Meditation and the centre

Where is the centre of your body? Do you think in terms of physical centres – like the centre of gravity, or the middle? Is the spiritual centre the same as the physical centre? I don’t think there are any ‘right’ answers here, but there’s much to be said for spending time contemplating the self, looking for where we might centre and how that might feel. ‘Centering’ is a popular term, but the centre may not necessarily be a safe place, depending on how we feel about that location in ourselves.

Being present in a body isn’t easy if that body hurts or has other problems. One useful thing I’ve found on this score is to keep moving; not resting contemplatively in one part of the body for too long, so as not to be overwhelmed by any discomfort there.

For much of the time, my head is my centre and I work out of my eyes and ears, and brain. I have no problem with this, because when I’m working with my head, I need to be in my head above all else. When I’m not working in my head it makes sense to stretch, flex and occupy the rest of me instead. When I’m doing things with the rest of my body, I need to be properly present in my body.

If I take my heart as my centre, then love, courage and other heart-centred feelings are likely to dominate my meditation. There’s a point under my ribs that sometimes makes sense. I may go for womb as centre, although I don’t find that easy, or I could think of my stomach as my centre. I don’t have a comfortable relationship with my midriff so this can bring up all kinds of challenges. If I’m really willing to take emotional risks I can think of my genitals as my centre.

I was recently prompted to consider my feet as my centre. This has fascinating repercussions, because if my feet are my centre then logically a good half of me exists outside of my body, and is of the earth. In terms of being ‘grounded’ this is perhaps the most effective centre, and it opens up questions about my sense of me, and my sense of body, and where the edges are. At some point when I’m feeling clever I will try meditating with head as centre and that same implication of being half body, half of the air and see what that does.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

7 responses to “Meditation and the centre

  • Sass

    I always think of my centre as being located around the top of my pelvis, roughly where the sacral chakra would be in the most commonly known version of the energy centres in Indian philosophy. That is the most grounding and connecting visualisation for me. When I learned yogic meditation we would usually be directed to have our focus either between our eyes (the third eye chakra in that system) or on our heart; some of the teachers would phrase it as “moving our consciousness to” those places, which also works for me. I’m not sure if that’s the same concept as centre, though. They feel a bit different to me. The centre is just one of the places I can focus my awareness. If I’m doing brain work, I may focus my awareness in my head, but that doesn’t mean I consider my head to be my centre, if that makes sense?

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    […] via Meditation and the centre — Druid Life […]

  • Ryan C.

    Interesting. I like the idea of experimenting with different “centres” and seeing how they affect the experience of meditation. I’ve come across a meditation exercise where you focus your attention on the “three cauldrons” (just above the loin, heart and head) and become aware of each one individually and then together, which I sometimes use. Otherwise, I tend to work from the feet up in a “body scan” sort of thing. I do like the idea of the feet as centre, with the “self” extending into the earth, though. Very Druidic!

  • Ella Wherry

    You never cease to surprise and amaze me!

  • karenenneagram

    I like the idea of cauldrons…. and in practice I find it limiting because cauldrons are so very solid! With only one open place: the top (with interesting steam emerging). For meditation I prefer fluidity, though I do focus on the three centres as ‘centres’ in their own right. And yes, when we need the head, that’s the centre, and so on. I experience head as air, belly as earth and heart as either water or fire depending how it’s being used…. and cauldrons are wonderful for working with the energy of one specific ‘centre’ ….. endlessly experimenting and learning, aren’t we?
    I trust you find most of you (half of you?) being sky/heaven a good experience when you go there via the head!

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