and Breath Meditation
by Tom Pritscher
Neuroscience tells us that when information first comes in through the senses to the brain, it goes to the thalamus, which translates physical waves into the language of the brain. The information then splits, some going to the amygdala and the rest to the neocortex. The amygdala is where negative emotional memory is stored. The path to the amygdala is shorter, so the information gets there first. Negative emotional input stimulates the amygdala to send instructions to the body to produce stress hormones.
With continued arousal of the amygdala, it is hard to break out of the negative emotional stress response cycle. The synchronization of eye movement and breath synergistically energizes the whole brain and the cycle is broken.
Through synchronized eye movements and breathing, this meditation will help you access inner resources, reduce stress, release blockages, and increase, center and ground energy. You will experience restful alertness and greater clarity.
Effortless attention increases awareness. Allow thoughts and feelings to drift by like clouds. Just let them be there. Don't give them any energy. Attention is only on breath and eye movements.
Sit comfortably erect. Close eyes throughout the meditation. Inhale and begin to move the eyes from the center, slowly, without straining, toward the first direction (upper left). Release eyes and breath together. Allow them to center, then push the breath out slightly. Breathe from the diaphragm, through the nostrils, silently. Repeat sequence in the second direction (upper right). Complete all eight directions and begin again.
The directions are: (in this order) upper left, upper right, lateral left, lateral right, lower left, lower right, straight down and straight up. (As the compass on a map points to the main directions and the points in-between.) If you are left handed start with upper right etc.
Hints: Be gentle. At first the eyes may not move very far, or they may jump up. Don't worry, allow the breath to follow at its own pace to the point of comfortable fullness. Straining may cause headache or other discomfort.
Slow is important.
The eyes go out from the center with the inhalation. There is never a strain. The eyes go only so far as a good, comfortable stretch. The breath usually wants to go longer than the eye movement. It is a feel good breath. The eyes are held in the comfortably stretched position with an easy hold (like they are going but they are not going). When the breath gets to that point of comfortable fullness, release the eyes and the breath at the same time. Allow the eyes and breath to center.
By moving the eyes in these different directions you access generally all the areas of the brain, the whole brain, and are no longer stuck in the "fight or fight" stress response in the reptilian brain. The breath synergistically energizes these areas. Stress, old trauma and other blockages are released. With the letting go and allowing the eyes and breath to center, you ground and center with greater energy, awareness and clarity. At the end of the sitting meditation, just be in that greater awareness and clarity, the Presence. Act out of this awareness and clarity. Maintain the increased awareness in every moment and in everything you do.
Effortlessness and being there in the moment with what your are doing are most important. With your greater energy, awareness, clarity, groundedness and centeredness, you will be operating at a deeper level of consciousness. You can now experience whatever arises in the mind as opposed to being experienced by it. (Freedom as opposed to suffering.)
This meditation can take you beyond thought and concept. Beyond the limited, conditioned mind, beyond thought and concept, is what I call Presence. You are that Presence. You are the meditation. Make it your every moment.
Five or ten minutes is all you need to do for this part of the meditation. Do it several times a day. Once a week or when in trauma, take the first five minutes of every waking hour and do this meditation. Let all your action arise out of this Presence, as opposed to reacting out of being experienced by your conditioning, anger, guilt, etc.
People all over the world have experienced remarkable results with this meditation, originated and developed by Tom Pritscher, called by some "The Great Stress Buster." This is the first part of the process Somatic Meditation Therapy.
Tom Pritscher has taught meditation for more than 30 years in India, Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. He is currently the director of the Bald Mountain Meditation Center. He can be contacted at email@example.com. www.realhealing.com
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