Centering Exercise

To prepare yourself for gazing at the daily picture.  Here is short centering and breathing exercise.

First, sit down, preferably in a chair which supports your back upright.

Put your feet flat on the floor directly below your knees.  Rock from side to side to locate your ‘sitting bones’ beneath your buttocks.

Close your eyes.  Imagine a thread coming from the top of your head gently lifting up your spine.

Drop your shoulders and allow your head to fall forward slightly.

Breathe out, completely emptying your lungs.

Breathe in from your abdomen, counting slowly until your lungs are filled – 3 or 4 should do it – hold it for a couple of seconds then,

Exhale slowly, counting out to the same number.

Breathe in and out twice more.

If thoughts come into your head, just let them float on by.

If you want to continue the breathing exercise for longer you could set a timer for 1-2 minutes -otherwise open your eyes and gaze at the picture. Allow yourself 2 minutes to start with and progress to 5 over the next few days.

Avoid naming anything – that engages the judgemental mind and the ego – the ‘small’ self.  This practice is about connecting with your big ‘true’ self.

Allow yourself to become part of the image, to rest within it.

Let your eyes wander slowly within the image.  See what catches your attention and connect with it. Study the detail, enjoy it, as if your were going to draw what you have seen or describe it in detail to someone else. Engage with your own wonder, imagine looking at the image as if you are a child.

If the business of your day starts to interfere, how much longer is this going to take, why am I wasting my time doing this or what I am going to cook tonight?, just acknowledge the thoughts and let them float away.  Fr. Thomas Keating suggests placing them on boats floating past on a stream before you.  When the time is up. Just be. Sense and stay with how you are feeling.

Click this link to return to today’s picture

14 Responses to Centering Exercise

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  7. “Engage with your own wonder, imagine looking at the image as if you are a child.” This is wisdom!

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