The Gassho meditation is a great way to prepare for healing, take a few minutes to focus, with your hands in prayer position, on the fingertips. This will bring you into a state of stillness, openness and focussed on your heart.
The Japanese word gassho means “two hands coming together.”
• Practice gassho by comfortably folding your hands in front of your heart centre. Mr. Ogawa suggested that the hands should be held so that if you were to exhale through the nose the breath would gently touch your fingertips. His suggestion shows the height at which to hold your hands.
• Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth during the meditation. Keep the tongue bridged onto the roof of the mouth, to complete the energy circuit.
• Close your eyes and sit in a relaxed position, either on a chair or on the floor. Keep the back as straight as possible, without straining.
• Focus your attention on the point where the middle fingers meet and forget everything else
The experience of people worldwide who meditate indicate that meditation is easiest when the spine is held erect. But you can certainly meditate in a chair or lying down. Once you have the knack of it, you can meditate anywhere and at any time, with either closed or open eyes. Meditativeness then enters your every action, filling your life with serenity and grace.
If possible leave your eyes closed the whole time in order to keep the energy within yourself. We have become accustomed to looking around and getting stimulated by visual impulses. The impulses lead to a train of thought that we automatically follow, leading us into a jungle of unconsciousness.
Let the breath enter your body on its own. There is no need to regulate it in any way, but by gently extending the breath you will find its helps you to relax and focus.
The purpose of gassho meditation is to increase the energy of the practitioner and to put them into a meditative frame of mind. Practice it every day either in the morning or the evening (or both), alone or in a group, for twenty to thirty minutes.
The instructions for gassho meditation are simple: Concentrate all of your attention on the point where the middle fingers touch and forget everything else. Our normal state of mind is absolute chaotic craziness. The trick is to first become aware of this craziness and then, without trying to make the craziness go away, turn the poison into nectar. So don’t chase away the thoughts that cloud your mind’s eye. Look at them, acknowledge them and then bring your attention back to the point where the middle fingers meet.
With the gassho meditation we meditate and show our gratefulness to God or existence or whatever you call the ultimate principle by placing our hands in front of our hearts.
In esoteric Buddhism the left hand represents the moon and the right hand stands for the sun, the female and male aspects of our being, and each fingertip relates to certain qualities:
– the thumbs represent discernment
– the index fingers represent operation
– the middle fingers represent perception
– the ring fingers represent reception
– the little fingers represent form
Each finger also represents one of the five elements:
– the thumbs represent the Void.
– the index fingers represent Air.
– the middle fingers represent Fire.
– the ring fingers represent Water.
– the little fingers represent Earth.
From the standpoint of meditative science, the sun and the moon and all the elements come together when we fold our hands. The circle is complete. Focusing our attention on the middle finger emphasises the fire aspect of meditation – awareness burning the unconscious elements. Your fingertips are also the home of many nerve endings and meridians. The meridian that ends in the middle finger is the pericardium meridian of the hand (jueyin). It runs from the chest along the medial side of the arm, past the wrist, through the palm of the hand and terminates in the tip of the middle finger. If your hands become tired while meditating, allow them to gently come down and rest in your lap. Keep focusing your attention on the point where the middle fingers meet.