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  • Writer's pictureGaelle Bretin-Tokpo

How To Meditate - The Very And Comprehensive Way I Do It

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Alright. I am writing this article because so many people, around me, ask me how I meditate, reprogram my mind and resolve my childhood traumas, so basically, how I handle life (you know, the annoying stuff we all have to deal with, but have no idea how to fix), that I thought it would be simpler and very beneficial for everyone if I was just to write a comprehensive and detailed blog post presenting my very technique for anyone to read. This post ended up being very long but I didn’t like the idea of cutting it in half, making it in two parts. So here it is, in one single bulk.

Also, in a previous article called "What You’re Missing Out If You’re Not Trying Meditation " I explained what meditation is, why it is so powerful and how I live it as a lifestyle. I shared some important information, about the practice, you need to read before you get to this present article. So if you haven’t read it yet, go check it out.

Now, I am going to present, in detail and as promised, the exact way I am used to meditate and how you can meditate yourself too. With no more fluff, let's dig straight away into the practical stuff.


Whenever I feel a tension, usually in my neck and throat, in my back and chest, or sometimes in my lower abdomen, I sit somewhere comfortably, sometimes lay down in my bed, close my eyes and turn my attention to these uncomfortable physical sensations. I do that too when I feel a strong emotional reaction to an event in my life, and since I am very sensitive, I notice it happening incredibly often. Emotions are always translated into physical sensations, so I focus on the sensation and identify which emotion it is linked to.


When I say that I turn my attention toward my sensations and focus on them, I mean that I acknowledge their presence and that, then, I feel them. If I had to summarise in one word what I do when I meditate, I would just say that I FEEL. Now, in itself, it is very simple, but it gets a bit trickier in practice, first of all because there is a specific mindset to hold while doing it but also because most people have never felt, in actuality, their sensations (the annoying ones, those we don’t want to feel or aren’t even aware of). And most of us do not even know how to start feeling. I had been in this case, myself, for a long time before I realised what feeling actually was like. And one day... I got it! I thought “ this. is. what. feeling. actually. is...”


To feel, is to experience the sensation in your body, not to think it. If you are looking at your sensations and thinking "hmm, I'm having this pain here, hmm, now it's moving up", then you are definitely thinking it, and probably NOT feeling it. “Thinking it” is kind of an output; it is emitting a signal. But this is not what you want to do. What you want to do, is to make yourself available for receiving signals. I’ll repeat again, what you want to do, is to make yourself available for receiving signals. This is key! You may though, start the process by observing the sensations, mentally, but at some point, you need to be able to feel them, somatically, which means that you can sense the feeling rising from your belly, your solar plexus, your heart, or whatever place it is emerging from. But not from your mind.

When you start your meditation, you will notice that there are usually several sensations going on simultaneously. So what I do, is that I usually start with the sensation that feels strongest, or that I am drawn to the most, I go right into its centre and start to feel the tension, the itch, the inflammation, the ache. I either stick to it, following it wherever it moves to, or however it morphs into, or I go to the next sensation, in a more scanning-like type of mode. If I cannot reach the center of the sensation, I just start where I can on, usually on the periphery, and feel everything in there that needs to be felt, and then progress toward the center.

Tips: you can use your eyes, to help yourself focus, by noticing where your eyes naturally land (where they spot), and in which position, in the space, they sit in. That's what I often do. Then, I try to maintain them (my eyes), in that very position, without fighting, which means that I stay soft and flexible. I do not force onto my eyes. I do not pressure them. Well, I try my best not to. The thing is that, sometimes, the centre of the sensation moves, because emotions and sensations are in lively movement. But some other times, they seem to have more gravity, and to be sitting heavy at the same spot for a while, because they do move, but very slowly.

So the key, is to stay in the centre of the sensation, and to move WITH it.


During this whole exercise, make sure your muscles be relaxed, in the area you are working on, and actually in your whole body. I am saying this, because I used to tend to tense my underbelly or my eyes, when attempting to feel. So I have had to remind myself, from time to time, to relax all this. When the energy moves inside your body, let's say down your throat, for instance, don't block it (throat and energy). And don't tense yourself. Allowing the energy to sink in, is not going to hurt you, even though it may feel like it will, because energy is always positive. What makes it appear negative is that, we’re blocking it! So don't block it; leave it FLOW! Your body absolutely can handle the process, with no problem, even if there is a lot of energy wanting to pass through at once. Your body is designed for it. So relax.

Another thing to be noted is that, sometimes, the sensation that is meant to be felt, actually sits in or behind the eyes, or even in or behind the nose. When you have a cold, for example, it is definitely, partly or fully, located in this area. In this case the process is the same than what I have described so far. You must feel the sensation where it is. I may be repeating myself here, and insisting too much, going on loops, but I really want to make my point. If I take myself as an example, it took me a long time to understand this. For a while I was feeling the sensations in my throat and neck area, because that’s where I thought the strongest sensation was, yet I was in the meantime building massive headaches and pain in the eyes area. In fact, the more I was focusing on my neck pain, the more my headaches were intensifying. Then I figured out that the energy was blocked in my neck and throat, because of a blockage around my eyes. And once I understood that, and started to focus on my eyes area, it unblocked the place, which allowed the accumulated energy in the throat, to flow up. So for you, it might be the same, or it might well be another part of your body, that you’re tensing, dismissing or denying, such as the underbelly, for instance.

And we’re usually not even noticing we’re doing that, so beware!


