I recently returned from my European tour through Amsterdam and Stockholm, and I wanted to share a few timeless secrets of meditation with you.
We live in a pretty noisy world -- cars, planes, motorcycles, snow blowers, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, transmission lines, TV, radio, ring tones, trains, boats, engines running, motors humming. And that's just the non-living stuff. Then there are all the human and animal sounds. Beneath all that are the natural sounds of nature -- the crashing of the surf on the shore, the rustling of leaves in the trees, the crescendo of raindrops on the sidewalk -- it can get loud out there.
For most of us, between the 60,000-80,000 thoughts we receive each day, and the millions of vibrations that flow into our ear canal from our environment, there isn't a lot of silence. Our minds can be consumed by the noise around us, which only revs up the perceived noise within -- but the reality is that we control the volume button of life. We control the speed at which life flows at us.
When we connect to our most genuine self -- the part of us that rests beneath our clothes, beneath our flesh casing, beneath our physical structure -- deeper still -- beneath our emotions, beneath our ego, at a more subtle level than even our intellect, then we awaken a wonderful stillness and a magnificent silence, a state of consciousness that some refer to as bliss.
In this state, we experience Namaste -- no judgment, no fear, no regrets, no grievances, no expectations, vulnerability, gratitude, forgiveness, compassion and truth.
How do we get there? How do we connect to the silence? We can start by placing our hand on our heart, closing our eyes, and gently following our breathing in and out -- feeling the universe flow into you with each inhale and out of you with each exhale.
Try it now. As you read these words, feel the air flow in and out of you. Feel your lungs stretch and relax. Feel your chest rise and fall. Now close your mouth, and gently breathe in for four seconds and out for four seconds, solely through your nose. Feel your belly fill as you inhale. Feel it release as you exhale. Again, don't consciously do anything to alter your breath other than closing your mouth and breathing both in and out through your nose. Just observe your breath for about a minute... simply be aware that you breathe in to a count of four, and exhale to a count of four.
As you breathe, silently notice "I'm breathing in, I'm holding the breath, I'm breathing out, I'm holding the breath." Maintain this awareness for the next few minutes. And each of us has the ability to do this in any moment; upon waking, while showering, while walking your dog, while getting into your car, while waiting on line, while sitting at your desk or in a meeting, while reading this sentence. It only takes 16 seconds!
Watch for the release of davidji's new book "Destressifying: The Real-World Guide to Personal Empowerment, Lasting Fulfillment, and Peace of Mind" in July.