Four Fold Meditation
Health benefits of meditation
Meditation is a healthy way to relax and calm stress while exploring altered states of awareness. Stress is the root of many diseases and discomforts, including mental disease. Meditation works wonders helping to relieve stress and the longer it is practiced daily the more beneficial it becomes. The health benefits of meditation are too numerous to list here. The basic benefits are as follows.
Increased focus and concentration
Increased self awareness
Centered mental and physical balance
Physical health benefits
Mental health benefits
Mediation is a natural way to alter and control brain wave activity to achieve an increase in physical and mental health. It also relieves depression and emotional stress while curbing unconscious negative tendencies. Besides being very healthy, meditation also allows one to increase self awareness.
Four fold breath meditations
The goal of these two breathing meditations is to calm the mind by not following thoughts when they arise. When a thought arises simply let it go by without following it with another thought. The key here is detachment, when we stop giving our attention to our thoughts they slow and subside. Internal dialog is forever describing the world for us, but when we stop paying attention it has a reaction. Just like any of us when we are talking to someone and they stop listening to us. First we may repeat our words and if they still do not listen, we may shout and stamp our feet. But if they still refuse to give us their attention, we eventually just stop talking. Ego works the same. For these meditations we want to just let go and let our thoughts go by without a care until they gently slow to a calm mind.
Breath meditations are simple and effective forms of relaxation. Below are two different breath pattern meditations, each with slightly different results. Meditation is supposed to be easy and enjoyable, or no one would do them. Count slowly and evenly for them so that it feels natural to you. You will want to find a comfortable position to sit with straight spine for best results. Your position should be comfortable, but not so comfortable that you fall asleep. Continue the meditation of your choice for about 20 minutes or so.
Four Fold Breath Meditation
1. Inhale for count of four
2. Hold the breath for a count of four
3. Exhale for a count of four
4. No breath for a count of four
Continue this for several minutes until thoughts slow to a calm state of mind, while also sharpening your senses. This meditation works very well with visualization and gives rise to a beautiful state of awareness.
Four - six - eight breath pattern meditation
1. Inhale for a count of four
2. Hold breath for a count of six
3. Exhale for a count of eight
4. No breath for a count of four
This breathing pattern will also calm your mind while slowing your heart rate by exhaling slower than inhaling. The mind remains busy as it focuses on the alternating counting patterns. This will increase a calm focused state of alternate awareness with very healthy physical benefits.
Walking in Nature
This meditation is very simple. Breath slowly, deeply and rhythmic while walking through a park or the woods. Hold your calm attention on your feet while walking. When your mind naturally begins to wonder, just gently bring it back to your feet. This meditation will be calming and help the mind to learn to remain gently focused. This has more health benefits than it may appear.
Saluting the Sun
This is a moving meditation using the same empty bliss calm state and combining it with breath and movement. This is a simple yoga type of meditation exercise and also very healthy, causing a beautiful state of awareness to arise within you.
Stand straight with feel apart in a natural position about shoulder span apart. And inhale slowly.
Bend your knees slightly and stretch your arms full length with palms out towards the floor, and the fingers of each hand pointing towards the other. Exhale.
While slowly inhaling slowly bring your arms up while straightening your knees until your hands are over your head with palms out and fingers pointing at each other, like the Buddha statue.
Now while exhaling drop your arms to form a ball or circle slightly to one side, while standing on one leg with the leg under your circular hands resting on pointed downward big toe.
Go back to step 2 and repeat until you create a ball with your hands on the other side over your other leg and pointed toe.
As you continue imagine the energy spiraling as two snakes intertwining up your spine while bringing your hands upward and then exploding out of your head to shower your body with light when you reach the top, and also continue to shower while holding your ball of light.
Continue this exercise for at least five full cycles or more (as many as you like).
When you have finished, on the last cycle just stretch your arms out in the shape of a T, like a cross and with calm mind and inner vision see your energy vibrating and glowing clear light.
This exercise will accomplish several healthy benefits at once.
Increase visualization and focus
Balance your energy flow within your body, while effecting grounding you.
Stretch your arm and leg muscles, increasing posture and sense of balance.
