Here are a few of our favorite Big Ideas + Other Cool Stuff from Week 1 of Scott Schwenk's 4-week course Effortless Meditation: Level 1
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Scott Schwenk is a healer, teacher, writer, visionary, and leader focused on bringing out the highest expression in all his clients and projects with efficiency, humor, and grace. Scott is deeply gifted in reaching beyond the noise and chaos that his clients may be experiencing and helping them discover and heal the core issues blocking deeper experiences of love and happiness within, restoring flow to every area of their lives. Under the precise guidance of Sri Svami Purna Maharaj, the impact and reach of Scott's work deepens with every breath.
Here are a few of our favorite Big Ideas from Week 1 - Establishing Your Practice
Big Idea #1: The Five Points of Softening
As Scott was giving us meditation instruction, he taught a unique technique called the Five Points of Softening.
Once you have entered your meditation posture and are breathing deeply, become aware of the soles of your feet. Feel the skin, tissue, muscle and the pads of each toe melting and softening. Inhaling deep and long, bring that awareness to your hands, and experience the softening of the palms and the pads of each finger.
Now, continuing to inhale deep and exhale long, soften the corners of both of your eyes. Next, bring awareness to your ears, and make an effort to soften the skin in and around them. Finally, continuing your deep breath, soften the entire pelvic floor and groin region. Let go of any gripping or tension you might feel in that area.
Finally, connect with all five points at the same time, the feet, the palms, the eyes, the ears and the pelvic floor, and soften all five points together.
Releasing the tension around these points calms the nervous system and thereby calms our thoughts. It balances the hemispheres of the brain and allows you to enter more relaxed states of consciousness.
Big Idea #2: Working With Thoughts
All of our thoughts begin with the agitation of the nervous system. The more you pacify the nervous system, the quieter your mind becomes.
There are many ways to work with the nervous system. One technique Scott recommends is using binaural beats that entrain your brainwaves to a frequency which is more conducive for deep meditation. Scott will be giving a set of such beats as a gift to all participants in this class.
In addition, as thoughts come up, we can practice labeling them. There are two types of labeling. You can label the type of thought you’re having – worry, anger, frustration, irritation… Or you can just label the thought as “thought”.
It’s that simple. You notice it, call it a thought, and gently return to your breath. There’s no need to try to fight or out-argue the thought. By calming our nervous system, we calm our minds.
Big Idea #3: Preparing Your Space
Our approach to meditation determines our landing. If we just sprawl ourselves onto the cushion/chair and don’t have a strong intention, our meditation will not go very far.
There are many ways that we can get ready to meditate. We can prepare our space by setting up an inspiring altar. Some people enjoy using candles or plants or pictures of teachers or inspiring religious figures. The altar is something that calls out to the wisdom within you, so you’re the one for whom it must have meaning.
As we prepare for meditation, we can do a couple of relaxing yoga poses. If we travel, we can bring a yoga shawl with us that will remind us of all of the practice we have done in the past. We may wish to wash our hands and feet or light a small stick of incense. Bringing reverence to the meditation deepens our practice.
Finally, when you sit, set your intention. Why are you doing this? Is it for yourself? To uplift the world? You may say a special phrase. An example would be: “May my practice uplift beings everywhere.”
As you begin to meditate, invoke grace. Call out to God, Nature, your teacher or your lineage to support the evolution of your practice.
Other Cool Stuff:
Here is the textbook for this course:
The Truth Will Set You Free by Svami Purna!
Also, check out Scott's website here:
Click here to join our community site and share with students in the course!
We hope you enjoyed and see you in Week 2!
-the en*theos Academy team