This exercise will help you become aware of your mental, emotional, and physical bodies. You will need approximately thirty minutes to perform this exercise. Make sure you will not be disturbed, and that the room is reasonably warm. The exercise involves eleven steps:
- Sit or lie down comfortably on your back. Close your eyes, and take three slow, deep breaths. Allow yourself to relax. Think about your physical body and how it tirelessly works for you. Touch and feel your body. You might stroke your stomach and chest. Gently examine your face, arms, and legs. For a minute or two, appreciate your magnificent body and everything it does for you, day after day.
- When you feel ready, place your hands by your sides. Take several slow, deep breaths, and then gradually allow all the muscles of your body to relax. I normally start with my toes, and gradually work my way up to the top of my head. Another method is to tense different parts of your body for a few moments, and then let go. This causes the muscles to relax. Another useful method is to visualize the number 100 in your mind. Concentrate until you can clearly see it. Once you can see it clearly, allow it to fade away and be replaced by the number 99. Make this number as clear as you can, and then let it fade away. Continue counting down until it becomes too much effort to continue. By this stage your physical body will be completely relaxed.
- Become aware of your physical body, and think about your different internal organs, such as your heart, lungs, stomach, and kidneys. In your imagination, feel them in the same way you did when you stroked and touched your body. It makes no difference if you don't know their exact size, shape, or position. Simply feel them in your mind, and appreciate them for everything they do for you.
- Take a slow, deep breath and forget about your physical body. Think about your emotions, and allow yourself to feel them. Think about something that upset or annoyed you in the recent past. Allow yourself to experience the feelings in your body that this experience created. Notice any changes in your body as you relive this experience. You might notice a sensation of tightness in your stomach. There could be changes in your blood flow, and you might feel tension in your body.
- Take another slow, deep breath and let go of that experience. Replace it with an exciting, rewarding, or happy incident from your recent past. Again, relive this incident recalling all the details. Notice any changes in your body as you relive this scene. You may feel a sense of excitement. You may find yourself smiling. You may notice something in the area of your heart.
- Take a slow, deep breath and focus your attention on your heart. Allow feelings of love to flow through your entire body. Notice any feelings or sensations in the area of your heart.
- Take another slow, deep breath, and this time pay attention to your thoughts. We all have some fifty to sixty thousand thoughts a day, most of them random. For a minute or two, try not to evaluate any thoughts that come into your mind. Simply let them come and go, and move in any direction they wish.
- When you feel ready to move on, focus on a thought as it passes through your mind. Examine it, and deliberately change that thought into something else.
- Take a slow, deep breath and lie comfortably, thinking about the meditation you are about to finish. In this calm, peaceful, relaxed state, you can see that you are much, much more than a physical body. You have experienced the effects that your thoughts and emotions have on your physical body. You have seen that you can deliberately change your thoughts. Consequently, although you can't see it, you possess an emotional body and a mental body, in addition to your physical body. You have also experienced an outpouring of love in the area of your heart. This is a chakra position; the chakras play an important part in the effective functioning of your subtle bodies.
- Remain in this quiet, peaceful state for a minute or two. You might like to repeat some of the stages again to experience the different sensations they provide.
- When you feel ready, take three slow, deep breaths and open your eyes. Lie still for a minute or two, and then get up. You will find it helpful to eat or drink something after this exercise, as this helps to ground you again.
Excerpted from The Complete Book of Auras, by Richard Webster