Preksha means “to look”, and is a 4-5 step meditation that is composed of several smaller meditations, each designed to focus the awareness and control the prana. It was started by Swami Mahaveera, a contemporary of the Buddha and the founder of Jainism. It is about 3000 years old, and was rediscovered by Swami Mahapragya ji.
Pre-meditation: Mahaprana dhwani (maha=big, dhwani=sound)
Basically brahmari, bee-humming. The tips of the teeth can barely touch so as to better feel the vibrations in the head. Traditional minimum is 9 times, but this stage can last anywhere from 5 minutes to one hour.
Kayotsarga (kayo=body, tsarga=leaving)
Full body relaxation; Yoga Nidra. Autosuggestion to relax each body part, including the internal organs, until the whole body is relaxed.
Antaryatra (antar=internal, yatra=trip)
Bring the awareness to the base of the spine, shakti kendra. Try to feel some sensation there. Then gradually move the attention up the spine to the top of the skull, jayana kendra. Do this several times until the feeling is established. Feel as if the attention is a bucket, filling with energy at the bottom and depositing it at the top, then going back down to refill. If possible, then link the breath with this process so that the attention goes up on the inhale and back down on the exhale. (10 minutes to 1 hour)
Swas-praswas preksha (swas=inhalation, praswas=exhalation, preksha=to look)
Step one is to breathe deeply, and become aware of the whole process. Watch the breath as it moves in the nostrils, down to the lungs, fills the lungs, and exits again through the nostrils. Try to feel every bit of this sensation. You can also visualize positive energy flowing in and negative energy flowing out.
Step two is alternate nostril breathing, like nadi shodana but without the hand. Concentrate on the left nostril, inhale through the left nostril, concentrate on the right nostril to exhale through the right nostril. Then maintain concentration and inhale through the right nostril, switch concentration the left nostril and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat. The degree to which this process is effective (i.e you are actually breathing through the intended nostril) determines the degree to which you have control over your prana. Do this for 10 minutes to an hour, honing the concentration to greater subtlety.
The last stage is to focus on an area of the body that needs healing. On the inhale, bring the breath to that part of the body, and on the exhale, take any negative energy out of that part and exhale it. This is effective because you have now established conscious control of the prana, and linked your center of concentration with the breath.
There are several alternate exercises for this last part. For example, anupreksha, or changing habits by incorporating autosuggestion (for example, concentrating on the lungs and feeling the intention to quit smoking). Some visualizations can be used as well. (10 minutes to 1 hour)
This meditation can be done daily, or as part of a specific therapy course. The duration and intensity of concentration determine its effectiveness for healing.
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