Last week, a friend of mine asked me to record a guided-meditation MP3, so he could sit in the grass and learn how to meditate. So, I sat in meditation at the base of a tree, and began to speak into a microphone (as a part of the meditation). I spoke for about forty minutes.
You can download the files here:
(Don’t worry, you don’t have to enter your e-mail address or anything. Mediafire, the file-storage site, is a little tricky. Just click “download” on the right hand side of each file. Remember to download all of them… the seven files flow together as one continuous, 40-minute meditation.)
I didn’t get a chance to listen to the recording until today, but it seems very solid. It’s hard for me to judge the quality of my own work, so let me know if this MP3 series helps you in any way.
Download the MP3s onto your computer, and sync them to your MP3 player. Then find a comfortable place to sit (preferably in the grass, in a quiet, peaceful, natural place). A forest or a forested park would be ideal. It is important to sit on the ground, in a cross-legged position, like one of the three pictured below.
The following is a transcript of the files. You can read it, but keep in mind that listening to the audio is much more powerful than just reading the words. You may gain a “rational understanding” from the words as you read them, but it is your experience of the silence between the words that catalyzes true insight.
The MP3s are mostly silence, with a few nouns, verbs, and adjectives thrown in for good measure. The silence IS the meditation; the words are NOT. The words are simply there to guide your mind in a meditative direction, so that you can use the silence as effectively as possible.
My recommendation is to listen to the audio first, and come back to the transcript later if you like.
Track 01: Getting Into Position
We are now going to begin a meditation.
All we are going to be doing is sitting, and watching the breath.
Meditation is an act of simplification. Where normally we are multitasking, in meditation, we will be uni-tasking.
So, find a comfortable place to sit down… preferably outdoors, in a natural setting, where you have nice fresh air, and green grass, and trees. Get as comfortable as you can, sitting on the ground. My favorite place to sit is in the grass. It’s very natural, and it connects with your evolutionary roots.
Sit cross-legged, in a stable position. Keep your back straight, and your head high.
The best way to sit is in a way that you’re not pinching any of the nerves in your legs… which happens to many people, and causes the legs to fall asleep. The best way to avoid pinching the nerves in your legs is to, when you sit cross-legged, don’t sit Indian-style with your ankles crossed. Sit with one leg in front of the other, so that both are resting on the ground, with your knees resting on the ground also.
Or, if you are able to, sit in the half-lotus or lotus position, where one of your feet is resting on the opposite thigh, and the other foot is under the opposite thigh. If you don’t know how to do these positions, it might be worth taking some time to look at the pictures on the website, kevinellerton.com, on the article about meditation.
Once you’ve gotten into a comfortable position sitting in the grass, or wherever you’ve found a comfortable place to sit cross-legged, with your back straight and your head held high, try to make sure that your spine is aligned, as straight as possible. There is a reason for this, that you’ll notice as you go through the meditation. If your back is hunched in any way, or if you’re leaning to the side, or something, it will create unpleasant side effects in your meditation, and your experience.
So now that we’re sitting in this comfortable, relaxed, yet upright position, we begin to relax into a focus, where all we are doing is SITTING. And that’s ALL.
And while you’re sitting now, and listening to this mp3, put more of your attention on SITTING than on listening to the mp3. You will notice that there are gaps between the words that I use.
Gaps of silence.
During those gaps of silence, keep focus on your body, sitting… and JUST SIT.
This is the essence of Zen meditation, which comes from the Chinese word “Chan” which means “to sit.” We are focused 100% on SITTING, in a relaxed, natural way. Our ATTENTION is relaxed. Our MUSCLES are relaxed. Our BREATHING is relaxed, and peaceful, and slow.
Track 02: Sinking Deeper Into Silence
And pay more and more attention to the silence between the words that I speak.
The words are a map, and the silence is the destination.
You are now sitting in silence.
And all you are doing, while you are sitting still, is sitting and breathing. Just like a tree.
And as you sink deeper into the silence, your attention rests, gently, on the flow of the breath.
Track 03: Observing the Breath
And as you relax deeper into the breath, your mind becomes still, resting gently on the breath.
You start to see the breath, as you watch it with your eyes closed, as a continuous flow, instead of isolated, individual breaths.
And you notice the sensations at the tip of your nose, at your nostrils, as you inhale. And you feel the air flowing through your nostrils.
And as you slowly exhale, you can feel the air flowing back through your nostrils, out into the great sea of air around you.
And the exhale slows down to almost nothing… and it feels as if there is no breathing at all going on.
And then, naturally, the body wants more air. And the air starts to flow naturally, in through the nostrils, drawing a continuous stream, a flow of air, from the great sea of air around you, that we call the atmosphere of Planet Earth.
Track 04: Connecting With The Earth
And it comes in through your nostrils, and it goes out through your nostrils, constantly breathing and exchanging air with the Planet Earth. And the Planet Earth is doing the same, breathing with you! You cannot exchange by yourself.
And, as your mind continues to rest on your breathing, your body continues to exchange air with the environment around you.
As you inhale, be thankful to the trees and the grass that trade your carbon dioxide for their oxygen. And as you exhale, recognize that you are giving back to the trees and the grass that allow you to be alive right now, in the first place.
Track 05: Appreciating Life Itself
Breathe in, and appreciate the gift, and how lucky you are, to receive nourishing air that keeps you alive, from the blanket of life that covers this Earth.
And as you breathe out, be thankful that you have the opportunity to be a contributing member of this great and beautiful system.
And recognize that simply by breathing, simply by existing, and living, you are contributing, in the most fundamental way, to the existence of life itself.
Track 06: Expanding Your Awareness
And as you continue to sit and exist, and breathe in and out, allow yourself to be absorbed into the Unity, the Oneness, the Blanket of Life on Earth.
As you continue to watch your breathing, allow your awareness to expand, AROUND your breathing, into the rest of your body… how it is rooted to the Earth below you, like a tree growing from the ground… and your skin, which is in contact with the air around you, which flows, and touches your skin, always.
And, as you continue to watch your breath, and stay with the flow of inhale-and-exhale…
Track 07: Meditating in Action
Allow yourself to completely relax. And smile.
And as your face relaxes with your smile, allow your eyes to gently drift open. Slowly.
And see the environment that you are breathing into… that is breathing with you.
See the colors around you, and smile with them… and breathe with them.
And feel the warmth in your heart, and the joy in your soul, that comes from being at one with the world around you.
And you are ALWAYS at one with the world around you… even if you don’t notice it.
And you can take this joy, and warmth, and love, that you are feeling right now, into your daily life! All you have to do is STAND UP, and look around, and realize that you are ALREADY back in your daily life. You just happen to be happy. And you now realize, in a very powerful way, that you are fundamentally ONE, a PART, of the Universe around you.
And as you walk through the air around you, you feel that joy, that warmth, the happiness, the oneness, the unity, the connection, with everything that is. And when you see another living being, another human, or a cat, or a dog, or a squirrel, even a mouse… even a tree, or a blade of grass, or a mosquito… you feel the oneness of all life. And it brings a smile to your face, and a warmth to your heart, and a happiness to your life.
So go now, and do whatever you need to do — whatever you normally do in your daily life — but do it, this time, with the recognition that the Universe is One, and that you are a part of it. And smile while you do it. And enjoy whatever you do.