This is a popular multi-purpose breathing meditation. While it offers all the typical benefits of meditation, it also rejuvenates and helps bring balance and health to the body.
Interestingly, many people with allergies or colds even find that it unclogs stuffy noses! One possible reason for that effect is that when you visualize energy moving around your body, it follows a course of what acupuncturists call the "governing meridian", as well as the spine.
Here's a partial list of what this meditation technique can do:
Stimulating & being aware of "Universal Life Energy" (also known as Reiki, Ki and Chi)
Increasing awareness of the "energy body" and its interrelation with the physical body.
Aids in "transcending" the "physical plane" that most people have the illusion of being the only reality that they live in - kind of like the concept behind the movie "The Matrix"
Increases and balances the flow of Reiki energy throughout the body. It does this via main "circuits" (called meridians).
You can do this exercise either sitting up or lying down, just make sure your spine is straight. If you tend to get drowsy or fall asleep while doing it, sit.
The idea is to circulate energy around the center of your torso, in synchronized coordination with your breathing. For more details, see the "Lost Teachings" book on our links page, but hopefully the below instructions will be sufficient.
Start by imagining a tennis-ball width of glowing white light energy at the base of your spine. Then begin to slowly breathe in, while at the same time you "see" the energy slowly moving up your spine. In fact, try to imaging that the energy IS your breath itself. Also see it leaving a glowing trail behind it, that is going in the same direction.
While continuing your inhalation, see it continuing up the spine, over the top center of the head, down the middle of the face, to the upper lip. At that point, you begin slowly exhaling, and seeing the energy go down from the lower lip, down the front of the chest to the groin, then back to the base of the spine. At this point, you start the entire process again. Don't pause at the base of the spine when you get to the end of your exhalation - immediately continue, and repeat the cycle with your next inhalation. Repeat this for as long as you have time for - a half-hour is great if you have time, but do what you can.
It is important that you go as slow as possible, without feeling that you are not breathing fast enough, or easily enough.
A few individuals have a little difficulty visualizing the entire flow cycle within one breath until they are accustomed to coordinating their visualization with their breathing. It usually doesn't take long before they master it. Some run out of breath before the end of their exhalation, or vice-versa. If you experience this sort of thing, you're either inhaling or exhaling too slowly, or your visualization is too fast or slow. It should eventually be very comfortable and you won't even need to think about it (kind of like when you first learn to drive, as opposed to after you've gotten a lot of driving experience under your belt). Simply adjust your visualization or breathing to make them comfortably match. One additional note - be sure to consciously control your breath rather than letting your body breathe normally.
As you keep this circular energy/breathing pattern up, its also important to eventual start seeing the entire path of the energy as a "whole". A complete circulation of energy that is moving all the time, along all points of the entire path (kind of like seeing a flow of traffic on turnpike onramps and off ramps from a helicopter, rather than just seeing the viewpoint from one car at different points). If you're doing this meditation technique right, you should eventually see and feel it as though it is a sort of constantly moving circular band, almost like a flowing "energy river" (even though you are concentrating on moving the energy one section at a time). In other words, don't stop seeing the energy moving as you traverse the sections. Just let it keep on flowing along its path. BUT - and this is very important - don't try and force this "whole picture" - it will eventually come over time, as you work on just seeing the energy move over the sections of your torso as you breathe in and out.