Finding Your Anchor Base through Meditation & Acknowledging Feelings
"Finding your anchor base" has been one of my mantras to guide students through yoga and meditation classes, inspired by one my favourite meditation teachers Tara Brach A renowned trained pyschologist and buddhist meditation teacher, Tara's teachings have inspired me for years by her sheer simplicity and use of language that is clear, without ever preaching. (Thus avoiding the moral high ground trap). Buddhism is a densely packed and rich philosophy, (a lifelong study if you ask me) which may steer some students into the intellectualisation of it, when the practise of meditation is in of itself, where true depth lies. Tara's introductory method, inspired by vipassana meditation (seeing life as it is) usually guides a student into feeling very obvious sensations in our initial meditation experience. The anchor being in these key areas (in conjunction with observing thoughts as they come and go) - Noticing the in and out breath and sensations around the nose and mouth. - Sensations of the body (body scan) - Sounds in your environment My main daily method:
Having an unguided track using an app like Oak, (25 mins) simply fluctuating my mind between these 3 anchored sensations and thoughts mentioned above have been the most beneficial for me up to date.
Concentration (relaxed) methods such as counting, visualisation , overly guided meditation or mantra meditation have never resonated with me much, however I understand that many have to find "their" method of choice according to the state of mind and level students find themselves in. ( i.e. prone to overthinking, agitation, depression, anxiety). This is why I encourage students to explore till they find their "relaxed concentration" method. Seeing life as it is (Vipassana), is an acknowledgment of actually FEELING what is going on instead of repressing our feelings. In Tara's insightful book "Radical Acceptance" & Allan Watt's "Out of your Mind", both authors state that not acknowledging one's feelings for what they are (feelings which are meant to be "felt") is the root cause of trauma and tension in the mind and body. (a disconnect) We are trained to deny our feelings, but acknowledging "feelings" or "emotions" first with open invitation for what they truly are and with acceptance is seen as one of the first steps to begin with before we even begin a steady concentration practise. And these feelings will fluctuate from day to day, some of them even dissipating over time. I have found the above method extremely useful for all level meditators in my online classes. I am what you may call an "unstructured" meditator myself, but I have certainly found my way of doing meditation for it to remain a daily ritual. Practise is everything. Mike
PS. During lockdown we created a moving community of like minded people, did you already see this fun video about it?