Hara Meditation

“Breathing is not hard work. We can simply enjoy our in-breath and out-breath. To be alive, still alive, is a wonder. To be alive is the greatest of all miracles. I have been studying my breath for fifty years and I am still learning new thing.”

—Thich Nhat Han

Focus on the breath in meditation, feeling each breath is a healing process on the deepest of all levels.

Take your seated positions. Now let your attention come into the body.

Feel the physical sensations of being in your body: sensations of your buttocks on the floor, a bench or cushion, a pillow, a chair.

Feel the pull of gravity downward and feel the stability of the earth beneath you moving upward.

Feel the sensations of the chest expanding and contracting with each breath.

Feel the sensations in the neck, the weight of the head, feel this body you sit in.

Gradually allow the focus of your consciousness to move toward the belly.

Allow the belly to soften, we hold tension there so we must consciously allow the belly to soften.

So much grief in the belly - so much tension and fear in the belly - so much armouring in the belly. Pains, fears, doubts dissolving into softness. Once gone we experience the spaciousness of a soft - merciful belly.

With each breath we experience another level of softness. Don’t hold anywhere, just trust the process, with compassion and mercy for yourself, let go and be softness.

Expectations, judgements, doubts, old griefs, all congregate in the belly. Softening the belly allows them to disperse and to dissolve in the softness of your belly.

Make room for your breath in the belly; breathing in, the belly rises and breathing out, the belly falls.

Let your whole body soften and let the belly soften to receive the breath down into the belly.

Allow the breath to breath itself into your soft belly. Each breath softening - opening - releasing.

Inhalation - belly rising and filling with softness.

Exhalation - belly falling, releasing and holding.

Expanding and contracting soft belly, breathing itself in the softness.

Letting go in the belly - levels and levels of softness.

Letting go of the tension, the grief, the fear, the need to defend. Let it all float in soft belly.

Not hardening it to suffering, just letting it be in mercy and letting it all float in the softness of your belly.

Notice how even a single thought can begin harden the belly. Tighten the belly to defence.

Harden and tense the belly to armouring, separation and grief. Hardening to the sorrow we all share.

Let go of the hardness and soften; letting go with each inhalation, letting go with each exhalation, receiving each breath with a softening of the body and the belly.

With each inhalation, make space. With each exhalation, breath out the pain. Letting it go.

Each breath is another level of softening.

Softening with mercy - softening with letting go - softening with liberation.

Softening the belly to uncover the heart. Now letting go of all that blocks the heart.

Let your eyes gently open and as they open. Notice at what point the belly once again begins to tighten?

At what point does the notion of “I” feel a need to protect and defend. At what point does the armour come back on and re establish it’s presence?

Soften to the pain we all share.

Allow yourself to soften now with your eyes wide open to the world.

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Sangha Without Borders is currently physically located in London, UK