This technique came to me one day when I was meditating and trying to soften the clatter going on in my mind. Especially when I wake up at my usual time 7 – 7:30am and go to sit in my meditation chair, my thoughts are already in high gear with my plans for the day. I’ve disciplined my body to sit anyway, before my cup of tea, before getting on the computer to check messages.
So, I sit and watch my thoughts. One day, feeling particularly frustrated, a new idea popped into my head, “Fog up your brain with your breath.” Of course, I don’t think this is possible physiologically, but I thought it an interesting exploration. In yoga classes, and in bodywork sessions, I was often instructed to “direct my breath” to an area that needed soothing or relaxing. Well, most mornings, that’s my brain.
I took a deep breath and imagined the exhalation going up and clouding my head. Instantly, I sensed my thoughts slow down. I took another breath and did the same. The result was almost dizzying. The thought I’m on to something snuck out from the fog and I continued meditating, focusing on the light, fluffy sensation inside my skull. Within moments my sense of time disappeared. I automatically came back to awareness of the room when my usual twenty minutes had passed. I felt refreshed and my mind calm for all the day’s events.
One of the participants in a meditation workshop gave me feedback that the technique didn’t completely work for her. She couldn’t get past imagining carbon dioxide floating around in her brain. So, not wanting the pollution, she “sent” the breath out through the crown of her head. She was then able to relax and allow the experience to unfold. This is a great example of allowing meditation to teach you how to meditate. Take your experience and make it your own.