Meditation builds energy, balance and a clear flow of life force – and that’s just for starters!

Nei Gong (internal work) meditation is a connecting style of meditation that originated in 10th century China.

There are many different styles of meditation available today, each with its own teaching traditions and goals. We all have our own unique needs and know just how much time we’re ready to dedicate out of our day. Until you have found a style of meditation you love here are some guidelines to create a base for your own practice.

Build your daily practice one step at a time, slowly and steadily for 7 days. Before a week is up you’ll feel very familiar with each simple step. You’ll be able to meditate and take a regenerating break anytime and anywhere!

Day 1

Feeling comfortable and undistracted is NB. Also setting aside a specific time for your practice helps your body to prepare for meditation.

Make yourself comfortable in a quiet place that you can come back to routinely; sitting or reclining is fine.

Begin by becoming aware of, and then asking your hands, face and shoulders to let go and relax.

Being still is probably the greatest challenge for us all, it is extremely useful to place your palms (1 on top of the other), over your lower abdomen (2cm below your navel) and then to ‘float’ down slowly into your lower abdomen, settling behind your hands ‘in your mind’s eye’, allowing the warmth and shape of your hands to guide you.

If you are finding this isn’t the easiest place to be present, place both your hands on your upper chest and take your awareness there. Relax and think of the feel of your hands on your lower abdomen (in the lower dantian) or upper chest (in the middle dan tian) for a few (3) minutes.

Day 2

Set up your meditation as before and repeat the steps for Day 1. Now quietly follow the inward and outward flow of your breath while still keeping your awareness (mind’s eye) in your lower abdomen or upper chest.

We can deepen our meditation by acknowledging the areas of our body that are already beginning to relax. Saying ‘well done’ to those parts that we feel relax is surprisingly effective.

You may find other areas of your body then spontaneously relax – and yes our bodies do respond well to validation and positive statements!

Day 3

Continuing on from Day 2, it is important to consciously take a tender, non-judgemental view of ourselves while we practice.

For example, if we find we have wandered off from our place of stillness to make a shopping list or create a conversation, the idea is not to be hard on ourselves.

Internal dialogue like, “Why can’t you do this ” and “Just focus will you” do not encourage relaxation! Gently guide your awareness back to your hands and where you left off; and reconnect with your meditation experience, even if you leave many times, it’s O.K.

Day 4

Begin your practice as you did on Day 1. Note how you feel within your body. Our physical body is not apart from our soul and psyche while we are living, and it holds all the experiences or body memories of our lifetime within its cells.

While we are developing more presence and objectivity we are also becoming more aware of how our body feels emotionally. We are getting to know and accept ourselves by allowing our feelings to just be while we are still and quietly aware behind our hands.

Day 5

Begin your practice as you did on Day 1. Gently start to explore how it feels to be inside different areas of your body. Slowly move your ‘mind’s eye’ to the right or left, above and below of your hands.

The beauty of a body based meditation is the rule: ‘Where your mind goes energy follows’, so your physical body will soon, with practice regenerate quickly. Extend your meditation experience to 6 minutes.

Remaining still and just allowing or accepting the tension or discomfort we feel at times is part of the meditation process and may actually see tension dissipate. (Naturally have any recurring or persistent discomfort checked out.)

Day 6

Follow the steps and tips from the previous 5 days, extending your meditation time a little longer to around 8 minutes. Quality over quantity!

Enjoy and value your practice time, whether you have explored heightened awareness or it’s been a bit of a struggle, we all take 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

This is a natural cycle to help us integrate new levels of presence into our everyday physical lives. As we make meditation a daily priority, we become more deeply engaged with stillness for longer periods, build more energy and a sense of ‘being in the now.’

Having our presence (sense of self or mind’s eye ) within our body builds our own force within that helps us to face challenges, engage with others, and to positively influence our environment.

Day 7

Complete the steps and tips for the past 6 days.

Congratulations! You have successfully applied the skills required for a meditation practice.

* You can be present in your body.

* You can guide yourself back into stillness.

* You can be gentle with yourself.

* You can enjoy your practice no matter the outcome.

* You can set aside 5 – 10 minutes for daily meditation. Enjoy!