Let’s break down the Ancient Child “sijil” a bit. Some of it was consciously structured, other aspects pieces of teachings from such mentors as Sri Chinmoy, Dawn Callan, and Harley “Swift Deer” Reagan.
The classic approach is to sit quietly and “listen” to your heartbeat. You can take your pulse at the throat or wrist at first, but if you get quiet and centered enough, it is quite possible to feel the pulse just by concentrating. Aiming at this is a fine goal, teaching relaxation, posture, smooth steady breathing, and more. It is a step toward feeling in the “eye of the storm” during stressful times, remembering that you needn’t avoid stress (pressure per unit area)…just keep it from becoming strain (deformation per unit length).
So we are sitting calmly, breathing smoothly (belly breathing!) and feeling/listening to our heartbeat. Luxuriate in this. It is the sound of life. Is it rushed? Feel deep and slow? Pretend you are a child in the womb, comforted by your mother’s cardiac rhythm.
Culturally, we associate the heart with love. Why not? Why not feel the love and life circulating in your body, taking a little vacation from the world.
If you do only this, it can have a fantastic effect. No need at all to go further for months, if you wish. Just listen to your heartbeat for 15-20 minutes. Your brain, by the way, will throw all sorts of barriers and detritus at you. Thoughts, feelings, memories, voices, images…oh the fun it will have trying to distract you! Just say “thank you” and go back to your heartbeat. The distractions are interesting data, but what you seek is the “space between the trees”, the calm between the thoughts, the silence between the words. The rest between the beats. This is when your heart rests, you know. Between the beats. When I was a kid, I remember a biology test in maybe sixth grade where I was asked: “when does the heart rest” and I answered: “when you sleep.”
WRONG. Between the beats. Between the contractions. Learn to be sensitive, and soft enough to find those moments. Slide between the beats.
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