I teach the Gassho Mediation Technique in my Dallas Reiki level one class. It is a method for clearing and balancing the mind. Mastering the technique not only helps prepare the mind to focus on practicing Reiki, it’s also a great meditation technique for beginners, and a valuable tool for taking control of a chronically thinking brain. Some consider meditation to be “New Age” or a form of “holistic healing.” These often have negative connotations attached to them. Regardless, even my most skeptical clients have seen the benefits of mastering this technique.
Many clients, counseling or otherwise, complain of having chronic thoughts. Worry, resentment, regret, negative self-judgment, low self-esteem—these are all thought related feelings—and often completely unfounded. Since the production of these emotions require thoughts, by removing the thought, you remove the emotion. This is the principal behind thought stopping techniques.
Thought stopping techniques, like the Gassho technique, are used to help stop unwanted, negative, echoing thoughts. They are used to reduce and eliminate PTSD, hyper-anxiety, panic attacks, anger/rage, and quieting one’s inner judge. Most importantly, a thought stopping techniques like the Gassho can help bring you to the present moment.
The Present Moment:
The present moment is the moment that exists without thought. It is pure reality, or as the Hindus call it, “Brahma.” Everything else is just a thought in the mind, or “Maya” (perception of reality). A chronically thinking human lives in the Maya—the world of thoughts. This world exists only in the mind, and disappears when you stop thinking. The past and future are part of the Maya, and it is were those who think spend most of their time. When the imagination is set to negative, a chronically thinking brain becomes negative. Negative thoughts create a negative Maya. A negative Maya produces negative emotions. Therefore, using a thought stopping technique to free oneself from the Maya, allows you to experience the peace of Brahma, the present moment.
Concentration As A Thought Stopping Technique:
Most meditation techniques are actually “concentration techniques.” True meditation is to be without thought, anything else is a form of concentration—and often involves the use of your imagination. I have nothing against techniques that use the imagination, but it’s difficult to close your eyes and imagine a peaceful setting when you’re driving in traffic.
The Gassho technique involves the use of a “mudra,” or hand placement. For the Gassho, I teach my students the Surya Ravi Mudra, which is easy to hold for long periods of time and is said to promote patience and stability.
Performing The Gassho Technique
The Gassho Meditation Technique
- Sit in a comfortable position.
I suggest sitting with your back against a wall to make the session more comfortable.
- Set an alarm for ten-minutes
This will keep you from checking how much time has passed.
- Bring your focus to your sense of touch
With your eyes closed, press your thumbs against your middle fingers (Surya Ravi Mudra). Then bring your focus to the pressure between your thumbs and middle fingers. You are focusing on your sense of touch, the pressure and the texture, you are not thinking, “Press… Press…Press…”
- Stay focused
Anytime your mind begins to think, say in your head, “I’m thinking,” and bring your attention/senses back to the pressure between you thumbs and middle fingers.
It seems simple, but the brain is used to thinking, so not thinking is going to create an empty space for thought… and the brain will want to fill it. Most of my clients don’t realize how much they think until they try to stop. Some go only five seconds practicing the Gassho before their brain starts to think. Some don’t realize they’re thinking until they are halfway through a thought. If being in the present were easy, you would already be there. So, instead of beating yourself up for loosing your focus, just bring your attention/senses back to the pressure between your thumbs and middle fingers, and try again. You will find yourself getting better with time.
Results From Using The Gassho Technique
I have my students and clients practice the Gassho meditation technique for ten minuets each day for a month. When they do, they often find that they have behaviorally conditioned their brain so that, whenever they press their thumb against their middle finger, it goes blank. In doing this, they can then use the Gassho technique at any time to bring themselves back to the present, and create a peaceful state of mind. Chronic worry, uncontrollable anger, unrelenting self judgment—all of these can be reduced/eliminated by perfecting the Gassho technique.
Give it a try and see what it can do for you.
“The problem with mental activity isn’t thinking itself but the compulsion to think that does not give a moments rest.”Frank Arjava Peter, “Reiki, The Legend of Dr. Usui”