March 4 2002
Changes I'm trying involve just placing the tip of the tongue in the hollow behind the upper teeth (forget turning it backwards). According to Master Chia, that's the contact point for the heart.
Also I'm trying to simplify things a bit. I ran into a quote from Iyengar in his book on pranayama that suggests a slight tightening of the upper eyelids to 'soften' the eyes for meditation. This really is a very interesting tip. It seems to help me stay in the real Present, along with putting my attention on the surface of the eyes -- i.e. 'ahead of the thought perception process' -- "out of my mind," so to speak -- (I also call it "sitting on your own face) -- and a sort of a 'beginning smile' around the eyes. Otherwise they tend to wander off on their own, and my thoughts follow them like little ba-baa-ing sheep.
If you study all the muscles involved in the beginning of a smile, it seems as if there is a similar eyelid tightening/ eyeball 'softening' just before the mouth and cheeks get involved.
I've been focusing on this 'eye smile' and find that the mouth smile automatically begins by itself. It's a more subtle but equally potent approach. It's very easy to 'surf the Now' with this method.
Now I don't know if that'e because I've been doing all the face yoga stuff or whether this eyelid asana would work just as well for someone starting from scratch, so to speak. I guess I'll just have to find an unwary person to try it on!
Thanks again for the feedback. Putting the IAOUE on the breath and Allah on the tongue is a bit of a gymnastic exercise, I agree. But it beats pondering the grocery list while trying to meditate!
I'm continuing to research the 'smile beginnings' in the eyelid area. When I coached someone yesterday, I noticed they tended to squint. This is not correct. It's not a tightening down of the eyelids but a 'slight widening' feeling. If you are doing it right, the corners of your mouth automatically curve upwards and it feels as if your forehead smoothes out -- or at least those 'concentration' lines between the eyebrows become less so. Check in the mirror.
When that happens, STAY RIGHT THERE! Don't smile more than that. Just in that area is a portal to the NOW ahead of the thought process, the REAL present. At least I'm convinced that for me this is true.