"let your intention as you practice be simple .. to pause amidst the busyness and swirling thoughts . .just watching the breath with gentleness and clarity .. like an observer at the side of a flowing river"
Along with the longer and deeper traditional meditation techniques, there are also many 'spot' meditations that have come to us from western meditation traditions and mindfulness practices. These shorter practices enable us to apply some of the skills of meditation right in the thick of everyday life. Incorporating many spot meditations into our day gives us an opportunity to regularly 'wash off' some of some stress .. rather than building to an explosion point by the end of the day. Both kinds of meditation practice are invaluable.
In his book 'Awakening The Buddha Within' Lama Surya Das speaks of 'finding the natural mini-meditations in your own life' .. when you can just stop and be in closer contact with the moment. If we are attentive to catching these moments, we will find there are actually many opportunities to enjoy 'short, homegrown, natural meditation.
When we STOP and PAUSE we give ourselves a chance to come home to the moment. We can let go of the chaos, noise and busy-ness around us, and just embrace a moments stillness, reconnecting with that space within that is calm and peaceful. In the Sacred Pause Spot Meditation we rest our awareness on the very small moment of stillness that occurs at the end of the exhalation. I love the words 'sacred pause' and believe we should imbue our day with many sacred pauses .. simply being present to the moment .. sacred : to make holy .. regarded with reverence
In this spot meditation (which can be practiced for as long or short a time as you like) we gently rest our attention on the pause that occurs at the end of the exhalation .. the briefest moment when the exhalation has stopped but the inhalation has yet to announce itself. Our normal cycle of breath is of course a completely natural and unconscious process, we inhale and air flows into the body .. we exhale and air leaves the body .. this process repeating itself more than 400 million times in a lifetime. In this practice we become conscious of the breath, and as we observe we notice a tiny, infinitesimal moment, between the exhalation and inhalation .. the subtlest of moments .. when everything pauses. Everything stills.
Sacred Pause Spot Meditation
Take a moment to be still
Seated, standing or sitting .. let the body rest and close your eyes
Allow the body to settle and allow thoughts to settle
Let go of doing, let go of body, let go of mind
And observe your breath .. wherever you feel it most deeply at this moment
Perhaps you notice your breath at your nostrils .. or your chest expanding and contracting .. or your belly expanding and releasing
Inhaling .. and exhaling
Letting go of everything else
Enjoying the fresh life giving inhalation
And the beauty of release with the exhalation
Resting into the natural rhythm of your breath
Just being attentive to the breath
And notice the pause that unfolds at the end of the exhalation
Nothing else required
Breathing in and breathing out .. and the sacred pause
Arriving into the present moment in a very simple and perfect way.