Transcription of “Guided Meditation”:
Sit with a tall spine. If you want to you can have the hands facing upward, relaxed on your lap.
Let’s inhale and tense the body. Exhale, relax.
And just two more times. Inhale. Really relax and empty the lungs. One more time.
Feel the shoulders relax away from the neck and the ears, but keep your chest feeling open, so that the shoulders don’t round forward.
Feel grounded on whatever you’re sitting on through the sit bones.
Put your mind in your spine, let’s say at the area of the sacrum and lumbar spine. And make sure you don’t feel like you’re slouching there, so have the navel come forward a little bit if you need to, to keep your spine from being really round in the low back.
Feel your way grounded on the sit bones and feel that weight supporting your core through the center of your body as if you could start at the pelvic floor with your mind and feel balance there, relaxed and connected like your grounded right to the earth.
And then up through the center of your body, without creating unnecessary tension, feel tall. Let your awareness rise gradually breath by breath through the center of your body and imagine what it would feel like if you were relaxing upward – almost like you’re held to the earth through your sit bones and pelvic floor, but the rest of your body is floating upward almost like a balloon that’s held to something with a string and the balloon wants to rise.
The arms are heavy and soft. The legs are heavy and soft. The spine is tall.
Now become aware of the feeling of your breathing and allow the breath to become a little deeper and a little bit more conscious.
If you can just slow the breath down a little bit in the throat and begin to smooth it and lengthen it in a relaxed way. Just find a smooth flow in the breath.
On the next exhalation, try to really allow your body to let go of all of the old air. Just empty the lungs but in a slow, smooth way, very calm breathing through the nose if you can.
Feel how the inhalations come in on their own and then you can add to them a little bit.
Begin tuning into the way it feels when you inhale and you exhale. It has a direct effect on your consciousness. Try to feel it, try to perceive what’s happening. Tune into the breath.
And on the next exhalation just mentally count to time the breath. And when you inhale use the same count to make the inhalation and the exhalation the same length of time.
Keep going like this.
Just feel like everything’s balancing out. By balancing out the breath, let’s just try to get a feeling that we’re getting everything into harmony.
With a relaxed body. Putting the mind on the feeling of the breath. Oxygenating the blood a little bit here, breathing efficiently and effectively.
Just trying to catch up with the body physically.
And then see how it feels after the next inhalation to hold the breath for the same amount of time, so now it’s a three-part breath.
Inhaling, holding and exhaling. All for the same length of time.
When you bring the breath up on that inhalation and hold the breath, try to enjoy the peace and quiet when there is no movement, no activity between the breaths, as you mentally try to count or feel the time, so that the three parts of the breath remain equal.
And begin to notice where you feel the breath when you inhale and exhale, see if you can feel it in the nose or anywhere else that you perceive it most easily.
Try to feel now, on your next inhalation, that coolness of the breath in the nose, try to feel it rising upward even into the front of your brain. Or imagine what it would be like if you could feel the coolness of the breath that rises to the nostrils, rising right up inside of the forehead.
And now on the next exhalation release control of the breathing and just focus on the way your breathing feels, without controlling it in any way. Just let go of the control, let go of the timing, let go of the holding. And allow your body to breathe as it feels to. Let nature, let the body’s wisdom take care of the breathing.
Remain perfectly still. And no matter what you experience, try to direct your concentration on the feeling of the breath, wherever you perceive it.
Put all of your mental energy on the way it feels when you inhale and the way you feel and what you feel when you exhale.
Explore the breath, like you’re carefully observing a scientific process, an experiment and you’re very interested.
The things that we can hear from outside or that we can hear from the people we’re sitting next to or the things that we can feel on our skin and all that stuff or thoughts that come in out of your brain, different awarenesses that come into the mind – do not resist them, but also try not to embrace them.
Just let them be, like clouds in the sky or billboards on the highway that would divert you from your destination. It’s like you’re driving a car on the highway, a country road, you know where you want to be and know where you’re headed. And you don’t need to take every off ramp. You can drive right by those off ramps. Right now they are meaningless to you, they don’t bother you, they’re just there. And you can follow them if you wish, but try not to.
So focus forward. Even with your gaze with eyes closed, point your eyes straight ahead as if you’re driving a car, looking out at the highway. And then take the direction of your eyes a little bit higher than that, as if you’re looking at a mountain top that’s far away.
And for the rest of this practice try to keep your gaze in that direction, as if you’re focused on one point in space like a star that’s low on the horizon, far away, like a point of light in the night sky.
And while you’re doing that, continue exploring the breath.
Explore the breath like a curious child that’s never experienced the breath before.
I’m going to leave you with that much for the next few minutes. Do the best you can to stay on it.
And remember you’re not to control the breath, so you shouldn’t be able to hear it at this point.
And as you watch the breath it’s OK to feel if you can watch four breaths – inhaling, exhaling, without controlling it, without moving without drifting away – feel that each breath is taking you toward your destination.
Your destination is within, deeper and deeper into your own consciousness. Feel it’s like you’re diving deeper and deeper underneath the surface of the sea.
But try to move forward with a sense of enthusiasm, even awe and wonder.
And explore what you feel. If you were diving into the ocean you’d be exploring mostly with your eyes, your vision. But now explore with your feeling nature, with an open heart.
Now with the eyes closed, feel, not with your eyes, but with your awareness, just be like a little child. And imagine that everything that you have experienced in life is very real, but maybe like a movie.
And now you can almost peek behind the curtains or behind the screen, at all the things that we’ve perceived and experienced and maybe feel them or go into those experiences or whatever inspires us in a deeper, quiet way.
Whatever inspires you the most. Spiritually.
Whatever makes you feel love and gratitude.
Some special moment, a special friend.
Experience your gratitude.
Recognize the blessings that you’ve received.
And think of all the souls in this world, all the beings in this world.
And wish them well. Hold them in the peace of your own heart.
Because from this place, your heart can be as big as you allow it to be.
It’s not work to love.
It’s not work right now to accept or to embrace.
Feel radiant peace and blessings, expanding from your center, the way the petals do from the center of a flower and the way the rays do from the sun.
Bridging all the divides, all definitions, all beliefs.
Just pure love.
I just like to think of this as the sound of love and blessings going out to all souls.
The sound of light and healing.
Feel your heart free. Think of souls receiving light everywhere.
Recorded April 3, 2017 at Yogananda Meditation Center.