Hi everybody. I'm Tom Cook here at [inaudible]. Anytime it's a pleasure to be back again and I'm here with a nice group of people. We're gonna do a meditation. This is my first time teaching on plots anytime or anytime on camera of meditation. I've been doing meditation for over 2023 years and um, I'm here to share what I believe is a piece of my practice that actually has made a tremendous difference in my life. We're in a busy world and cultivating the ability to collect ourselves and be present through a simple practice that's so powerful, I think is an amazing tool that you can add into your life. So we're going to do a 15 minute sit and I'm just to dispel some of the myths about meditation is that meditation isn't about trying to control your mind or stop it from thinking that's actually not possible. It's always going.
So your goal is actually more just to bring your attention repeatedly back to the present moment, to the concentration of focusing on your breath. That's what we're going to use as a concentration tool. It's universally accepted that we all believe that breathing is something that's non-denominational and non religious. And it's something that we can use as a something to focus on that we all do. And the goal is to bring your attention back and not focus on wallet.
You'll see the mental tendencies are, oh my minds, I can't focus. And we tend to use those windows of time to give ourself a bad time. So that's just the nature of the mind. So the practice is to learn how to bring your attention back and be gentle and notice the tendencies in the mind. The tendencies are very impersonal, but we make them personal.
So our goal is just to keep, bring our attention back and you'll notice if you do this on a regular basis, you'll have more space and you'll, for me, it's helped me be more effective and in a practical way in my life. So I hope you enjoy saw. Start with first just closing your eyes and I'd like you to bring your attention just to taking a few deeper than normal breaths in the body so you feel your body deep, fluid breaths. Let the belly move. As you breathe now, I begin to sense the shape of your body in front of the body, sides of the body, back of the body, and starting from the top of your head. I'd like you to relax your scalp, soften your face, relaxed your throat, feel the weight of the underside of your arms. Allow the muscles that run along your spine to soften.
Relax your belly. Allow your pelvis to become heavy, heavy on the cushion or the chair that you're sitting in. Relax your legs that maintained. Just a sense of lift through the midline so you not with a lot of effort just so you maintain your posture as best you can throughout the set. Now, as we begin it, just good to ask yourself for the sake of what am I sitting for today and I recommend you cultivate that as a practice who set an intention for yourself? Why am I sitting? It could be just to cultivate presence, to be kinder to myself, to be more effective in my relationships, to get to know myself better, to enjoy my life more, whatever it might be for you. Ask yourself that question as a starting place. I highly recommend. So we'll start there. Now.
I'd like you to gently start to draw your attention to the breath as it enters the nostrils. If that's a hard area for you to focus, you can focus on the rise and fall of your chest or your belly and follow that just with a, with a calm, collected attention. Bring your attention to that flow of respiration. And each time he noticed that the mind has wandered, which at times it will without judgment, gently steer your attention back to the flow of respiration. And the key is to be gentle with yourself, but at the same time be alert. If you find yourself getting sleepy at all during the sip, increased your rate of respiration for a minute or so just to wake yourself up a little more and then let it return to natural breath.
So I'm going to have some pauses during this time, but I'll keep coming back, bringing you back to the present moment. So just see yourself collecting your attention on the flow of respiration. No need to breathe any particular way, just natural breathing. At times the breathing will be deep. At other times it'll be almost undetectable.
Has you beginning to collect yourself a little more? You might notice some subtleties becoming a little more apparent. Notice on the inhale that the breath comes in a little cooler and on the exhale it exits a little warmer. If you begin to notice physical starting to come in around the shoulders or neck, just put your awareness on that and see if you can just be with that for a moment and see if [inaudible] your attention and just being with it starts to let it go a little more so you're cultivating your attention and your ability to be with what is not grasping or pushing away. Accepting things as they are patiently and persistently, patiently and persistently.
Draw your attention to the flow of respiration with a calm and alert mind. Okay, relaxed, alert, concentration of the breath. If the mind comes in and starts taking you off into a thought, fantasy planning sensation in the body discomfort. Just notice that a minute. You notice that's where you're, where you've gone off to just gently bring your attention back to the flow of respiration without any judgment of the wandering mind or the tendency to move off the object of meditation. Actually look forward to those moments when you've noticed, because those are uh, moments of becoming present.
You're cultivating, you're cultivating the ability to have a little more internal space just gives you the options to be responsive in your life. That just that little gap, that little moment of having that gap of choice. You've been following, the breadth, you've noticed the difference in the coolness coming in a little warmer exiting. You might also begin to notice right at the opening of the nostrils when you have your attention there, you might start to begin to notice sensations that are happening there. Pulsing, throbbing pressure, itching, heat, all these different sensations that are happening all the time that you just heightening your awareness when you bring your attention to a collected area.
So continue to collect your concentration, your concentration and attention on the area of focus, natural inflow and outflow of respiration. Even visualize, you're energetically collecting yourself into the present moment. Now I'd like you to shift your focus to your heart area center of your chest and we'll call that area the cave of your heart. That place in you of goodwill, compassion, benevolence, that place that accepts things as they are, that place it doesn't grasp or push away and in that place we're just going to take the last few minutes to do a little Meditech, sneak for your own wellbeing. And the first one is just saying internally to yourself at that level, may I be safe and be safe and free from harm.
May I be safe and free from harm. You can do that as you breathe naturally, feeling that in your body. Yeah, I'd be safe and free from harm. And then the second one is may I be healthy in mind, body and heart. May I be healthy and mind, body and heart. Let that be felt throughout your body.
And the third one is may I be happy just as I am? May I be happy just as I am or just may I be happy? And the final one is, may I be easeful in my life, may be useful in my life, may I live with these? And then combining them all, maybe safe, healthy, happy, and live with these. Yeah. Be Safe, healthy, happy, and live with ease.
And then just for the last minute, bring your attention back to your breathing and the finish. Just bringing your palms together in front of your chest in the spring in a sense of gratitude for all that's good in the world and in your life. Take that forward with you to start your day. Thank you everybody.