Burn away negative and unhealthy energy (disease) as you watch (visualize) your life energy spiral like two snakes intertwining up your spine with glowing light and burning away negative energy.
Then showering your body with vitalizing light and natural healing energy.
Calm your mind and cause a natural feeling of joy.
When finished slowly bend down while breathing and keeping your legs straight, bend as far as you can comfortably. If possible try to touch the floor. This is done in stages of breathing, first touching the floor with finger tips while exhaling. Remaining for the inhale and then putting thumbs to the floor on the next exhale, then palms on the next exhale. Don't push yourself in this. No need to over stretch for health benefits. Doing this daily it becomes easier with time and practice. This is a stretch and visualization exercise, promoting both physical and mental health at the same time.
The longer both of these exercises are practiced the more beneficial they become. Like any exercise it takes time for them to work properly on the body and mind.
Inner garden sanctuary
Breath deep and go into empty bliss to calm your mind. Then create your inner garden within your mind. This will be your sanctuary anytime you need it. Where you can close your eyes and go to get away from it all and just enjoy inner peace. I have spent years creating and changing mine. I will share a bit about my inner garden with you, but yours can be anything you like.
My inner garden:
To get to my inner garden I follow a creek to a large pool with a cave beside it. Inside the cave is a fireplace surrounded by natural chairs made of wood and rock. Crystals of all shapes and sizes are growing from the walls. Going around the back wall a bright light shines through an opening. Through the hole in the wall a passage explodes out to a beautiful sunny garden lined with huge flowers of every color and standing taller than me. There is a pond with a giant waterfall cascading on the rocks below and splashing onto the plants and flowers in the garden. Examining the huge water falls exposes a hidden statue over 100 feet tall with water washing over it. The statue depicts a female representing my favorite meditation deity goddess or angel, whom I call AST. Climbing behind the rocks that make the base of her foot is a hidden doorway leading to a shaft with sunlight shining in from the very top. Stepping into this shaft I am instantly whisked upwards onto a landing at the top. Stepping out high above the garden and bordering a hidden lake of deep blue. All around I can see the tops of mountains with a small path leading around and down to the surface of the lake 20 feet below. Diving off the statue's head into the lake opens into an imaginary realm of geometrical dimensions, unlike anything seen in this world. Sliding on the surface of the water I enter other avenues of subtle dream realities of my choice.
Climbing back up the mountain path to step back into the shaft I slowly float down to my garden. Walking through the garden I can see plants of all shapes and varieties, some very exotic others just ordinary plants like corn, tomatoes and herbs. There are trees and bushes everywhere, mushrooms and weeds. In this magical garden anything I seek I will find. Wild animals wonder into the cave and garden to eat or just play, while I watch them and enjoy their tranquil beauty. Sitting by the bonfire, listening the the cicadas chirping I find its time to go. So I walk out of the secret cave and by the river, winding around the corner I open my eyes to find myself back in the world again. Feeling refreshed as I awaken from my controlled daydream.
Swinging the breeze
Sometimes the simplest exercise is the most effective. This is a yoga like exercise which I don't know a proper name for, as my wife taught it to me without a name. It's very easy to do and besides being a great exercise it also causes an incredible state of awareness to bloom within.
Simply stand straight with knees relaxed and swing both arms at your sides to a comfortable chest height. Then let them just fall and swing them behind your back. Close your eyes and count to five. On the fifth swing bend your knees and for one count. Then straighten up and start the count over again. Continue this for about twenty minutes. After a few moments of this you will go into a slight trance. As you continue your trance becomes deeper and your mind will naturally silence. It becomes kind of automatic and twenty minutes goes by very fast.
This may be the single most profound exercise I have found. It takes one into a deep state of meditation without meditating. It's very invigorating and beneficial. I usually do it with my wife and she counts while I just let go of all mind and follow her. When she stops I stop and by that time I am deep into empty bliss. This is something that seems to work on its own while one just lets go and goes with it for the ride. Which is why I call it swinging the breeze because its like the breeze pulls me along as my arms seem to swing on their own. I never feel tired until I stop, then I almost fall over in sheer delight.
© 2015 Randy Hirneisen
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