Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Meditation and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

Any book on meditation worth its salt will advice the novice to start off by counting his breath to quieten the mind. Some of the more high-falutin ones will even advice you to follow the breath in your mind; never mind the fact that you have no fricken idea how to do so.

I have always had a problem with the counting-the-breaths approach. For some reason, whenever I start counting my breath, it would seem like my breath becomes aware that it is being counted, and starts playing to the gallery: "Oooh... I am being watched; let's do something fancy..." and bingo, it would get faster, it would get shallower, it would start dancing the Macarena... in short, do everything except assist me in achieving a quiet mind.

A way out of this problem is to inhale from the stomach (more precisely, from the diaphragm area), and exhale through the nostrils. This is quite effective, except that I need to place my palm over the diaphragm for this to work. Which doesn't work when you are sitting in the lotus position, with your palms touching your heels...