Deep Well Being (DWB) will explore the ‘four postures of meditation’; these are sitting (everyone is familiar with this one), standing, lying, and walking.
In the first session, Kit will show you what you need to practise to be able to sit still for meditation, effortlessly – if you have ever tried this, you will know how difficult this can be. Once you can get comfortable, though, alertly sitting still can assist you to become more strongly aware of what is happening inside your body and your mind. This is one of the gateways to increasing awareness itself, which allows you to see that the activities of the mind are but one part of the experience of being fully alive.
The next session will introduce you to Yoga Nidra, a deep relaxation and visualisation practise brought to Australia by Swami Satyananda, in the 1950s. The brain controls the level of involuntary muscle tension (tonus), yet few people have the capacity to access the physical and mental state of deep relaxation at will. DWB provides the tools to develop this capacity in yourself, and the practice sessions will give you the actual experience of being deeply relaxed. Once the body and the mind know how to do this, you can allow this state to return in your daily life. Immediate benefits are better sleep and increased concentration for any activity. All meditation practises can be done in the lying position, too, once you can be both completely relaxed and awake, at the same time!
In all sessions, you will be taught how to be aware of the state of the breath. Even though everyone knows that ‘breath is life itself’, the act of breathing is usually background and rarely is examined or refined. You will learn what breathing feels like, and experience the deeply calming effect that breathing with awareness can have.
We will practise standing meditation in the session after lunch and, as with lying, all meditation practise can be done in this position too, once we have learned how to stand using no effort at all.
The standing session leads naturally to walking meditation. Kit will teach you “cat walking”, a slow-motion walk where most of the time you will be balancing on one leg. The body is poised so that you can move backwards from any previous position; this allows constant re-checking of the body’s balance point. The beauty of cat walking is that you will know instantly when your concentration wanders, or is captured by a thought – you lose balance. Many experienced meditators have found this the most useful of the sessions.
Kit has been meditating since 1983, beginning during a four-year stay in Japan. He has studied with a number of teachers, and co-teaches a number of workshops here and overseas on this subject. His major influences are Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana schools); Lama Lar (Swami Rudrananda, or “Rudi”, author of “Spiritual Cannibalism”), Lawrence Graziose (Kwan Um School of Zen, and Enneagram), and Patrick Kearney (Mahasi tradition).