Meditation Techniques: How to Meditate by Finding Your Center
We hear a lot in the New Age/Spiritual community about 'centering', but there is a real lack of information about what this actually means and how to go about it. We're going to explore some of the connotations of this concept, with various meditation techniques to make it happen.
As is frequently the case when describing subjective experiences, there can be several different perspectives on the matter. For many people the easiest route to understanding is through a comparison with the physical body.
If we're talking about 'the center', then it makes sense to look at one's center of gravity. In the martial arts which are considered a type of 'moving meditation', each movement revolves around one's center of gravity. A typical visualization that accompanies this is to find that place in the belly from which you can imagine a root moving down into the earth. When you can feel that place within you and focus all your other movements around that, it can be practically impossible to knock you over.
In chakra meditations, the meditations in which you focus on key energy points along the spine, one's 'center' can be considered the solar plexus or heart chakra (depending on who's defining it). Personally, I like the solar plexus as the center, as it represents the "fire in the belly", the "guts" that give us our life drive and motivation. To me, this is where the spiritual self and the animal self find their meeting ground. Thus, the center or 1/2 way point.
From a more mental point of view, we can call our drive or ambitious nature our center. This tends to be our mental focus, that which all other thoughts either revolve around or inevitably come back to. Our plans concern this and we evaluate our actions by how this aspect of ourselves is affected.
From a psychological perspective, we may see the inner child as our center. This is the innocent, unspoiled self. This is that part of ourselves which must be made secure and given adequate expression if we are to feel completely whole. When we look at our inner selves and recognize that who we really are has never actually changed, this is what we see that we haven't changed away from. This is who we have always been.
As you can see, there are a number of different avenues to one's center. These are only a few. The point is, to approach the essential Self to find rest and self-acceptance in a calm and peaceful venue. This is a significant goal in meditation and self-actualization. Ideally, we find this place within the self and allow ourselves to just "be" without negative judgements or harsh expectations. This is a fine beginning to the experience of meditation, finding the essence of self and then be willing to just be that, without jittering around about it, being defensive, offensive or apprehensive.
So... a basic meditation technique is to find your center and allow yourself to just be there with it, conscious of who you are and not fighting that fact. When learning how to meditate learn to just be there.