Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Exercises - Max Cade

These papers were often used as a talk within a workshop, which would be followed by practical exercises. There are many exercises which are appropriate for this topic: for the first part, emphasizing concentration as a pre­requisite to meditation and for the second part, emphasizing the internal state, or "attitude" conducive to effective meditation, both in the quiet and "in the battlefield of life".

All these exercises, if practiced correctly, will bring about a level of relaxation in the body.. In the biofeedback workshops, participants monitor this change
using the Electrical Skin Resistance meter. (The model used in Max’s workshops was normally the "Omega 1", manufactured by Audio Ltd.). In order to avoid drowsiness, participants are seated in an upright posture. Breathing should be from the abdomen  a relaxing breath, filling the lungs no more than three-quarters full, so the rib cage will remain still.

The presentation of these types of exercise to a group obviously requires a level of experience in maintaining rapport, appraising the state of the group,
timing and so on. Some instructions have been included in square brackets throughout the exercises.

Exercise 1: Stillness of Mind and Body

"Before one can learn to meditate, it is desirable one might almost say  essential, to learn to concentrate. In orthodox yogic training it is not left to
the whim of the pupil to decide whether or not he will learn concentration before proceeding to meditation; he is obliged to learn concentration  Dharana  first.. In many parts of India, the learning of Dharana is by means of the Kasina exercises, which are still largely unknown in the West. Without possessing a certain degree of Dharana, a person would hardly be able to live at all, and certainly could not work properly. Hence, without even being aware of the fact, everyone is continually practicing Kasina exercises, by which their energy is directed towards a single goal..

"First of all it is necessary for you to realize that if you are relaxing properly, your mind is WIDE AWAKE and AWARE, even though your body is deeply relaxed and almost beyond movement.... Take a few moments to become centered and relaxed.... breathing easily from the abdomen..relaxed lips, tongue and throat, but keeping eyes open..... [1 minute]

"Now hold one of the Kasina objects in your hand. [an object is given to each member of the group. Max had a basket of coloured alabaster eggs for this purpose, and each participant chose an egg as the basket was offered. Other objects could be used instead.

"I want you to study your chosen Kasina object carefully, with both your hand and your eyes. Feel it and note its smoothness, or occasional flaws, its
temperature, its texture. .. . Study it with your eyes and note the colour, the shadíngs, the patterns.concentrate upon it completely, losing all awareness of
your body in the process, yet remaining fully awake and aware.  [5 minutes]

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