Preparation: Using a CD or tape of sounds that are not considered music, prepare your CD player in such a manner as to make it easy to operate with as little disruption once you are ready to turn it on. My suggestion for the sounds to use would be whale songs or coyote songs or perhaps stormy nature sounds. If you use a nature track, don't use soft rainfall or the sound of a brook, which has little variation. These would be too calm, quiet and easy to anticipate track that gives you use a soundtrack with unexpected sounds. Go through your usual deep breathing and basic relaxation technique to remove and release tension. By now this should have become easier and more familiar for you.
As you reach your deepest state of relaxation, steady your breath to a natural rhythm. Now with as much ease as possible, bring yourself to a seated position. If you have difficulty sitting cross-legged, sit against a wall. You might have decided to sit up at the beginning of this exercise because of the potential for disturbance to your relaxed state. This again would be the cross-legged seat, sitting in a chair or with your back resting against a wall. Keep your back straight once in position, your focus on your natural breath will return you to a state of relaxation.
Turn on the CD or tape and listen quietly with as little "mind movement" as you can manage. That is, especially with unusual sounds, your tendency will be to enter into a questioning mode. What is that? Why do they make that sound? What are they communicating?
When I lead a group in meditation, they are not told in advance what the sounds are. These sounds are not usual and the challenge is to flow, not chase the sounds with your mind. Be on the river don't push the river. Don't resist don't create questions that require answers. Observe with your mind fed by your ears.
Keep practicing and keep up the good work.
Copyright ©2008 TAO Consultants, Inc. All rights reserved.
Chesa Keane has taught meditation and self-help for more than 30 years. To receive your free starter Basic Meditation and Basic Relaxation Techniques and an introduction to a unique meditation tool, the TAO Totem, visit: http://www.taototem.com
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