HOW TO DOZEPhase One
Continued from Body and Breathing Exercises
This essay is not about broadband sensing. This is about the internal body sense.
Our sub-culture is rich in exercises on the internal awareness of our own body. To my knowledge, they are all effective ways of re-energising, real-ising yourself, and finding some peace, balance, and happiness.
If you already have an effective method to contain your thoughts and relax your body and mind, the following exercises will be largely irrelevant for you. I'd like to summarise a few ideas based on conventional methods for complete beginners.
Dozing: Body and Breathing Awareness
This is not like broadband sensing. Broadbanding is something which you can do for just half a minute and it will be effective. But, every animal needs a minute or so before they can settle down and doze. To find any depth, humans need to doze for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Check through your outer body, where it's touching the floor and the chair, your clothes, and the air on your face and hair. Are you comfortable?
Notice how you're breathing in and out. Feel your body getting bigger and smaller. Feel the breath-body. Recently, i would describe the feeling as filling up and emptying out. I find 'filling up and emptying out', or 'expanding and contracting', are both good and simple ways to feel whole inside my body.
If you can do this just for ten minutes, then that would be amazing. Most people, myself included, will start to daydream. So let's give the thoughts some sort of stability.
I often use a form of prayer or mantra and build it into the basic sequence, and this pacifies the thoughts. However, looking at it from the perspective of psychology and techniques, conventional meditation methods often use counting with the breaths.
Counting with Breaths
When i was young i picked up the idea of "conscious i breathe in, letting go i breathe out". I still find this a very useful meditation idea. There are various ways to combine the breathing with 'being conscious and letting go'. And though it may seem ideal to be conscious and let go at the same time, it is effective to separate the two steps.
Go through your whole body, step by step - feet, knees, hips; shoulders, elbows, hands; bowels, stomach (diaphragm), lower chest, upper chest; neck, face, head; - at each step thinking "conscious of my feet i breath in, letting go of my feet i breathe out" etc..
Don't worry if your breathing becomes unsteady as you let it go. This is just your lower brain allowing your body to adjust to what it needs and wants, instead of being controlled by your routine habits.
I often start a meditation by counting through my fingers. Conscious of and letting go of each finger – from the little fingers to the thumbs – both sides at the same time – then i count through my toes. If i can't actually feel the second and middle toe, i imagine them, i know they're there, so i count them anyway.
Then come back to the whole breath-body, filling up and emptying out, expanding and contracting.
Then, even without reading the essays on taste and smell, you could do a rudimentary exercise: counting one breath each, being aware of: light, sounds, smells, tastes, and then the touch of your inside body again.
Then always between each sequence, a few breaths with the whole breath-body, expanding and contracting.