The central question for me these days is: what do animals do when they doze?
Extract from Animal Identity
Throughout evolution, the panorama mode has been fundamental to their survival. And for animals, this is a constant reminder of how it feels to be still inside, receptive to and connected with everything.
So, in the few moments animals have, when they can just doze and don't need to fight for survival, they are far more practiced than we are, and much more able to turn off and just feel their bodies warmth and reality with all of their physical senses.
It's an habitual rut which animals have. And this inner sense of self sufficiency in their own bodies is what sustains them, it gives them an underlying background sense of peace with themselves and the world. A sharp contrast to their daily fears of being eaten alive.
Please read all the previous pages in Chapters 6 and 7 before continuing with this.
So, i believe animals sense and understand their bodies, not only with their tactile sense, but also by smelling, tasting, listening, and seeing.
And animals don't have the same continuous mental friction which we have. If you are a complete beginner with meditation and first want to learn some more conventional methods to contain the routine chattering of the mind, you might want to review the page on Meditation Methods.
DozingHumans have forgotten how to doze. When humans doze, we slumber and daydream and get lost in abstract thinking – we have lost the feel for just being.
Panoraming is something which you can do for just a few seconds and it will be effective. But every animal needs a minute or so before they can settle down to doze. To find any depth, humans need to doze for at least five minutes. 20 minutes would be better, but five is enough.
The changes inside our body are usually so slow that they don't stimulate an alert feeling of nowness, but that makes them all the better for a comfortable doze.
PreparationCheck through your outer body, where it's touching the floor and the chair, your clothes, and the air on your face and hair. Are you comfortable?
The 'Breath-Body'The basis for this meditation is whole body breathing. Let's call it the 'breath-body' to distinguish how the breath feels from the inside, to how the body feels (and looks) from the outside.
Feel the breath-body. Feel yourself filling up and emptying out. "Getting bigger and smaller"; "filling up and emptying out"; "expanding and contracting"; all these are wholesome ways to feel the body while breathing.
If you can do this for a few minutes, then that would be amazing. Most people, myself included, will start to daydream.
The Inner SensesTo give the thoughts some sort of stability, develop a sequence as described in Meditation Methods.
From Body and Breathing Awareness, build up a full body awareness, starting from the soft sensitive middle area, adding the frame, then the limbs, out to the hard ends. With every in-breath extend the field of awareness a little bit more.
Try to experience the outside skin, in a panoramic way, all over the body, (rather than the body parts one by one, or scanning through it).
Humming is easy and helps in various ways.
Between each sequence, come back to a few breaths with the whole breath-body, expanding and contracting.
You will sometimes find it useful to concentrate on just one sense; sometimes in a sequence, at other times combining them, As with so much in life, it depends on timing, so follow your intuition.