EXERCISE 3: MEDITATION

Cast aside and abandon all of your worries and tension. Sit on the floor with crossed legs in a comfortable position, trying to keep your spine as straight as possible;

If you prefer, sit on a chair, but still keeping your back perfectly straight;

Close your eyes, keeping them still and relaxed beneath the eyelids;

Once your body has assumed a comfortable position and is perfectly relaxed, you can begin to pay attention to distant sounds and noises, which may also be coming from a certain distance outside of the room. Fix your attention on these sounds;

Listen to the sounds in this way for a few minutes, without any hurry, concern or any particular objective;

Now, restrict the field of your conscious perception to the room you are sitting in;

Don’t open your eyes, but try to perceive the walls, ceiling, the floor and the objects close to you;

Now focus your attention on yourself. Perceive yourself sitting in this meditative state and start to perceive your own body and your physical existence;

Withdraw now from this state of concentration and allow yourself to be pervaded by a sense of calm and serenity;

You will now note that your breathing has become slower, but at the same time also more evident;

Now, gently, draw your attention to your breathing. Your attention is now focused entirely on your breathing;

You are perfectly aware of your entire being, in the present, here and now;

What you are experiencing is a state of consciousness, a state of being. You have become one with your consciousness and you can now remain in this state, in a natural and very pleasurable way, for as long as you are able;

If any thoughts appear, just observe them, but do this while keeping yourself at a distance. Don’t let yourself get captured and caught up in them: don’t become involved in your thoughts;

Train yourself to remain detached. Observe your mind from the outside, and don’t let yourself become involved with your emotions. ‘Devitalise’ your thoughts by simply removing their emotional aspect. In this way they will remain in your memory as merely useful experiences. They will no longer disturb you;

When you decide to end your meditation, you should do so gradually, going back along the route you followed to reach this point, and slowly drawing back concentration from the centre of your being towards the outer, peripheral areas until you regain normal consciousness of your physical body and external sounds.

Loosen yourself from this position slowly and gradually;

Bear in mind that prolonged meditation will induce a much slower heartbeat and can make your blood pressure fall quite considerably: a sudden reawakening from this state might be traumatic. The sound of a telephone or any other sudden noise occurring during deep meditation can even cause your heart to miss a beat. This is why you have to be careful when deciding on where you are going to practise and under what conditions.

>>> (Phytotherapy)

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