Mountain in the Storm Meditation
Meditation requires a focused concentration.
This seated meditation is designed to be practiced anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes. Start small and build if you are new to meditation. Good practice is all about quality not quantity. It takes time, dedication and a healthy desire to build your practice so that you may eventually place your conscious awareness where you want it - when you want it there.
For this practice, rather than focus on a particular object, we will focus our concentration on the present moment and whatever present’s itself within the context of each present moment.
Now lets begin by taking a comfortable seated position.
We want to sit attentively with a slight degree of traction in the spine yet relaxed, comfortable without constriction.
This means giving proper attention to how we are sitting, while at the same time being and at ease with our seated position.
Now lets focus our attention on the breath.
Place your awareness on the pit of your stomach, right around the naval.
This is referred to as the “Hara” region in the Japanese Zen tradition.
Feel this area of your stomach expand and contract with each breath.
Feel the slight pause between each inhalation and exhalation.
Feel the slight pause between complete breaths. This is the still point.
Pause, but do not linger there.
Do not force or exaggerate the breath.
Do not manipulate the breath in any way.
Just focus your awareness on the natural flow and rhythm of each breath.
As you calm, settle into your awareness of the breath.
Feel the texture of each breath.
Now, expand your breath awareness to include your entire body.
Feel the sensations of the breath as it flows throughout your body.
Settle into those sensations, feelings and now, even your thoughts.
As you sit - commit to stillness. Imagine yourself like a mountain.
Your thoughts and emotions are like strong winds, rain and thunder passing all around you.
Some will seem like dark clouds that cover over you, or dense fog that is surrounding you.
With each inhalation think - “Mountain”
With each exhalation think - “Strong, still and stable”
Let each breath bring you back to this experience within each present moment.
If you find yourself distracted by a thought, feeling or emotion, let the breath bring you back to the present moment.
By doing so, you are cultivating the ability to weather the inner storm of your emotions.
You go stronger and stiller with each breath, as you calm into the mountain.
The mountain is the ground of your being.
Focus your awareness on the process of your thoughts and emotions rather than their content.
By consciously doing so, these distractions loose their power.
Thoughts, feelings and emotions become like fog and storm clouds that eventually dissipate in time as they settle.
Now simply recline into your mountain of peace and stillness.