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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finger Meditations: Mudras

Hindu healing practitioners already discovered long ago that too much or too little of an element (earth, water, air, fire, and ether) causes the body to become imbalanced or even seriously ill. We can restore the harmony within us through the corresponding images. Just as every element can have a positive influence on us, it can also destroy us. The individual elements naturally influence each other.

Every element has special needs that can be easily satisfied in a balanced and calm dynamic state. But how often are we stressed, rest and exercise too little, eat too much, or let ourselves be plagued by worries? All of this throws us off balance. When the body is no longer capable of attaining harmony, we are out of balance and we become susceptible to disease.

image
Dhyāna Mudrā - Amitābha statue at Kōtoku-in in Kamakura, Japan
Click the picture for a larger view


The following meditations can be done during the sleepless hours of a long night or an illness. It demands nothing more of the body than lovingly embracing one finger with the fingers of the other hand.

Meditation 1: Thumb Energy

The fire element, the lung meridian, and Mars (the planet and/or ancient god of war) are associated with the thumb. The fire of the thumb nourishes the energy of the other fingers and absorbs excess energy. It thereby restores equilibrium. When we think about the incineration of garbage, we sense that destruction through fire can also have a power that creates order. Even in nature, when during the course of the decades a monoculture of the strongest has been created, the forest fire once again creates the preconditions for a larger variety of new plants. The overheating within our bodies, the fever, kills entire cultures of bacteria. Fire is dependent upon air since it dies without oxygen; the same also applies to our cell respiration. The metabolism in the individual cells can only properly function with adequate oxygen. We can actually strengthen every part of the body or every organ by visualizing and/or breathing light and warmth into it.

Exercise

Either sit or lie down. Now encircle your right thumb with the four fingers of your left hand and place your left thumb along the inner edge of your right hand. Close your eyes.

Focus on a part of the body that is weak or ill. Now imagine that a light is burning in the lower center of your body (at the height of the navel). Every time you exhale, direct the rays of light toward the respective part of the body. First let large, dark clouds of smoke (things that make you ill, pain, etc.) escape from the illuminated body part. Then concentrate solely on the light that slowly fills, illuminates, and heals this part of the body.

Calmly keep holding onto your thumb for a while and feel the flowing warmth. Then encircle your left thumb and also hold this for a while.

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