A Meditation on Staying Vertical

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It has been a long year and as it draws to the final month it can all seem rather fast, overwhelming and stressful. Clearly not everyone feels the financial pressures of now and many of us have no family issues, but it is challenging to get through the Christmas season without feeling pressure.

As the New Year comes closer there is a natural tendency to examine behaviours, choices and areas of excess. For me, my greatest area of excess over the past few years has been my mind. It is an awful beast and truly I would prefer never to be left alone with it, but life as an adult is not really like that and I have spent many years trying all manner of practices to gain some mastery over my thoughts that have whirling tendencies – especially when the going gets tough. I am useless at sitting still and find the idea of sitting down to meditate can easily be replaced my hundreds of other tasks that are far more urgent. I have refined my practice so that it really does work for me, in my life, every day, giving me exactly what I need to gain mastery over my mind.

This the gist of how to do it. 
Sit where ever you happen to be. You can close your eyes, or not. Bring the focus of your attention to the base of the spine, the bowl of the pelvis. This is the root chakra and also the base of the spinal chord. See and feel the internal space; the darkness, the warmth, the energy that sits there so potent and strong. Start to follow it up the spine. This is the path of the Kundalini, rising up from it’s coil in the pelvis, up the spine, vertebra by vertebra towards the crown chakra, up to the heavens, towards the 1000 petaled lotus that represents our highest self. Keep your attention inside, on the energy and vibrancy of the vertical journey. It may take 3-5 minutes to reach the crown, but in that time, with that focus, you will have had time away from the mind. When you focus on your physical sensations you cannot think and this is the most peaceful reality: no thoughts. Once you go back to the mind you are refreshed and better able to deal with the endless mental chattering.
Use this technique whenever you feel the mind has too much power. Gradually you will be able to watch the mind playing games and no longer find yourself drowning in the games and negativity. To make the mind your servant is the ultimate goal rather than to have it as your master.

For more on how to expand your personal practice, look at these DVDs which all contain great meditations.