Earth meditation is a focusing meditation, and is very similar to the meditations that are practiced by students of Zen Buddhism. It is a slowing meditation, a meditation of stillness, silence, and sturdiness. A practitioner of regular earth meditation can center themselves and weather hardships easily just by focusing. Here’s how to do it.
Earth meditation is traditionally practiced by warrior-priests in the mountain-monasteries in Asia. It is a practice of grounding and focusing and becoming one with the very earth on which you stand, hardening one’s body and mind and slowing down to a stop.
This meditation is very useful for when one has a difficult decision and needs to focus only on that thought and nothing else. Any time you feel like you are becoming too mobile, like you will be blown away by the wind of challenges, you can perform earth meditation to put your feet back on the ground.
Earth meditation can be done seated, reclining, or lying down, as long as the location is quiet. Traditionally done seated with crossed legs, it helps to also be in a dark and cool place. Cellars are great for this meditation. First, make a circle with your middle finger and thumb on your left hand. Next, make a similar circle with your right hand, and link the circles together. Place the tips of your remaining extended fingers together. This is the kuji-in, or hand position, for earth meditation. Let it rest against your stomach.
Imagine in your stomach that there is a tree, whose roots grow down into the earth through your tailbone. The roots may be a tangled, shallow mess, and may be at risk of being pulled from the soil. Imagine the strong, thick center root that extends through your tailbone beginning to grow deeper into the ground. Breathe in through your nose, a long, deep breath, and hold it for four heartbeats. Let it out again through your nose, and then hold that state of no-breath for four heartbeats.
With each breath inward, the center root grows just a tiny bit deeper. With each breath outwards, the root system expands just a little bit wider. Focus on this mental image, the growing roots and the slowing down of the whole world around you. Focus on the image until it is ingrained in your head, and happens by itself. At that point, you’ve reached the pinnacle of slowness, and can then shift your attention to whatever needs to be thought about.
When you have sufficiently thought about your matter at hand, and have come to some kind of agreement, you can either continue the meditation until you reach sleep state, or you can simply wake from the meditation. The time it takes to feel the world speed back up to normal time may vary, but it should not take too long. However, it’s recommended that you do not immediately go out and try to do something strenuous – your body has been slowed and rooted, and will not react quickly to new stimuli.