I covered meditation in two newsletters in the summer of 2013: they’re available at my website www.johnhendry-online.co.uk. I’ve recently added to my method a technique which is a take on yoga nidra and the first stage in a hypnotic induction. I find now that I can comfortably meditate for an hour or more and, if I set a time limit, when I open my eyes, I’m usually pretty close. I have a pen and paper handy for any thoughts I need to remember. Make sure you know your timetable for the day and that there are no pending decisions. Words ‘said’ are internal. Do your own timings. (Don’t attempt this while handling machinery or driving.) I do it after breakfast.
First I settle into my usual comfortable position where I normally sit on a sofa and relax the muscles of my face. Next I breathe in and out 10 times as deeply as I can – swelling the diaphragm –with relaxation coming with the in-breath and any stress going with the out-breath. Hold the full breath for three seconds.
Next I mentally repeat the Sanskrit mantra Colin gave me at the TM Trust in Kent. I can’t reveal it but it’s an open-ended word of two syllables. This establishes the meditation domain. I let it roam like a lone fish lazing around an aquarium. Make up your own mantra.
Next I notice that my breathing has become shorter and I repeat ‘aahh’ on the in-breath and ‘oomm’ on the out-breath. They’re sacred sounds from ancient Hinduism and they’re pretty good at it. (I’ve read that some meditators can suspend their breathing but I wouldn’t want to try that outside A&E.) If I find that my ‘monkey mind’ is busy with chatter, I temporarily shift my centre of consciousness from the front brain to the mid-brain.
When I’ve had enough of that, I move on to the new stuff. I focus on limbs, starting with the right foot: notice any sensations, points of contact … send it warm energy … sometimes I thank the limb and wish it well. Lastly I make the limb feel heavy … too heavy to move. … then the left foot, legs, and thighs. I have a break there to focus on seatedness: make wherever you’re in contact with floor or seat feel heavy … feel gravity gently urging you downwards.
Then back to the limbs … hands, arms, shoulders which I follow with a focus on the seven basic chakras ending with the crown chakra which I see as an open fontanelle providing access to healing, the realm of spirit, and my higher self. To access healing I address my usual wording to the healing energy: ‘I seek attunement to the highest possible source of healing and I ask you to purify me and xxx so that we can be the best possible channel and receivers of your healing’. Sometimes I offer healing just to myself in which case I sense the healing as a flow of energy through the fontanelle and slowly throughout my body and out via the toes. If you find thoughts intruding, go first to the mid-brain (which I find short-lived) and if necessary repeat mantra/aahh-oomm/ seatedness/limbs. When emerging allow yourself five minutes to recover.
I’d like to thank those of you who’ve enquired about my state of health since my bout with cancer: I’ve recently had the result of a scan and I’ve been given a clean bill of health.