Three Centered Mediation: A Daily Ritual to Find Spiritual Bliss

By Cynthia McMullen
Originally posted 1999

3 centered meditationWhat does meditation mean to you? I asked a few people that don’t do it, and aside from a one or two that thought it was nothing more than a waste of time, I got similar answers:

You sit in a motionless position with your legs crossed and do something with your hands – either put them on your knees or touch your fingers. You relax your body and close your eyes. Hopefully you think about Nothing, but if you do think about Something it should be either positive or about things that are bothering you, not about paying the bills or problems with the kids. Sometimes you can use candles and incense, but it’s not necessary, and sometimes you can chant to put yourself into a trance. Try not to fall asleep.

Then I asked a few people that do meditate, Why do you meditate? What do you get out of it? Again I got similar answers, and this time their faces lit up just in thinking about it:

Deep calmness, relaxation, personal insight, answers to issues, spiritual bliss. Realizing the connection of mind-body-soul, shutting off the external world and realizing what is really important and what isn’t, a mini-vacation each day. Becoming aware of my body and what it tells me of how I’m living, eating, dealing with everyday stresses and situations. To experience true peace, find serenity. My own favorite, to explore the sensations and manipulation of energy flow. And not to forget becoming centered.

What is this “being centered” all about? Imagine that you walk into work one morning. People are rushing about in an obvious hurry to get something done, your boss is yelling, and your computer system is down. Imagine that you breath slowly, deeply into yourself. You are calm as you look around and assess the situation. You quietly walk to your office and put your things down. You sit in your chair, take a slow, deep, full breath, and it suddenly becomes very clear what you need to do to handle the situation. You don’t feel anxious, your stress level doesn’t rise, and you proceed to do one thing at a time. The madness is happening around you but you aren’t consumed by it. You are acting in it but without letting it affect your calmness. The external circumstances don’t upset your internal sense of Being. Now imagine doing this with other situations in your daily life. It’s a very powerful way to live.

Each person I spoke to that meditated had their own unique way of doing it, yet they all had one thing in common: Ritual. Most had a special time, a favorite place, and a significant style of music softly playing in the background. All had a pattern of some sort that they followed. For some the ritual was personal, sacred, and they didn’t want to share it. Others had created their own approach by using various methods of posture, breathing, and internal imagery.

It’s not so much the details of following a meditation method exactly to a tee, as much as it is the feeling you get when you’re doing it and the sense you carry with you when you’re finished. We use a specific routine in the beginning to learn. Then once we experience and understand, we no longer need that routine anymore to bring us into that space. Of course it’s still there if we want to use it, if we’re comfortable with it and it works for us, but now we can personalize our own way of getting there.

I have a meditation method to share called Three Centered Meditation. The purpose of this meditation is to Center Yourself. By practicing a daily ritual of centering oneself, it becomes a natural response to your external environment of everyday life, regardless of what that is like.

The Three Centers in this meditation are fairly universal within spiritual traditions which call them by various names. Chakra is a familiar term that is similar to one of these Centers. The Three Centers are both a physical and imagined space within the body. Basically they represent the body, spirit, and mind. First we bring energy to each Center individually, filling them, allowing them to become open and flowing. Then we connect the Three Centers to realize the oneness, the non-separateness of our body-spirit-mind, our Being. We end by harmonizing the Centers, letting the energy we’ve accumulated in them flow through every inch of our body, even into the energetic field surrounding us.

And so I give you Three Centered Meditation, a beautiful way to spend 15 to 20 minutes in a spiritual bliss that you deserve each day:

Three Centered Meditation

    • Begin by sitting comfortably, quietly, undisturbed. This can be in a chair or on the floor, however you are comfortable.

    • Become aware of your breathing. Listen to how your breath sounds. How does it feel? Where does it go in your body? Spend 1-2 minutes doing this.

    • Become aware of your body, slowly from your head all the way down to your feet. Don’t leave anything out. Take a moment to really feel each part – your head, your face, your neck, your shoulders, your arms, your hands, etc.

    • Do you feel any tension or discomfort anywhere? If so, release it by gently directing the breath to that area. Imagine the feeling of tension softening and melting away, flowing down into the earth as you exhale.

    • Place the tongue at the roof of the mouth behind the teeth to form a connection between two of the major meridians of the body.

    • Close your eyes and maintain the awareness of your breath and how your body feels.

    • Breathe slow, soft, full, and evenly through the nose.

Lower Dan Tien, Center of Personal Power and Inner Strength, the Body

  • Inhale, directing the breath with the mind deeply into the lower dan tien, the center located just beneath the navel, filling the lower abdomen.

  • Imagine that you are breathing from this center, inhaling, drawing the breath into the dan tien and exhaling, releasing the breath from the dan tien.

  • Imagine energy riding with the breath. Breathing in strong and pure energy light, breathing out, softly releasing energy light.

  • Do this for 8 to 12 slow even breaths.

Middle Dan Tien, Center of Love and Compassion, the Spirit or Soul

  • Now change the focus of the mind to the heart center at the middle of the chest.

  • Inhale, imagine your breath drawing the warm, calm energy of love into this center.

  • Exhale from the center, imagine breath and energy emerging and surrounding you with compassion.

  • Do this for 8 to 12 slow even breaths.

Upper Dan Tien, Center of Higher Knowledge and Spirituality, the Mind

  • Change the focus of the mind to the 3rd eye center at the point on the forehead between the eyebrows.

  • Inhale, imagine both breath and clearly focused energy drawn gently into this center, combining your mind with the consciousness of the universe.

  • Exhale, imagine both breath and energy emanating smoothly from this center, maintaining the connected feeling of the mind to all there is.

  • Do this for 8 to 12 slow even breaths.

Connecting the Three Centers, the Body-Spirit-Mind

  • Bring the focus of the mind back to the lower dan tien, below the navel.

  • Inhale and imagine a line, or channel, of energy moving upwards from the lower dan tien, passing into and through the heart center, and continuing up to meet the 3rd eye center, connecting the three centers. Feel this channel of energy going up through the middle of your body.

  • Exhale, continuing to imagine the connection – a channel of energy connecting the three spheres of energy together, feeling the centers as the rhythm of their pulsation flows together.

  • Do this for 8 to 12 slow even breaths.

Harmonizing the Three Centers

  • Again bring the focus of the mind back to the lower dan tien, below the navel.

  • Inhale deeply to the center, feeling warm energy accumulate into a sphere of light, completely filling the lower abdomen.

  • Exhale and imagine the warm energy emanating and expanding from this center, filling your entire body from the head to the fingers to the toes, even going through the pores of your skin to mingle in the energetic field extending about 12 inches outside your body. This energy field surrounds you completely – front, back, top, bottom, and sides.

  • Do this for 32 slow even breaths.

Closing the Meditation

  • Now quietly bring yourself back to external awareness.

  • Rub your palms together creating energy heat.

  • Place them over your eyes and absorb the energy through your eyes.

  • Gently massage your face and head.

  • Take a moment to notice how you feel and Remember.

  • This is the feeling you will be able to recall during the day when you need it.


(Originally printed in 10/1999)