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Chapter 2: Begin with the Body

Now we will do the morning meditation. About the morning meditation, I would like to say that the first step will be the same as what we practiced last night: making a resolution. We will make the resolution five times. After this we will rest for two minutes, taking deep breaths. Then we will meditate silently for a while.

First we make the resolution, then we rest, and the last step is meditation. These will be the three steps of the meditation for the mornings. The resolution will be the same as what I suggested last night: breathe deeply, and while the air is coming in keep the thought in mind, “I’m going to make a conscious effort to enter into meditation. I will experience meditation.” Keep this thought going continuously while the breath is coming in and the lungs are filling up. Fill the lungs as much as you can, then hold your breath for one second, for two seconds, as long as you can. When you breathe in take in as much air as you can, then hold your breath for a while. In yoga these exercises are called purak, rumbhak, rechak. Inhale and hold it at the same time as you make your resolution, let it ring through your mind; then exhale and let the thought keep ringing in your mind; then wait, letting the thought continue to ring through your mind. In this way the resolution will reach to your unconscious mind, deep inside. Your whole being will know that you have made the decision to enter into meditation. Then your whole being will help you; otherwise you will just wander around here and there will be no change.

So first make the resolution, then focus on the emotional state. After you have made the resolution, for two minutes you should invoke the feelings of hope and joy that I spoke about yesterday. For two minutes consider your body to be in a very healthy condition; imagine that you are experiencing great joy, that every cell of your body is alive and you are filled with hope. Things will happen - just make the decision. Then feel that there is peace all around you, that there is great bliss inside you, that you are full of hope and every cell of your body is alive and joyous. After this we will do the morning meditation.

During the morning meditation keep your back straight, be relaxed and still. All movement of the body has to stop and your back has to be straight. Close your eyes and take slow breaths, very slowly breathing in and slowly breathing out. Watch your breath. Keep your eyes closed and watch your breath going in and coming out.

There are two ways to watch your breath: one is to watch your abdomen, where your stomach moves up and down; and the second is near the nose, where the breath goes out. Do whichever is easier for you. Most people find it easier to watch the nose. When the air moves in it touches the nose and when it moves out it again touches the nose. Watch that spot where the breath touches, going in, coming out. Anyone who has tried to concentrate on the navel before will find it easier to watch the navel. He should watch the navel, the belly rising and falling. Focus where you feel most comfortable. Watch your breath for ten minutes.

Now we will settle down for the morning meditation. Sit apart from each other. Sit far enough apart so that you don’t touch or hear anyone else.