by Jane Keep, England
I too, like Rachel Hall (Who Knew Meditation Could Be So Simple) felt that while I was developing myself, I would give meditation a try. I was told by many that it would ‘still my mind’, and given my mind was a constant whirr of chitter-chatter, much of which was worry, self-doubt, and self-deprecating remarks, it seemed sensible to give it a go.
So I went to the local Thai Buddhist place and started to learn meditation. Well, I know I’d seen people on the TV and in movies with their legs crossed, but I hadn’t appreciated quite what this does to your body after one or two hours of sitting in the same position.
So my twice-weekly, early evening meditation group was quite an eye opener for me. We would sit, and then meditate while the monk spoke very occasionally. We would sit for one to two hours in that very same position, legs crossed, on the carpeted floor. First of all I used to get really fidgety, then I tried to forget my legs – ‘mind over matter’ the monk used to say.
I think the worst part of it was not the fidgetiness, or the tingling sensation in my legs, it was the fact that when it was time to finish the meditation and leave the room, my legs had gone so completely numb that I couldn’t actually move or stand up for ages… and it was very painful as they came back to life. As for my mind, well, it was hard to focus when all I could feel was my legs going dead for an hour or two, but I kept on attending. I even went to Nepal for two weeks to continue with my meditation (this time it was Tibetan Buddhism).
Oddly enough, none of this made any difference to the raciness of my mind on a daily basis, and the worries, anxieties, and crippling self-negating commentary never stopped. That was, until I met Serge Benhayon, and he introduced the Gentle Breath Meditation.
This time there was no need to sit in an uncomfortable position, or to sit for hours on end. It was absolutely simple. Focussing first on the in-breath, then on the out-breath, then on gentleness, it took a maximum of 10 minutes (and sometimes less than that), and I felt deeply relaxed after it; I started to feel a warmth deep inside of my body that I had never felt before. I had no numb legs, and, to my surprise my mind started slowing down – not in a way that meant I could no longer do my times table or interact in the world, but in a way that was far more balanced and allowed me to feel my whole body, as well as to get to know my inner-self in a way that I never had before.
The gentle breath meditation has been a truly welcome addition to my life, and has had such a profound effect that I have shared it with colleagues at work, and also run some local gentle breath meditation evenings.
I love that I can meditate so simply, just for a few moments, and feel amazing – and without numb legs!