30 Day Meditation Challenge: Day 1

Jennifer in meditationSunday December 6, 2009: Today I sat for a guided Ham-Sa meditation practice.  This involves starting at the lowest chakra at the base of the spine and moving the energy up the spine to the highest chakra at the crown of the head.   Basically, you direct your attention to each of the chakras in turn and mentally repeat “Ham” on the inhale and “Sa” on the exhale.  Once you have moved the energy to the crown of the head, you sit and experience the flow of energy up and down the spine. When you can pause and stay relaxed between breaths, it can be easier to sense that energy flow.  And I noticed that at the beginning of the meditation, it was more difficult to create that space between breaths.  Physically, I experienced a slight constriction or tightening in my upper chest and throat when I tried to pause after the exhale.  And emotionally, I experienced a slight sense of anxiety.  But, over time, I was able to remain more calm while allowing a short pause between breaths.  Interestingly, I find that if I practice a deliberate abdominal breath and consciously and fully expand my belly, I don’t experience the same physical tension or anxiety.  But, if I practice thoracic breathing, consciously expanding my chest, or just breathe naturally, that tension arises.  They say that each chakra houses its own karmas and samskaras so I wonder what I’m storing in the throat chakra?

I noticed that as I came out of the meditative state and began to open my eyes, the room and all the objects in it had a sort of surreal appearance.  It was like those summer days that are so hot that the air and everything around you seems to shimmer and almost undulate.  That’s what the objects before me seemed to do.  Sort of like, for a moment, my mind had difficulty perceiving the physical world as tangible.