Just as with the circle of life, every meditation session is bookended by a starting up and a closing phase. Just as with birth where a good nine months with a good delivery will set the baby up for a healthy life versus one with struggle, a good startup phase makes all the difference between a good meditation session or one with struggle.
The starting up phase is important to calm your mind to get it to a place so that you can meditate. Most people will run around the whole day, be incredibly stressed throughout the day and expect that there should be no thoughts passing through their mind, the moment they sit down for meditation. How is that even possible?
The starting up usually lasts between a minute to ten, twenty or more minutes. More stressful your day, the longer your startup phase is a pretty good rule of thumb.
The credit of the technique is to Avadhoot Baba Shivanand from whom I have learnt most things meditations and perhaps more importantly the philosophy of living. This isn’t a key technique in his teaching and hence I feel comfortable sharing it. The technique itself:
Imagine yourself on a beach, put your face in the sand and breathe in. If you have imagined it right, a lot of sand should have come in your nose and you should have some minor mental annoyance. Now, breathe finer and finer. Your aim is to make your breathing so fine that no sand particles enter your nose. Done!
In about 5 minutes or so, you will find yourself in a very deep state of relaxation and meditation just happens with absolutely no struggle. If you do this lying down, you fill fall asleep in about 10 minutes.