Cultivating the skill of watching how we waken helps us gauge our mood more easily. It’s like a reset button to help improve how we respond during the coming day, whatever happens.
Being able to step back from knee-jerk over-reactions is liberating.
Feeling we have room to move helps us see that we have choices.
Feeling we have room to breathe helps keep our centre calm to help weather life’s storms.
Notes on practice
This is a practice done in bed before rising. It’s a useful habit to cultivate.
It can be easily adapted to last only moments or be extended into minutes.
Like other practices, it’s simple, but not easy to apply. It’s easy to wander off in thought or daydream, or in this case to fall back into sleep!
The practice makes a number of suggestions – just take up whatever’s useful and make it your own
Become aware of being awake.
Resist the urge to move just yet. Let the eyes stay closed.
Allow yourself this pause to mark the moments when sleep is ending and consciousness begins.
Note the position of your body as it wakens.
Become aware of having hands and limbs. Softly gaze into the backs of your eyelids.
Slowly roll over onto the back if you’re not like that already. If the back likes it, bend the legs at the knees.
Following these first stirrings of your day, settle again and let the hands rest.
Become aware of the body breathing. Sense its movement as you breathe.
Have the tongue on the roof of the mouth. Letting it lift at the back helps the mouth stay closed.
Sense air at the nostrils; follow it moving out, and then in.
Let the exhales soften and the inhales lengthen.
Recall any significant dreams. Take them in so you can revisit them later.
Notice how thoughts and feelings arrive.
Rest the hands on the belly if that feels ok. Let the exhales be calm so they steady the breathing.
Allow the belly to relax. Enjoy the movement of the breathing.
Become aware of facial expression. Let your eyes stay closed, but imagine them smiling, whatever your mood.
Notice the manner and rhythm of the breath. Let the inhales deepen.
Breathe into every nook and cranny. Feel the entire body being breathed.
Imagine the breath as a healing white light. Draw it deeply in. Let it soak into tissues, cells, molecules.
Your body of light is energised, more than enough for the day… and this energy will not drain away through contact with people and the world.
Consider the day and the date and whether it’s significant in any way.
Imagine yourself in the places today where you expect to be. Picture yourself interacting well and feeling at ease.
Picture yourself being perceptive, responding wisely, taking interest in others… making good decisions.
Call to mind anyone for whom this day is significant. Imagine them bathed in their healing white light.
Call to mind in turn any of your best-beloved. Picture them where you think they might be – also bathed in their healing light-energy.
Call to mind anyone causing you problems, or from whom you’re estranged. Send them some light. Feel any anger or resentment melt from your belly. Imagine yourself not the least bit defensive the next time you meet.
Return to the breath at your nostrils. Inhale a sense of physical and mental space – space to move with comfort and ease; breathing space; lots of room to think clearly.
Inhale what could serve you well, such as courage, joy, vitality.
If your heart feels heavy, imagine it lighter.
Exhale any feelings of nervous apprehension about the day ahead.
Feel ready to be a good receiver.
When it’s time to move, enliven your senses. Hear any sounds around… those close by, then those further away.
Feel a surge of energy as you open your eyes. You’re now ready to rise and get to grips with the day!