As I write this practice, those of us in the US are in the midst of an election process that generally moves along smoothly. Many of us have voted early, many by mail, and because of Covid many by absentee ballots. Because of the mail and absentee ballots, including those that always come from our neighbors in the military, the vote count is taking its natural time to allow for tabulation of each and every vote. People on every side of every issue feel the stress of wondering what the final outcome of a number of races will be.
One of the practices that I have cultivated over the last four years has been to strengthen both my access to, and experience of, the inherent steadiness that lives in the core of my body-mind being. It’s a steadiness that lives in the core of everyone, although often not easily recognized by Western culture, which hasn’t historically emphasized an embodied way of being.
For this week, I invite you to follow the practice below to both access a deeper awareness of the steadiness in you but also to invite yourself to radiate this steadiness into our collective consciousness and into your immediate environment. It’s important to keep in mind that the steadiness to which I refer in this practice is an aspect of your being that cannot be disturbed. It is not affected by the ups and downs of everyday life nor is it rattled or upset by what unfolds in the world around you. It is an aspect of the fundamental core of your being and, if you follow any spiritual practices, represents that aspect of you that arises from your Source, whatever you imagine that to be.
- To begin, settle into a seated position, if that works for you, where your spine is straight and you are comfortable and yet also erect.
- Sound three “voo’s” by gently taking in a breath and then sounding the word “voo” in a way that allows the tone to resonate throughout your abdomen. This is a gentle breathing out with nothing forced. Do this three times and notice how your body feels.
- With the next breath, follow the out-breath all the way down into your body, all the way to the bottom of the breath. In whatever ways work for you, invite yourself to settle there, at the bottom of the breath, and notice your body and the surface supporting you.
- Now, notice what I would call your core presence, that place inside that is your internal home base, your internal center of gravity.
- Notice the steadiness that is always there in your core, that place in you that cannot be disturbed. It resides within and behind every thought, every feeling, every impulse, every action. It is the ground of being that is always, without exception, steady and present.
- Invite the quality of steadiness to radiate out into your whole body-mind being. Be sure not to work at any of this. It’s all an invitation and, even if you did don’t feel it directly, your intention to orient to it invites this quality of steadiness to arise in your being—whether you are aware of it or not.
- As you resonate with the sensation of, or the intention to embody, steadiness, imagine going through your daily activities experiencing and radiating this quality into your activities, interactions with others, and your self-talk.
- Self-talk is a very important companion and for this practice you want to invite yourself to notice, ignore and/or refuse to engage, self-talk that orients to disquiet, fear, rage—to anything that overrides your underlying sense of steadiness.
- When it’s time to end the sitting practice for this time, offer yourself the intention that you will resonate with this quality throughout your day. Then, during the day if you find that you are actively engaged in some other quality or frequency, be it fear, anger, distress, or something else that pulls you away from a sense of steadiness, recall the sensations and/or state of mind you naturally have when you are connected more consciously to your internal home base, to your radiating core presence.
As with all these practices, there’s no right way to do this one. Instead, play with it and notice what works best for you. And, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise. Allowing them to move on through saves a lot of energy and effort, as they ride on the never-ceasing stream of consciousness and can’t stay in your mind if you don’t feed them.