Stage 2 - pleasure and thoughts

This is the next sequence in a set of meditation instructions based around the anapanasati stages of breathing meditation. You can't really go wrong with this sequence. So then, let's assume you've completed stage 1 and we'll take it from there.

1. Establish a unified body and mind. This means that you are relaxed and that each breath is felt simultaneously by the body and the mind - there is nothing else going on.

2. Spend a few minutes breathing in and out of your relaxed, open awareness.

3. Relax a bit further and pleasure will start to arise out of the body. There may be rushes of energy, shaking, intense pleasure. You can cultivate this by feeling the pleasant energy of the in breath, and the relaxing sensations of the out breath.

4. It feels very nice, but it is quite energetic. Stick with it for a bit.

5. The pleasure will subside and a more gentle sweet, blissful state will present itself to you. Relax into it. Soak in it.

6. Now, as you breathe in and out you will be feeling pretty, jolly good. This is a nice place to be. Then you might notice a thought arise, or the activity of your thinking mind. Let's leave it there. Notice the distinct difference between the thinking mind and the relaxed open state of awareness. Know that there is a difference.

7. Next, relax the activities of the thinking mind and settle back into the unified, pleasant state. There is no need to think or chase thoughts or solve problems or do anything like that.

8. Hang out here until your time is up.

Then return to the world and take a moment to reflect on the meditation.


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