John Patrick Sullivan, a former linebacker for the New York Jets, says that football builds muscles and physical strength in players, but life requires inner strength and courage. After football he turned to yoga to develop peace of mind.
John Patrick says that the yoga practice that prepares him for deep intimacy with Source and with the living world is an ancient meditation from the Zen tradition in which the focus is turned towards the belly center or Dantian. In Sufism this center is referred to as the Kath.
John Patrick adds that after the meditation he is then able to turn with strength and love towards his wife and engage from a place of the cosmic mystery. He adds that when we choose to relate from this place instead of two stones meeting, we have the opportunity to delight in the experience of two fragrances exploring life with one another.
- Find five to fifteen or twenty minutes for silence, depending on your schedule.
- Lower the lights, if you wish you can light a candle in honor of true nature, or simply bow to the Mystery.
- This meditation can be practiced in a chair, in lotus position, or on a wooden bench, alone or with another.
- Generally men hold the hands facing downwards toward the belly with the left hand over the right, the opposite for women (right hand over left).
- You can either close your eyes or lower your gaze.
- The point of this practice is to sense your body, being aware of what is within, and listen to what is beyond the normal chatter of the waking world.
Find yourself in this time and space by slowly drawing a line around your body starting at the right large toe and then moving clockwise up your body including all of your toes, along your ankle, up your leg, past your right hip and moving up your torso and around your arm including each finger and along your neck, over your head, down your neck around your left arm including your fingers, down your torso, along your left hip, down your leg, past your ankle, and past each toe arriving at your large left toe. Now you have defined yourself in space and time. (Each time you practice, see if you can move more slowly and define yourself more precisely.) Next turn your focus towards your belly center. Two finger widths below your belly and two finger widths inside. Simply observe the spaciousness found in the belly center. Allow thoughts to come and go without focusing on them. Turn your focus towards the feeling of Presence, whatever that means to you at this time. Simply be in that mystery.
When your time is complete stand up and move forward into the day aligned with this inner Presence, and sense if your ability to relate is more attuned.