As I have said in my previous post on meditation, this year I have had many signs that I need to further my studies in this area.
For Christmas I had asked to be booked onto a course that I had heard about through friends and. It was a one day course through the Perth Meditation Centre.
Eric Harrison and his five minute meditation technique had been recommended to me through a number of channels and I was ready to see what it was all about.
When joining the course you get sent the book with your confirmation letter and I read the first fifteen chapters (as insutructed) before coming to the course.
Five minute meditation techniques didn’t interest me all that much. I love the longer meditation. I love that time just by myself, alone, in solitude to really tune into myself.
I read through it and although admittedly some of the techniques sounded well and good – it just wasn’t quite what I was after.
Turning up at the course at the Subiaco Community Centre I was surprised that there were so many people there – around 20. The course is not cheap and it was run monthly so for some reason I figured I would be amongst a handful of people there.
Chairs were set out and a I chose the more comfy looking one to aid in the duration of the day. I looked around as the attendees rolled in and the class was almost half female, half men. People were from all walks of life, corporate, mining, trades, business owners and Mums.
This wide interest in meditation indicated one thing to me – we are all looking for ways to de-stress. We don’t have enough tools in our life to deal with twenty first century living.
Eric’s approach was logical and incredibly well-researched. He came at meditation from a neuro-scientific approach. He has researched everything from sports psychology to the way the brain functions and has discovered this:
Your mind and body benefit from meditation most in the first few minutes.
So he believes that a couple of minutes of meditation, many, many times a day is the key to keeping our stress levels at bay. Bringing down the cortisol, our fight or flight response, each time it goes up….when the phone rings, when going to a new activity, when dealing with difficult people.
He doesn’t want us to head into a room, get in lotus position and retreat for a few minutes either.
A few sighs should do it.
You heard me.
Eric says that sighing reduces our bodies arousal levels and places it back into a place of peace. So many of his meditation start with three big sighs.
Sceptical and used to the longer meditations I tried his meditation with the rest of the class. I was surprised to get into deeper states of meditation quickly and disappointed to be pulled out of them just minutes later. However even after a few minutes I felt more refreshed and calm.
The thing that stood our for me the most from this day was when he said:
“Meditation is getting out of your head and into your body.”
I have always used body scans as a kind of surface tool to keep my mind busy not thinking….but actually getting inside your body and feeling every part of it had a profound impact on the quality of my meditation and the way I felt afterwards.
I do love my long meditations and will still be aiming for fifteen – twenty minute sittings but I will be using the tools Eric gave me when I am driving, stressed out and to achieve better quality meditations.