Neti Neti

Guided Meditation Script 

Intro Talk

Today we are going to explore an ancient Buddhist and Hindu meditation practice called Neti Neti, which translates as neither this, neither that or beyond this or beyond that.

Each time you notice something (thought, feeling) we put on our curious hat and try and dig back to it’s origins. What came before this thought or feeling? Each tome something comes up we say….not this, not that….and keep excavating until we feel we have come to a natural conclusion. We return back to the breath and wait for the next thought/feeling to surface and we repeat. 

Why do this practice? The idea behind this meditation is to learn about who we are, by who we are not. If we aren’t uncomfortable sitting on the pillow, then who are we? If we negate all our labels (a mother, an employee, a son) then how do we identify  ourselves? The ultimate goal of the meditation is to show what we are but what we are NOT. 

Prompts (insert lots of silence)

  • Find your seat (hips above the knees) 
  • Start by taking a few deep breaths. On each inhale gently lengthening up through the  spine and on the exhales letting go….softening the belly, softening the forehead, eyes, releasing the jaw, allowing the tongue to rest on the floor of the mouth, soft shoulders….etc...
  • Place the hands anywhere that is comfortable….in your lap, on a pillow, on your knees, 
  • Take a moment to notice your whole body. 
  • As we prepare to begin the meditation, set the intention to sit tall and be as still as you can over the next 30 minutes. If you become uncomfortable and must move, just do so very slowly and carefully and try to come into stillness again as soon as you can and to regrouped and re-group take your attention back to the breath, and then when you are ready back to the guided meditation.
  • First start with observing the breath….nostrils, belly….
  • So let’s begin. As your next thought, sensation, observation surfaces...take some time to explore this. It might be...I’m already uncomfortable sitting like this….and if this is so, what if you said to yourself the opposite….….I’m not this discomfort or that…. and then can you track back to what came BEFORE this observation that you are already uncomfortable?
  • So one way to start is with body sensations...starting with your feet and legs and slowly moving up your body...like a sweep or body scan. Who is having these sensations? 
  • With each observation and with a bit of skepticism we say...NOT THIS OR NOT THAT, knowing that the feelings or thoughts were only temporary….and they shift and change….and then we move on to observing the breath until something else surfaces. 
  • Resist going into the ‘story’ of why you might feel uncomfortable sitting right now. My hips are sore...and resist trying to replace the feeling with something better….like saying to yourself actually I’m so comfortable sitting here on the floor.  
  • Cultivate some skepticism around your observations…
  • The practice today is to simply dis-identify and detach from observation….saying...I’m not this….but to leave it open...to stay with not knowing...to be without a label…
  • As we come to the last few minutes of our meditation go ahead and soften the inquiry and just sit quietly and rest 

Closing 

  • Mudita Practice “sympathetic joy” 
  • Bring to mind someone or something that makes you happy...animal or kid….someone easy to like
  • So picture them...picture them happy...wagging tail, barking, laughing…doing something that they love...so bring to mind that image right now and allow yourself to feel this happiness.

The Mudita meditation is to rejoice in someone else’s happiness...notice how it makes you feel when you think about someone else’s happiness. Can you crack a little smile yourself? Notice what you feel, and where you feel it. The idea is that you allow yourself to feel this...and know that you are what you repeatedly do….Artistotle, law of attraction….

I would like to acknowledge  that the land on which I write from today is on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen,Esquimalt and the Songhees and that the indigenous titles of these territoires have not been surrendered to the Canadian government

 

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