November 21, 2013 Guma (Judy Tretheway)
At the recent Advancing Workshop on cultivating our Wisdom Abilities (sometimes know as Para-normal capacities) I shared my practice I call First Thoughts. Primarily this is a practice for the transition zone between sleeping and being fully awake. It can also be applied anytime you catch yourself in a quality of mind or thoughts that you would like to upgrade.
What first thoughts I choose to activate has morphed over the years. I usually stick with one word, phrase, chant or practice for a year or more, until I feel it has made its way into my un-consciousness and stabilized, well beyond the time where any stickiness has dissolved. Generally, what I practice has a relationship with my waking Qigong practice and there is always a strong correlation with my desire to awaken my energy body’s fullest possible integration with my body and mind and reach into my fullest potential in this incarnation.
The practice uses my own mind to upgrade itself.
• I set an intention as to what I want my First Thoughts to be.
• As soon as I recognize that I am no longer sleeping and am thinking, I gently and purposefully substitute that First Thought for whatever has arisen. I put no energy into whatever I caught my self thinking; I just start in with my practice.
• I carry on until I fall back asleep (restarting when I wake again), or feel rich and full and stabilized in my First Thought, or until I really have to get up and go to the bathroom.
• When I have to wake to an alarm and get going quickly, I still practice for a few minutes, keeping my self awake adding some level of intensity.
• I activate the process when I wake up in the middle of the night or from a nap as well. You can activate any time you catch yourself worrying, fearful, angry or inside of any story that you wish to activate a different aspect of your mind consciously.
Starting the day from a sense of my energetic self or some aspect of my Qigong practice now feels foundational to me. Now the desire to change un-beneficial thought patterns that I find myself in during the day, arises relatively quickly. The impulse is arising from a deeper place than, “you shouldn’t be so resentful or worry or…” The resolving energy of openness seems to arise organically as I become aware that I am worrying.
Here are some examples of what I have practiced over the ten or so years I’ve been enjoying First Thoughts.
• I would lay my hand over any part of my body (usually my belly or heart) and begin to say “thank you” to that organ – all of me, grateful, for that part of me. Then move to another organ, and then another and then end up visualizing my hands over my whole body saying, “thank you”.
• After several years I shifted to practicing the Inner Smile to various parts of me.
• When I was learning 5 organ Sound Healing I sang (silently if my husband was still asleep) to my organs. And then for a while I focused on the positive emotional state of each organ.
• Chanting Haola, (all is well, so be it), repeatedly.
• Chanting HYLT Hun Yuan Ling Tong, repeatedly.
• Three Centers activation. For the past year I have been cultivating an awareness of my upper, middle and lower Dantians. If I want to go back to sleep I usually just stay in my lower Dantian. If I am waking up I start my upper Dantian or Shenji Palace, then go to the middle, lower and return to the upper. Originally I just did a mental Lachi (absorb and dissolve or open and close energetically). Now at the Shenji Palace I use the Brain Breathing practice. Sometimes I add the sounds to keep my mind focused and explore that activation and vibration.
Usually if I awaken in the middle of the night and am just rolling over and seeking to be asleep again quickly, I keep it very simple, either Haola, or an energetic Lachi pulse of opening and closing in my belly – I just want a rocking soothing sensation engaged.
I first learned this practice from Bo Lozoff, who taught thousands of prisoners spiritual practices during his teaching tours and his books such as We Are All Doing Time. He recommended just a very simple phrase or word that pointed to who you really were and what you wanted to activate fully in your life. I morphed it into a Qigong practice.