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Day at a time, Yin and Yang. 21/04/2020

22 Apr 2020

A Day at a Time – A Daily Blog of Life in Lockdown

My Qi Gong class this morning finished with some Yin meditation. Whilst being familiar with the terms and the symbol above, they are not ones I use. I do think about balance in my life and I study and practice to experience non-duality: the experience of connection or oneness with all things. I looked up a definition from the Personal Tao: –

Two halves that together complete wholeness. Yin and yang are also the starting point for change. When something is whole, by definition, it’s unchanging and complete. So, when you split something into two halves – yin/yang, it upsets the equilibrium of wholeness. Both halves are chasing after each other as they seek a new balance with each other.

It does feel like this pandemic is about rebalancing. Lockdown is giving us the opportunity, like during the winter, to go inward, be with ourselves and get to know ourselves and to reflect on the way we have been living, the imbalances in ourselves, societies, the world and on the earth. In terms of energy, yin means relaxation, it’s about connecting to the sense of being as oppose to the sense of doing. Yin and yang are both happening all the time, at the same time, but certainly in Western societies being busy, doing, doing, doing is more the norm and somehow seen as desirable, praised. We have skewed the balance between Yin and Yang, we have become Yin deficient.

For those of us in lockdown is this something we can do for everyone, to bring forth Yin energy. To rebalance the things. In meditation, when we go deep into stillness connecting with the lower belly through the breath it is a Yin practice. We gradually become comfortable in our own stillness within, we connect with and feel an expansive spaciousness and a sense of peace and tranquillity. At this time of great turmoil and stress for many this is a wonderful skill to develop.

Hint: Practice simply being. This could be simply sitting quietly.

Practice: Soft Belly Meditation

• Lie down somewhere comfortable where you won’t be disturbed. Cover yourself with a blanket if necessary. If you have lower back problems raise your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Close your eyes if that feels comfortable to you.
• Taking a few deep breaths, feeling the body you breathe in. Feeling the body expand and contract as you breathe.
• Feeling the breath move down to the belly. Perhaps resting your hand on the belly, feeling your breath meeting your hand as the belly inflates on the in breath and deflates on the outbreath.
• Breathing in, softening the belly. Breathing out letting go of any holding or resistance.
• Allowing the breath to be received in a softening belly. Noticing the changing flow of the sensations of the inbreath followed by the outbreath. Letting the breath breathe itself in a softening belly.
• Softening the belly to receive the breath, to receive sensations, to experience life in the body. Letting thoughts, emotions, sensations rise and fall in and out of a spacious belly.
• Letting everything float in something softer and kinder. Welcome it all.
• When you notice yourself thinking about a thought or feeling, simply noting that observation with kindness and then gently bringing the mind back to the flow of the breath in the belly. Letting the healing in.
• After 10 minutes or so practice, coming back to a sense of your body on the ground and the space around you.
• At any time of the day you can return to soft belly breathing, letting it become a trigger for letting go.
(adapted from Stephen Levine’s Soft-belly Meditation)