Centering Your Body and Your Mind

Centering is a process of finding the source of strength, clarity, and peace within. It is a way of focusing, of gathering your energy into a point so that you can channel it more easily into any activity you choose. Centering creates higher levels of awareness and enhances your ability to discover what is most important and meaningful to you. When you are centered, you feel calm, quiet, strong, secure, balanced, and present in the moment.

Exercise to center the body. With eyes closed, gently rock from side to side, from one foot to the other. Use this pendulum motion to help find just the right point of balance for your body. Allow the head to rock until it finds a balance, too. Gradually slow the motion until the body is still, feeling the balance of the head on top of the cervical vertebrae. Concentrate on the pelvis acting as an anchor for the body, with the legs grounding the body to the earth, and the spine resting on top of the pelvis. Feel the spine in alignment, and the head resting on top of the spine. Focus on the shoulder blades and feel them like a crossbar, balanced off the spine. There is no need to hold the shoulders; they are balanced from the spine, and the arms fall in relaxation from the shoulders. How does it feel to find your center this way?

Close your eyes and relax in a comfortable position. Imagine yourself in some beautiful natural environment. Think of any place that appeals to you. . . a meadow, mountaintop, forest, or ocean. It could even be under the sea or on another planet. Wherever you go, it should feel comfortable, peaceful, and pleasant. Explore the environment, noticing sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, along with any other impressions. Do whatever you like to make the place more homelike and comfortable. You might want to surround the area with a bubble of safety, rearrange the setting for more convenience, or perform a ritual to establish this as your special place. You can come to this center anytime that you like. All you need to is close your eyes and imagine it. You may want to change your center from time to time, or you may find that it seems to spontaneously evolve on its own.

Adapted from Bodylessons, by Marian Wolfe Dixon (Findhorn Press, 2005).
This is adapted from “Creating a Sanctuary,” by Shakti Gawain.