Skip to main content

Meditation - Calm the Mind, Release the Pain

Today's post is going to be a little bit "out there" for some of you, but it's a technique that I've found to be particularly helpful in reducing a lot of pain and stress in my life.  This is not some sort of new-age guru type stuff - this is practical relaxation of the body and mind.

This week on, our mentor J.B. Glossinger has been discussing stress and peace.  And that made me think that this would be an excellent time for me to share the way that I've been meditating (though not with any sort of regularity until this week) for years.

I learned this technique from Matt Furey when I was doing his Combat Conditioning program (which, if you're into good hard workouts that don't take long and you can do anywhere, is absolutely first-rate).  Matt is not only a top-notch fitness expert, but he also has experimented with a ton of different visualization exercises, Chinese wellness techniques, and more.  His recommendation is as follows, and I've suited it to my needs.

First, I get into a comfortable position (usually seated, though recently I've done this from the Grok Squat position or occasionally a back bridge if I'm feeling up to it) and close my eyes.  The next step I use is to begin breathing deeply - making sure to use relaxed belly-breathing.

Then, I start to envision colors:  I inhale the color white, a bright blinding-type white.  I actually imagine the white flowing into me through my nose, like some sort of sentient fog in a sci-fi movie (you're inhaling, so this should be going in through the nose!).  This is the purity, calm, and good energy that I want to fill myself with. It's healing for the entire body.  I inhale slowly, over a period of 4 to 6 seconds.  If it helps you to count that time off, go for it.  I imagine that white energy flowing into me and filling me up.

Then, I exhale the color black.  Black is all the negative energy, the stress, the pain, the negative thoughts, etc.  I imagine that black energy being pushed out of me as I exhale, again over a period of 4 to 6 seconds.  Again, count that time off if it helps you.  If some part of your body is tense or hurts, then imagine that black energy flowing out of that section of your body and leaving through the mouth (exhaling should be done through the mouth).

Inhale the white.

Exhale the black.


While you're doing this exercise, you should be clearing your head of any thoughts other than concentrating on your own breath, and the colors white and black.  If a thought of any kind comes into your head, add its presence to the black that you're pushing out.  Let it exit your body and disappear.  Don't get upset with yourself for not being able to keep your mind clear, just accept it and push it away with the black.  As J.B. says, this takes practice.  

I've found that this breathing meditation is awesome for relaxation, but also for clearing away headaches and pain.  When I have a headache I'll imagine it as the black and feel it flowing out of my head as I exhale.  I'll do this for up to 20 minutes at such times, and it really helps to remove a lot of the pain of a headache.

On occasion, I've also imagined other colors coming into me - I've found that blue is great for headache relief, as I associate blue with cooling and relief (and frequently I feel pain as heat or red).  Experiment with what works for you!

Work this into your morning (or whenever) routine.  I have recently started doing it each morning for 3-5 minutes just to center myself for the day and get nasty thoughts out of my head as I prepare to get things done and deal with the world.  It's a great part of any daily ritual!

Do you meditate?  What techniques do you use?  Let me know in the comments below! 


  1. This technique really resonates with me. I only have brief periods of time at this time of year, and often no quiet place to retreat to. I'll be test driving this and I'll let you know the progress. Thanks Jamie!

    1. Glad to hear it Janet! I like it because colors are "easy" to envision, and because you can use whatever colors work for you given the situation you're in.

  2. Reblogged this Jamie. Thank you for sharing. Jenni Whipple

  3. For those who experience physical pain when sitting on a cushion in the full lotus , burmese, half burmese or cross legged positions....try the Moonleap meditation cushion. It is ergonomically designed to help alleviate back pain, hip, leg, ankle and foot pain and numbness.

  4. Thanks Jamie, I will try this meditation. I have done something a bit similar where i inhale "smiling energy" and i exhale "grey energy" but the colours are simpler and easier to visualize. Maybe I will use orange rather than white if I want more energy,.

    1. Awesome! That's one of the beauties of this method... you can substitute whatever colors work for you!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Caffeine and Cortisol - a 30-Day Experiment

No Caffeine for Me! Today, I began upon a 30-day experiment to reduce my cortisol levels by removing coffee from my diet. The goal is to see how it might be affecting my cognitive function and my belly fat. Cortisol is a hormone that is related to stress .  At a very basic level, cortisol is created as a response to stressors in our environment.  Back when we were still chucking spears at deer and chasing down antelope, cortisol was helping to preserve our lives by giving us quick energy by signalling to our livers that it was time to engage in a process known as gluconeogenesis. This process is basically the breakdown of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, into glucose - one of the two monosaccharides (the healthy one) that our bodies use for fuel. Picture this - you're walking across the street, enjoying the day, when suddenly some inattentive driver tries to turn and doesn't see you.  Your heart rate speeds up, and you get a little burst of speed to quickly sprint o

More on Journaling: So many tools...

Journaling was long a habit that I wanted to pick up but just never did.  And it was never because I didn't believe in its worth, it was that I just never built the habit or found the proper method that worked best for me.  I'd start it for a while, be enthusiastic about it, and then lose the habit when something else came up and interrupted me.   That's all changed for me now, as I look forward each morning and night to journaling in my newest tool I've found.  But that search has clued me in to a ton of great journaling tools that might help you as you're looking for that great push to get you into the journaling habit!   The Five-Minute-Journal:    This is obviously   the one I've adopted .  It's simple, it's quick, and it does the trick.  I won't expand into stuff I've already talked about with this in the two posts I've done on this fantastic tool.  But let's talk about some of the other aspects of the Five-Minute Journal.

How Essential Oils Are Manly

The real man's toolkit: essential oils and duck tape.  "Yeah, I use essential oils." Silence. This is the normal reaction I get why I, as an adult male human, tell other men that I use essential oils instead of things like aspirin, Tums or Rolaids, Ben Gay, or any number of other pharmaceuticals. There's this impression out there that essential oils are girly, I guess, or that they're like most other products that are primarily for making things smell nicer: they're for the ladies. Or even that they're new agey and woo-woo - to be used only when listening to Windham Hill CDs and cleansing your chakras. Real men don't care about smells, right? They thrive on sweat, piss and vinegar. They belch, fart, and otherwise release smells into the air that are simultaneously hilarious and relieving to the body. They get upset because their wives bought decorative soaps and guest towels for the bathroom that they're not allowed to use. They frown a