Here is another sort of active meditation for people who prefer one to the passive, sitting-down ones. This form of meditation is done lying down so for many people that is an attraction in itself. 😉
Lie down on your bed with your arms and legs spread out, not touching another body part.
(And try to keep your dog or cat away for this one! 😉 ) Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a short while. As soon as your breathing is calm and relaxed, the meditation starts.
Focus on your left arm. “Know” that it is there. Feel how it rests on the bed. Feel how the muscles in your arm relax, how the tension seeps away from it. Notice your fingers relaxing as well. Keep your attention with that arm until you know it is entirely relaxed. The best way to know that is when your arm ‘feels’ heavy. Then you focus on your right arm and you repeat the process.
After that you focus on your right leg. (Notice that this is opposite from the arms where we started on the left. We’re going around our limbs in a circle.) “Know” that your leg is there. Feel how it rests on the bed. Feel how the muscles in your leg relax, first in your upper leg and then in your lower leg. Notice how the tension seeps away from it. Notice your feet relaxing as well, your toes and the sole of your foot. Keep your attention with that leg until you know it is entirely relaxed. The best way to know that is when your leg ‘feels’ heavy. Then you focus on your left leg and you repeat the process.
Now you focus on your lower torso; your abdomen, your hips. Feel how relaxation sets in as you pay attention to your lower body. Don’t hurry, keep your attention with your hips for as long as you need to. After that you focus on your chest, the muscles in your back and even your lungs. Calm them down, give them the attention they deserve. After all, they serve you all day long without asking for much. Envelope yourself with the serene calmness that you are bringing onto yourself. Your breathing will go a little slower once your chest area is calming down, that’s okay.
Finally you shift your focus to your head. Your forehead, the back of your head, your facial muscles. Slowly allow them to relax while keeping your attention focussed. After relaxing your head you go back to your left arm and confirm to yourself it is still relaxed and heavy. If you feel like it you can go over the relaxing attention routine again. Keep your focus on that arm and be grateful that it’s there. Repeat this for your right arm, right leg and left leg. Your limbs need that extra attention because they do so much for you every day.
After completing that second cycle you can remain silent on the bed for a few minutes, allowing your body to relax completely. Try to keep your awareness focussed on your body, on feeling the stillness that enters it. Any thoughts of other things that come up will have to wait until you’re done with this relaxation technique.
After a few minutes you can start moving the fingers of your left hand and slowly stretch that arm to come to the end of this exercise. After the left arm you move and stretch your right arm. Note that there is no reason to rush or hurry, take your time for this.
Wiggle the toes of your right foot next, and bend your knee a little. After that you ‘wake up’ your left leg in the same way.
Finally you consciously speed up your breathing a little to awaken the rest of your body. Stay down for a few more minutes. Then you open your eyes and slowly get up.