HOW TO DOZE

Phase One

Continued from Body and Breathing Exercises.

Our sub-culture is rich in exercises on the internal tactile 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 i've used over the years, based on conventional methods for complete beginners. Other people may have far better ideas on this subject.

Dozing: Body and Breathing Awareness

Humans have forgotten how to doze. When humans doze we slumber and daydream and get lost in abstract thinking – we have lost the feel for just being.

Dozing is not like panoramic sensing. Panoraming is something which you can do for just a few seconds 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 five minutes.

Preparation

I'd like you to start with a minute of panoramic seeing and listening. Like any wise animal: check the surroundings before settling down for a doze. Then, it's probably easier at first, to close the eyes.

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?

The 'Breath-Body'

The basis for this meditation is whole body breathing. Let's call it the 'breath-body' to distinguish how the breath feels from the inside, to how the body feels (and looks) from the outside.

Feel the breath-body. Feel your body getting bigger and smaller. 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 our culture's general approach, conventional meditation methods often use counting with the breaths.

Counting with Breaths

This uses the breathing as a counting measure, and focuses on a sequence of parts in the body. One breath at each focal point gives us a slow rhythm with enough movement to hold our attention. It's something slow and peaceful to do. It's practical.

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'.

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.

These days 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, you could count one breath while being aware of light, sounds, smells, and tastes.

Then always between each sequence, a few breaths with the whole breath-body, expanding and contracting.

Imagination

The experience and success of whole body breathing depends on if you are in any way physically restricted or stiff (e.g. through injury) or emotionally blocked with stress and tension. 'Being conscious and letting go' can be focused on any body stiffness as a natural healing technique, at the least as an inner massage. Use your imagination in any way you want to heal stiffness ...

Extra Body Breath Exercises develops all these ideas.

Back to Chapter 7 : Inner Body Awareness