The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Perfect "Diamond Hour" #3: Expand a 5MM break into Heartbeat Meditation

The perfect Diamond Hour #3:   Expand one of your “5MM” breaks to 15-20 minutes.

So we have our first two steps of the “perfect” Diamond Hour. 

#1: Take one sixty-second “breathing break” one every 2-3 hours.  This interrupts the cycle of stress devolving into strain.

#2:  Re-write your top 3-4 goals every day.  This clarifies your purpose hugely, so that every day you are moving another step toward whatever forms your fondest reality.

And now, #3: Expand one of your “5MM” breaks out to 15-20 minutes of “Heartbeat Meditation.”
Meditation starts with the ability to focus your mind wherever you want it to go, for as long and as deeply as you need to accomplish a given result.  The usual benefits are quality of attention, relaxation, increased capacity to resist stress, to think clearly under pressure, and so forth.  There are deeper benefits that arise from the capacity to inquiry into the nature of mind, Self, and reality at deeper levels…but you’ll discover those as you go.  First, let’s help you deal with the stresses that generate fear and confusion.

Of all the forms of meditation I’ve studied—and there are dozens—the best for beginning and intermediate students WHO CURRENTLY HAVE NO METHOD is Anahata meditation, simply listening or “feeling”  for your heartbeat.   Sit quietly, spine erect.   You might want to make this your first “Five Minute Miracle” break of the day, perhaps first thing upon awakening.   Take your pulse at wrist or throat, and feel your heartbeat for fifteen to twenty minutes.  When you can, stop “taking” your pulse and just grow quiet and “soft” enough to feel your heartbeat throbbing in your veins.  Rotate your awareness through your body, seeing where you can “feel” your heartbeat most strongly. 
If you are relaxed enough, you can feel it almost anywhere!

A few thoughts:

1) Your first 10-15 minutes will be sheer confusion, voices in your head, urges to twitch and scratch, urges to clean the neighbor’s cat-box, or literally anything else to get you to stop inquiring into the nature of your mind.  Why?  Well, that’s a subject for another time.   Let’s just leave it at the fact that this garbage is completely normal, and analogous to cleaning out the garage.  Yeah, it seems that there’s an infinite amount of crap in there, but eventually you will reach clear sky.    Just the effort places you into an entirely different category of humanity: those who choose to wake the #$%% up.

2) You may find yourself going to sleep.  Another trick of the ego, which seriously wants to stop your inquiry (oops!  I said I was gonna stay away from this subject.  Oh well..) Find a position that is comfortable but not TOO comfortable.

3) If you have a hard time relaxing, you might try playing soft jazz, classical music (without human voices, preferably—unless they are speaking a foreign language you don’t understand), ocean sounds, meditative music, etc.  There are great apps for smart phones or Ipads that create relaxation sounds, and cost about two bucks.

4)  You can spend days, years, or the rest of your life with this exercise, and it will take you all the way home.   If you want to go deeper, after you have found stillness (for the average person, this might take months) during your meditation, begin to ask the most important questions a human being can ask: “who am I?” and “what is true?”

5) Observe the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and images that float through your mind.   Do not try to stop them.  Do not resist them.  Let them go.  Watch without judgement.

6) Write down your experiences in your journal.  As the weeks, months and years pass, your written record of  your experiences will become a guide-book to your inner world.

Again…these first three steps might take weeks or months or years to outgrow.   There is nothing but the process, really.  Go deeper, and if you have any questions about these suggestions, please don’t hesitate to ask.



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