Self at Heart meditations - A skill for Joy
Self at Heart.
Series of short blogs and meditations to explore the art of Connection to Self.
Presence restores our natural state of joy.
Imagine for a moment being happy for no reasons, the heart is soft and open, you have no desire for anything. You are joyful and carefree. Everything is beautiful around, the colours and sounds in nature, all the different people, the objects in the room, the sky, the sun, even the rain, everything is fascinating, as if seen for the first time.
The archetypes of the fool, the magical child, the innocent adolescent and the serene elder are all examples of that joyful, enchanted, in wonder, serene and relaxed state of being that you may feel when you have no expectations and no agenda, when the world of tension, suffering and struggle is far away, and you are open to celebrate, experience with ease, play and be inspired.
There is only the present moment. You notice your breathing and your senses are acutely alert. You are awareness. Reality is what it is. The mind doesn’t interfere with the experience, it doesn’t interpret, define or filter with any thought or memory. You are the observer. Gratitude flows easily through you, as you move slowly, step by step into the unknown, with curiosity and trust.
Living moment to moment, with intense attention to everything we do or perceive, restores our natural state of joy. In mindfulness presence we forget about that constant inner self talk that causes so much stress and suffering, we are anchored in the body, our Soul acutely aware and fully participating with life.
Joy is a vibration that cannot be induced, we access a state of joy rather than pursue it. The same act of searching for happiness, of looking for objects or experiences of happiness, only causes more frustration and suffering. When we want specific things, we create filters, expectations, images and goals in our mind; and when life happens in a different way from what we expected, we experience emotional, mental and physical stress.
The world of samsara, the river of life, is fast and full of stimulations, like our modern society is, with so much information, so many objects to consume, so many things to do and events to attend. And there is nothing wrong about experiencing life, unless we are in a state of suffering, frustration or tension of any kind. Then the present moment is not enough, or we are not enough because we are disconnected from our naturally joyful and peaceful Self.
In my experience and in traditions such as yoga, mindfulness and many more, one simple way to reconnect to your joy and serenity is working with the awareness of the body and the breath.
Try this meditation to connect to your state of Joy.
Find a comfortable position, sitting or lying
Where you can be relaxed yet alert
Connect with your breath
Breathe slowly and consciously
Follow your breath in its full length
Inhalation and exhalation
Releasing tension on the outbreath
Notice how the breath moves in your body
Feel your body from the inside
Sense your presence in the whole of your body
Send your attention to the sole of your feet, along your legs, in your hips and belly, in your chest, arms and hands. In the head sense your eyes, ears, cheeks, mouth, hair and skull
Sense your breath in the body, in your chest and in your abdomen
Keep focussing your attention in the inner body
Observe any physical sensations
Cold or warm, tingling or smooth, tense or relaxed
Only observe and notice, with no judgement
Which parts of your body do you feel more and which less
Which parts of your body are in tension and which ones are relaxed
When emotions arise just notice them
When thoughts arise just acknowledge them
Allow any sensations, feelings and thoughts
Keep going back to your slow conscious breathing
Find now a place that feels good, with pleasant sensations
Notice where in your body you feel relaxed and peaceful
This place may be your feet and legs, or your belly, or your heart or your third eye
You may notice warmth or softness there
You may feel steady, serene, at ease
Notice how good it feels, how steady and strong you are there
Abide there, anchor your presence there with your breath
If tension happens in you body, feelings or thoughts
Breathe through the tensions
Stay anchored in you place of wellbeing
Allow any tension to melt with your breath
Allow any feelings or thoughts to flow out of your being
Energy is intelligent and always entrains your body into harmony
Your body starts feeling relaxed now as a whole
Wellbeing is expanding to the whole of your body
You are now feeling relaxed, peaceful and serene.
From this state imagine now how joyful feels for you
In your everyday life notice how joyful feels for you
May be you are in nature or doing some creative activity
Maybe you are with people, or with particular beloved one
Notice how you feel in your body, maybe your heart feels open and expanded
Notice how you feel and your attitude
Maybe you are curious, in wonder, playful, adventurous
Maybe you are light, soft, flowing moment to moment, receptive, breathing deeply.
Anchor this feeling of joy in your body
Maybe in your heart or elsewhere
Use your breath, one breath after the other
Anchor this feeling of joy in your body
When you come back slowly intend to bring this state of joy in your day ahead and in your life.