Seed Meditation

To begin the seed meditation  you need to create the right setting and situation. You need to wear comfortable clothes which you can easily move and relax in. Take your shoes off, put a blanket on the floor area you choose to practice on, and clear a space big enough for you to stretch out in and spread arms and legs. Create a space in time also. It is important to give yourself about half an hour without other pressing issues to properly meet your inner feelings. Drop self criticism and give yourself permission to express sounds and movement freely.

When you are ready to begin, stand or lie in the centre or your space and raise your arms above your head. Hold them so they are quite extended. Then bring to mind the idea or image of an unplanted seed. It can be any sort of seed. Now notice whether your body in its present posture feels as if it is expressing the form and condition of the seed. The aim is to consider how you and your body feel in relationship to the idea and sense you have of the seed.

Many people find, for instance, that having the arms extended does not ‘feel’ like an unplanted seed. Don’t struggle with this. It is just an experiment, play with it, have fun. So if you do not feel your being is expressive of the seed, move about, explore different postures until you begin to feel more satisfied.  Explore in this way until you feel you have found a position that is right. Take your time. Notice whether the arms and head are right. Would a seed that is not growing feel alert, sleeping, waiting? See if you can find an inner feeling which for you feels like a seed. Do not attempt to think the whole thing out or consider it scientifically. Let whatever feeling sense you have guide you. If you get lost, come back to arms and legs extended and spread and again consider whether that FEELS like a dry unplanted seed. If not, work with that feeling of ‘not right’ until it gets to be ‘right’.

Finding the Right Position

When you find a position and inner feeling which suits you, take the next step by letting yourself explore, in just the same way, what happens when the seed is planted in warm moist soil and begins to grow. Continue your feeling exploration to find out what will occur when the seed grows, puts out leaves, blossoms and fulfils its cycle. Explore the whole cycle of the seed’s expression. Don’t hold a rigid idea of what the growth of the seed means. What we are looking for is that you explore your own feeling sense in regard to the thought of the seed’s growth. It might be that as the seed you feel very strongly you do not want to grow. In which case simply remain in the form of the seed until you feel a change and an urge to grow, or until your session time is up.

Not only is this an exercise for our feeling sense, but it is also a way the process of LifeStream can express. The concept of the seed structures what happens, but it is still a channel for self regulation to occur. You can consider it a successful LifeStream experience if some aspect of what arises is spontaneous or unexpected. Even if the unexpected does not emerge in the first session, it will do so as you learn to let go of thinking and critical appraisal of what is happening, and leave the body open to free expression. So at first it doesn’t matter if the session feels mechanical and contrived. Having those feelings means you are sensing what is happening, and you can thereby refine your technique with their help. By letting go of the controlling urge, you can let the spontaneous and creative part of you express. See People’s Experiences of LifeStream

You can use the method given in the Arm Circling a few times to help you to learn how to let go.

What happens may differ each time, for the unconscious is very creative. In symbols, or in direct experience, something of your own nature will be expressed in the drama of growing. As you practice, any stiffness of feelings or hesitancy will lessen. The theme of what emerges will become clearer and more fully felt.

Judith, who teaches a yoga class, describes her use of this approach to LifeStream as follows:

 “….I felt as if I were the bud of a crocus. I seemed to be slowly unfolding with difficulty. Not until I fully opened did I feel a great relief. The results of this have made me feel very positive in my outlook, and far happier…..I am a trainee yoga teacher and have been teaching for three years. I have a small class of fourteen students who are keen and attend regularly. I decided to have my students try LifeStream to see how they would react. I explained it as well as I could, and the feedback I got was:- A man in his thirties said, ‘I felt I was in a womb. It was very comfortable, cosy and dark. I wanted to stay there. I didn’t want to come away – it was so peaceful. I have never experienced anything like it before.’ He was very impressed.

A woman in her thirties felt like throwing her arms around and kicking her legs.  ‘I felt I wanted to give birth and was about to deliver.’ She didn’t fling herself about, but held back. I think it was a pity she didn’t let go. Perhaps I didn’t explain the whole procedure clearly enough for them to understand that it was entirely free movements. The majority acted out being flowers.  Only one in the class thought it was a lot of ‘bloody rubbish’, her words. She didn’t even try. She thought she would feel stupid acting out a seed. I personally was surprised at the outcome, that so much should happen first time.”

When using the starting point of the seed, we are giving the unconscious a ready made structure to work with. Because we may be unfamiliar with a completely unstructured approach to our inner processes, such a structure gives at least some sense of familiarity and confidence. Even so, some people find they want everything fully described, scripted or choreographed. The very point of LifeStream however, is to begin moving beyond the known in ourselves, towards creative newness and the unexpected. So even if some anxiety is felt, as with the woman Judith describes who defends her anxiety of the unknown by calling the exercise ‘bloody rubbish’, one needs to gradually move beyond such resistant feelings. See Life’s Little Secrets

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