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Does our Meditation Practice keep our feet on the Ground?

I have been thinking a lot recently about are we grounded? During the pandemic when all of our lives have been turned upside down to some degree, in my view it is even more important to have our feet on the ground as this does give us some resilience.  Therefore it is a question to be asked does the meditation we are practising and teaching facilitate this?

Take for example the following meditation, which is probably one of the most taught meditations in the west.

‘Focus on your breath as you inhale, feel the coolness of the breath as it passes through your nose, and on the exhale focus on the warmth of the breath as it passes through your nose, when your attention wanders just bring it back to the breath’

This is just one example, but there are lots of variations on this theme.   When this was first taught many years ago, man lived very different life to how we live today, we worked the land, grew our own food, walked everywhere, went to sleep when it was dark and rose when it was light, we lived by the seasons.  The human race you could say lived in harmony with the Earth and the seasons.  The Human race was part of the Earth.

These days in my view we live on the Earth, our lives are so far removed from the way ancient people existed, we live now very much in our heads, you just have to see people walking down the street with their phones, to see that the are just walking on the Earth and not part of the Earth. Many people live their lives to some extent in cyber space. 

So, I feel we need to ask is the meditation focussing on just the breath, and those meditations that are similar, just allowing us to live in our head, without our feet firmly on the ground?   Perhaps when we are teaching Meditation, and please don’t get me wrong this meditation is an excellent meditation to start with, we should also focus on other parts of the body, maybe a body scan?

In Martial Arts, the practitioner focuses on the energy centre which is found two finger widths beneath the navel, this can be known as the Hara or it can be known as the Tanden. By focusing the attention on this area, it gives the practitioner strength and helps ground them. Perhaps when we teach Meditation it would be good to bring this area into our meditations to ground us and help us to become more balanced.

One simple way of grounding ourselves, is to imagine that we are sending our breath to the hara, as we inhale, imagine the breath traveling to the hara, and as we exhale imagine that breath traveling out though your body to the area surrounding you.

We could also imagine the breath going to our feet, and as we exhale feel the connection with ground.

Further reading

Another interesting article.



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