As you might already know, meditation is an extremely powerful tool that can help you develop a strong foundation that will keep you balanced, centered, and laser-focused as you move along your life journey. It can give you the ability to be present in all situations, and give you the clarity to truly experience the world around you.
One of the most powerful meditations I have learned and experienced in my life is the Hakalau Meditation which comes from Ancient Hawaii. This concept is applied to every aspect of life in Hawaii and is an empowering, resourceful state that many Hawaiians live in 24/7. In fact, some of the first settlers that discovered Hawaii described the people of Hawaii as being completely free of emotional, mental, or physical illness. The story goes that you are able to spot a practitioner of the Ancient Science, because they are always in a calm and balanced state, of body and mind, and in a state of higher awareness. Hence the name 'The Waking State of the Kahuna'.
After learning this concept 5 years ago, I have carried this teaching everywhere with me. It has provided me with tremendous results and is one of the main tools I use to keep myself grounded, alert, and mindful.
This is one of the first techniques I teach to hockey players and college athletes because it enables them to be in the "Zone", or as some of my clients like to refer to it as "Being In the Flow". This powerful ancient technique activates the parasympathetic nervous system through accessing peripheral vision and the alpha brain wave state. It enables athletes to see the game 360 degrees around them, tune out distractions, reduce stress and anxiety.
What is the Hakalau Meditation?
Haka means "to see" or "to focus", Lau means "to spread out" or "become expansive". Another way to look at Hakalau is "To stare at as in meditation and to allow to spread out."
How to do Hakalau or The Peripheral Vision Meditation
1. Get into a comfortable position and check in on your breath.
2. Start by taking four deep HA breaths—slow, deep inhalation through the nose, with slow, deep exhalation through the mouth making a gentle “HA” sound. Start to lengthen the exhale, making it about twice as long as the inhale. This will help to bring focus and attention.
3. Pick a spot on the wall to look at, preferably above eye level, so that your field of vision seems to bump up against your eyebrows, but not so high as to cut off the field of vision.
4. As you stare at the spot, just let your mind go loose, and focus all of your attention on the spot.
5. Notice that, within a matter of moments, your vision begins to spread out and you see more in the peripheral than you do in the central part of your vision.
6. Now, pay attention to the peripheral. In fact, pay more attention to the peripheral than to the central part of your vision.
7. Practice staying in this state for as long as you can. Notice how it feels.
As you practice staying in Hakalau more and more, you will notice that it is impossible for you to hold a negative state when you are in peripheral vision.
So next time you may feel anxious, or lacking focus, remember…
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I'd love to hear about your experience when doing the Hakalau meditation!