The mind massage - access concentration
I use the concept of a mind massage quite a lot when I want to get the mind back into a calm, integrated state - something akin to access concentration (a staging post for developing a deeply absorbed jhanic state). So then, imagine your everyday mind - you're stuck somewhere in the frontal lobes doing things, being yourself, getting things done. This is what we've been trained to do - it's productive, we're functional, making our contribution - let's enjoy that illusion. It pays the bills.
Now, the everyday mind is just one aspect of our being - we have other modes we can drop into. These modes change our perspective of who we are and what it means to be a human, so they are worth a visit. They also increase our mental prowess, heal our fractured souls and generally make us super people.
So let's use the mind massage as a tool to take us there:
- we are in our stressed state but we want to relax
- we take a comfortable seat somewhere quiet. You can put your hand on your forehead or your heart or your belly or a combination if you are lucky enough to have two hands
- we take a deep breath in, we breathe out
- our mind wanders off into thoughts (the game begins)
- place your awareness in the belly and make the intention to follow one breath, in and out
- the mind will want to wander off, usually at the gap behind the out breath and in breath. Hold your attention in the belly until the next breath begins
- notice the difference between having your awareness in the belly and your everyday mind. You are using different parts of the brain to do this.
- follow another breath in and out. Keep attention in your belly come what may. You may notice tension in the muscles of your head and face - allow them to soften.
- at this point you may encounter surges of pleasure. This is your body relaxing, opening up.
- if there is no pleasure, keep repeating the in/out breath cycle of awareness until your body starts to yield to relaxation
- pay attention to pleasure from the body. Now, when you breathe in, feel the rush of energy into the body and mind. Whoosh!
- then, as you breathe out, observe the sublime bliss of relaxation and release.
- this is the ebb and flow of the mind message. Breathe in energy, breathe out relaxation. Feel the pleasure building in the mind. In and out, rapture and release.
- let's leave it there. You can go into full blown ecstasy but if you're in the oscillating state of pleasure you're no longer in the everyday mind state, so job done.
- learn to relax as you do this and integrate the whole body and mind with the breathing.