General 9 Count Meditation
It is a simple but profound method to clear up the energy channels in the body making the mind more serviceable for meditation. In tantra, it is explained that there are subtle energies in the body known as “winds.” The mind is said to accompany these winds, like a rider on a horse. If the winds are serviceable, the mind is serviceable. For us, it is a method to bring the mind to neutral in order to generate a positive motivation for the meditation.
Begin by visualizing the three psychic channels through which the wind energy moves. The channels are round and hollow. The central channel is blue. It starts at a point midway between the eyebrows, curves up and back along the inside of the skull, like the handle of an umbrella and then down along the inside of the spine to a point four finger widths below the navel. The right channel is red and runs from the right nostril back and then downward along the right side of the central channel to end at the point four finger widths below the navel. The left channel is white and also runs from the left nostril down along the left side of the spine to also end four finger widths below the navel.
For this meditation, imagine that the ends of the three channels join together at this point four finger widths below the navel. Focus for a moment on this visualization. Now, holding the left nostril closed with an index finger, inhale slowly and fully through the right nostril. Imagine that you are sending the breath all the way down to the end of the right channel. Imagine that the breath flows from the right into the left channel as you move your index finger to hold the right nostril closed. Now exhale slowly and fully through the left nostril. As the breath leaves the left nostril, imagine that all impurities are expelled with the breath.
Repeat two more times (three breaths in all), inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left and imagining the impurities being expelled with each out-breath.
Now reverse the process. Holding the right nostril closed with your index finger, breathe in deeply through the left nostril, sending the breath all the way down to the end of the left channel. As the breath moves into the right channel, move your index finger to hold the left nostril closed. Exhale slowly and fully through the right nostril. As the breath leaves the right nostril, imagine that all impurities are expelled with the breath. Repeat two more times (three breaths in all), inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through the right.
Now inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils, sending the air down through the right and left channels. As you exhale, imagine that the breath is expelled up and out through the central channel. As you breathe out, imagine that you are expelling all impurities out through the point between the two brows.
Repeat two more times (three breaths in all).
Now imagine that the three channels are completely clean and luminous.
Once you have completed, spend a few moments just breathing gently and evenly, imagining your breath flowing freely through the inner channels of your body.