HOW TO DOZE
I repeat: This essay is not about broadband sensing. This is about the internal body sense. Body and breathing awareness is a different dimension of empathising with animals.
And I repeat: Humans have developed thousands of meditations with our kinaesthetic sense, autogenic training, and the internal awareness of our own body. Our sub-culture is rich in such exercises. To my knowledge, they are all effective ways of re-energising, real-ising yourself, and finding some peace, balance and happiness.
If you already have an effective method to contain your thoughts and relax your body and mind, the following exercises will be largely irrelevant for you. I'd like to summarise a few ideas based on conventional methods for complete beginners.
BODY and BREATHING AWARENESS
This essay is necessary because we have forgotten how to doze. The problem is, when humans doze we slumber and daydream and get lost in abstract thinking - we have lost the feel for just being. Other people may have far better ideas. My intention here is to suggest something simple, for starting off with.
This is not like broadband sensing. Broadbanding is something which you can do for just half a minute and it will be effective. But, every animal needs a minute or so before they can settle down and doze. To find any depth, humans need to doze for at least 10 minutes at a time.
I'd like you to start with a minute or so of broadband seeing and listening. Like any wise animal: check the surroundings before settling down for a doze. If you can keep your eyes half open then good – but it's probably easier at first to just close them.
Check through your outer body, where it's touching the floor and the chair, your clothes, and the air on your face and hair. Are you comfortable?
As described in the essay on body and breathing, notice where it's harder inside your body, the earth element; and the softer watery blubber around or surrounded by the hardness. Notice the fire, the feeling of warmth and vitality. Then notice the belly 'air-pump'.
THE WHOLE 'BREATH BODY'
The basis for this meditation is whole body breathing. Let's call it the 'breath-body' to distinguish how the breath feels from the inside - to how the body feels (and looks) from the outside.
Breathe. Be conscious of the breathing once in and out. Let go of the breathing in and out. Don't worry if your breathing becomes unsteady as you let it go. This is just your lower brain allowing your body to adjust to what it needs and wants, instead of being controlled by your routine habits.
Breathe in and out. Feel your body getting bigger and smaller.
Experiment with: 'conscious and letting go' or 'expanding and contracting'. There is no need to decide which you prefer, both are good at the right times.
If you use a form of prayer or mantra you can build it into this basic sequence.
If you can do only this for ten minutes, then good. Most people, myself included, will start to daydream.
COUNTING WITH BREATHS
When i daydream, these days i can either go broadband, or often, i use my breath as a counting measure and focus in the conventional way, on a sequence of parts in my body.
One breath at each focal point gives me a slow rhythm with enough movement to be interesting. It gives me something slow and peaceful to do. It's practical.
I often start by counting through my fingers. Conscious of and letting go of each finger, - from the little fingers to the thumbs, - both sides at the same time - then i count through my toes. To start with it's hard to feel all your toes, but with repetition you will be able to identify all the individual toes.
Then, even without reading the essays on taste and smell, you could do a rudimentary exercise: counting one breath each, being aware of: tastes, smells, light, and sounds.
After this; i use a sequence of head, arms, legs, torso, torso with its 5 limbs, whole body, one breath at each focal point.
Then come back to the whole breath-body, expanding and contracting.
If you want to take a next step, listen inside your body. Listening adds a new quality to the awareness. I develop this in dozing phase three.
The experience and success of whole body breathing depends on if you are in any way physically restricted or stiff (e.g. through injury) or emotionally blocked with stress and tension. 'Being conscious and letting go' can be focussed on any body stiffness as a natural healing technique, at the least as an inner massage. Use your imagination in any way you want to heal stiffness ...
Extra Body Breath Exercises develops these ideas.