OM(aah, ooh, hmm)
Shamatha, a Sanskrit term for peaceful abiding reached through meditation on an object, breath, or mind. Begin by sitting in the Seven Points Posture, with a lowered gaze and heart lifted focus, on an object, picture, or drawing. Breathe in. Release. Repeat. Removing the picture, begin to focus on breath. Naturally and with ease, breathe in and out. Notice the gap in between each in and out breath. This space is always there, but rarely noticed. It is expansive and limitless. As thoughts and emotions come, be aware of them, without judgment or reaction. Let them pass through. Release them as a balloon is released in the sky. Let them settle, as sand rests in water once it is calm. Picture a rock tight in your hand and let it fall to the ground. Continue to breathe in and out.
Now, increase the space between the in and out breaths to four counts. Continue this practice until the mind wanders off. As you notice the mind thinking, bring the awareness back to the breath. Follow the breath, in, rest, out. Be aware of the location of your breath. Do you notice it in the nostrils, the throat, or chest. Try to bring it down deep into the belly than slowly let it out. Continue this breathing pattern, bringing awareness to your contact points. Feel the support of the earth below you. Now, take a full breath into your entire body reaching to your toes. Relax your muscles as you release the breath.
Come back to this space and this place. Move your fingers and toes, slowly and gently. Begin to bring movement back to your body. Lift your gaze.
Susan J. McFarland
March 23, 2019