Mindless Meditation

Nov 18, 2019

In Mindless Meditation, we combine the Buddhist practice of Vipassana with the Hindu practice of Yoga Nidra as a simple and effective pathway to mindless awareness. First breathe and then the body becomes an anchor in becoming mindless through these steps.

Step One

Do light stretching to prepare the body. If you are familiar with Surya Namaskar it is the best. If you don’t know how to, in a sequence raise your hands to the sky, bend to touch the floor, stretch forward almost lying on the floor supported by the palms of your hand and toes, and then raise yourself again. The idea is not to perform Olympic gymnastics, just to flex the body and relieve it of tightness.

Step Two

  • Lie comfortably on a light mat on the floor (you can practice initially on a chair with spine straight) and eyes closed, palms facing up. Form a circle with the first three fingers in both hands, to serve as a kinesthetic anchor that allows you to quickly settle into this state in the future (once you are familiar with the process you may not need this).
  • Inhale deeply from below the navel. Visualize energy moving up from the earth through your feet to the crown of the head.
  • Hold inhaled breath and feel the energy reaching out to every part of the body.
  • Exhale completely. Feel yourself expanding into the Universe.
  • Hold the exhaled breath. Allow yourself to merge completely into the Universe.
  • Repeat this cycle slowly twelve times. Establish your own comfortable rhythm. Staying comfortable and feeling the visualization matters more than how long one holds the breath.

Readers’ Note:

 This is not a regular pranayama or breath control process taught in primary Yoga classes. This process is part of Shiva’s teaching to Devi as outlined in Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, considered to be the source of Yoga techniques.

 The most important part of the breathing awareness process is holding the breath in between inhalation and exhalation, and exhalation and inhalation. Shiva tells Devi that it is in this holding space he can be found. This is the ‘no mind’ Forth State of Awareness space one needs to master. Mastery is not about not having thoughts, which is impossible as long as we breathe, but to disengage from thoughts merely witnessing them.

Step Three

  • Do not consciously control the breath any more. Continue inhaling, holding, exhaling, holding sequence without conscious effort and attention.
  • Watch the breath fall on the space between the nostrils and your upper lip. Watch where the breath comes from, and where it goes in. Watch where it falls on your upper lip and how it falls. Observe its intensity, temperature, texture etc.
  • When you realize that you are no longer focused on your breath but thinking of something else, bring your attention back to the breath. Watch your breath for at least twelve minutes.

Step Four

  • Gently shift attention to the crown of the head. Focus on the subtle vibrations beneath the skull. Notice any tingling sensations that may arise. Experience the movement of the breath in the crown of the head. If you do not observe anything in the first few attempts, accept it and move on.
  • Spend several seconds experiencing and being aware of the crown of the head. Slowly, gently, shift your attention to the forehead, between eyebrows, and feel in that location the same energy vibrations related to your breath. Step by step, shift your attention to the rest of your body such as throat, shoulders, arms, fingers, chest, solar plexus, groin, thighs, knees and legs till you reach the heels and tips of your toes. Gradually, scan your body backwards from the toes to the crown of the head. In the classic process of Yoga Nidra, probably the most powerful meditation process for mindlessness, traditional scan involves sixty-five parts in the body outlined in the body map below. Coacharya adds Chakras from the Tantra tradition to the Yoga Nidra body points of awareness.

You may not experience any energy movements in the first few attempts, especially if you are trying too hard to manage your breathing as well as body awareness. The trick is to relax into a pure witnessing mode allowing the breathing to continue in the background. The experience will happen.

Body Mind Awareness
  • This process leads to awareness of your unconscious mind, the deep sleep awareness of prajna, referred to earlier. After completing the body awareness scan from head to toe and back, gently shift your attention from the crown of the head to the middle point between the eyebrows, then the throat and finally the heart area. Stay relaxed in the heart space. Observe your thoughts as they arise, not getting carried away with them and letting them go. Be a witness, not a participating actor. Gradually, your thoughts will slow down and you will be able to observe them, accept them and let them go. You remain mindless and disengaged. Stay mindless in the heart space.
  • Spend at least an hour on this mindlessness meditation the first time. Over time, you can compress these 3 steps of deep breathing, watching your breath upon your upper lip, and the body-scan to about twenty minutes.

Moving Beyond

For those of you who would like to experience the state of near Fourth State awareness of out of body-mind experience, the extended process may help. You may prefer to lie down and practice Yoga Nidra in Shavasana (corpse pose) for this process.

As you rest on your heart energy center, witnessing thoughts not being engaged with them, hands loosely spread out palms upwards, continue to breathe deeply in the cycle of inhaling, holding, exhaling and holding. Allow yourself to expand beyond your mind-body boundary each time you exhale and hold and then gradually even as you inhale and hold. Visualize that you are moving out of your mind-body, then the room you are in, the house you are in, the street and locality you are in, and slowly gently expanding beyond your city, region, country, continent and then the earth. You are now in space looking back at the earth. Allow yourself to expand beyond the solar system, the galaxy, this universe as we conceive it and then beyond into whatever may arise. Stay in expansion.

Connect yourself with everything in this space that includes all there was, is, can ever be. You are now the Creation that is forever in expansion and infinite potentiality. Stay for as long as you wish. Return when you choose to.

Readers’ Note:

Do note down your experiences in each of your mindless journeys from the first one. You will find none of them is ever the same. Note down what problems you faced, what was most difficult for you, what you need to do better next time, and what you experienced; importantly how often you were interrupted by thoughts and what thoughts. These notes will help you on your journey.

Ram Ramanathan, MCC
Ram Ramanathan, MCC

Ram

Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.

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