and I would be thinking of something. With a small shock I would suddenly realize what I was doing and I thanked my subconscious for reminding me before returning to the meditation each time.
There weren’t very specific energy sensations but I could feel the effectiveness in the body. This felt awake, buzzy and pleasant. I think I will keep this up and with a little routine I will be able to keep all the details of this method within my focus without losing track.
Normally I avoid doing energy related meditations in the late evening but I haven’t gotten around to do it during the day so I made an exception.
I sat in my meditation room cross-legged. I’ve been trying to meditate on the seiza bench lately but that posture kind of inhibits relaxed breathing. I’m cross-legged on the pillow now again but I’m not using the back rest so my back is not supported. I’ve read that this is better for energy flow and it is a more active posture. This was a 15-minute session and I’m doing the ‘new’ method from now on as I described last time. It feels a bit awkward but I need to get used to it. Sensations were quite absent except for the 3rd eye pressure and some warmth in the abdomen. The meditation didn’t feel ‘dead’ though. I try to let the energy pass through each center consciously but since I’m going around the torso during each breath (breath cycle is about 4 seconds total) it’s going pretty fast and it’s going to take some practice- but that’s fine.
Nurturing the flower at my heart is a bit difficult now because of the speed but I made that up in the second part of this meditation : the daily Metta. I did the same one as yesterday and I even tried to boost it by putting my hands on my heart and giving myself (and the lotus in my heart) Shamballa at the same time, but it didn’t really open me up. I wonder if I’m just so closed/blocked or if this is normal. I think something is holding me back. Anyhow, I observe and try not to worry about it. Sleepy time.