Once I have sensed that I am able to feel the sensation right into its center, I kind of zoom into it, to dig into deeper layers, and feel the raw underlaying sensation. If you delve into the smallest constituent unit of a physical sensation, you'll notice that it all comes down to pulsations, that are more or less numerous, that pulsate synchronously, or not, and that do this at various speeds. And so, what I aim is at feeling those pulsations, and to merge so much with them that I become the pulsations themselves. From the observer of the pulsation, I become the one who is pulsating. This means that the perspective is different. From second or third perspective, it becomes first person. Instead of feeling the pulsations against my tissues, I feel myself swelling and hit the tissues. This is powerful because when you shift perspective like this, you shift, in your subconscious mind, the perspective related to the trauma you’ve connected with.

What you could also do in addition to all this, is to breath into your sensations. While I am conscious that this advice may not talk to you at first, I guarantee that if you start practicing, you will arrive at a point where it will start to make sense, and you will know what I mean.

You can also focus on your breathing and/or on your heartbeat, while simultaneously focusing on your sensations. This is extremely powerful, because it will make your whole system synchronise, and everything will start to work together coherently, in unity. When you do that, do not try to control anything. Just feel those elements, and observe how they behave and move. They may act awkwardly, as soon as you start focusing on them, like if they didn’t like to be observed. But it doesn’t matter. Just keep doing your focusing. And if you start thinking of irrelevant things that distract you from your meditation, or lead you to endless daydreams, that’s ok, just gently (gently, hey!) go back to feeling your sensations, when you notice you’ve lost your focus.

Note that if you have some thoughts or ideas popping up while you’re being focused, then they are relevant and related to the sensations and memories you’re working on. You will more likely know and sense the difference between distraction and insight.


Now when you do this meditation exercise, you’ll notice that the sensations get to be dissolved instantly at some point. Sometimes, it takes time before this happens, and sometimes, it’s very quick. In actuality, it happens straight away. What may take time though, is for you to figure out how to actually feel, and to actually feel the right exact spot. But when you reach it properly, the sensation disappears, like ”pshiit...!”. You may notice as well that, right after that, your body take one deeper breath, in and out. These are signs that you are doing well, and that the process is all working out; your mind has processed something. So when it happens, you can move to the next sensation. Otherwise, if it still feel somewhat incomplete, you can keep feeling until you sense you are done. Same thing for the overall meditation session; if you feel you’re done, then you’re done!

And I recommend that if you’ve been sitting with one sensation for a while and it is just getting stronger and stronger and that you are being overwhelmed by it, to just leave it for a while, and switch into the scanning mode. It means that, instead of focusing on this one single sensation, you need to focus rather on the other sensations, in the same area, or on every single location on your body, one after the other, starting with the sensations on your skin, piece by piece, from head to feet and from feet to head, first covering your whole body, and then going inside to feel your organs and internal sensations.


I also strongly recommend you start focusing on your positive sensations too, at some point, especially when you aren’t having, or aren't having anymore, discomfort in your body. For me, these places are usually the hands, feet, cheecks and lips. Positive sensations are usually subtler than uncomfortable ones, but it does really good to give them your unconditional love and presence. For years, I was having so many uncomfortable sensations and feelings in my body that I was focusing solely on those. For sure, it was essential and really powerful, and this is actually what it means to face our fears. However, now, I have started to slowly switch into the positive focus, because I feel like my fears have been faced, acknowledged and validated enough, for now, and that it is time for me to give the same attention to my pleasant sensations.

And this is actually a bit tricky for me (and for many people, actually, believe it or not), because my positive emotions, feelings and sensations are, in some way, like the air. I can’t quite catch them. They, in my case, tend to hide themselves. And when I sense their presence, they evaporate in one instant, as soon as I try to sit with them, to observe them or to feel them. It requires practice in order to be able to build trust between me and them, but I’m getting there. So if you are in the same case with your feelings/sensations, or if you’re even totally numb, do not despair. And do not blame yourself! Just keep going, keep gently trying and it’s going to work out.

Lastly, I recommend a special technique, in the case you want to shift, or transmute, unpleasant sensations/feelings into pleasant ones. It is to be used when you have both positive and negative sensations in your body, some sort of mix state. I call it "pick and go back". This technique requires to feel the positive places, to build the momentum there for a moment, and then, to quickly switch to the sensations needing a transmutation, just long enough to feel the difficult stuff, but short enough for the negative to have less momentum than the positive. And then, go back to sit in the nice area. What it does is that the stronger momentum takes the weaker with it. In our present case, the positive energy will overpower the negative one, which will cause negative energy to rise its vibration to positive levels. And that's what I call the "pick and go back" technique.


Now, as I said, it is crucial to have the proper attitude. So when I meditate, I try not to judge the sensations and feelings that are going through me as being bad, even though they are likely to be uncomfortable or plain painful. I welcome them, as friends who are wanting me good, and who are kindly delivering to me an essential and very relevant message from my subconscious mind. It is the opportunity to become conscious of something that is going on in my life, and that maybe, I would like to change. It is telling me that there is something within me, a belief, a thought, a mindset, a situation, that is not aligned with who I really am, or with my deepest subconscious desires. It might as well be letting me know, that I am being the host of an inner “civil war”, between different parts of myself that do not agree with each other, on what my best interest is. So I warmly welcome the sensations I am experiencing at that moment, and validate their goodness.

Some practices, like the Vipassana, advocate neutrality, and it has good points too, that’s for sure, but I usually give the favour to positivity. So I hold an attitude of giving myself and my feelings, validation, comfort, reassurance, understanding, compassion, gratitude and unconditional love. And as I said, I acknowledge the fact that my feelings are here to protect me, and to help me figure out whether a situation is wanted or not.


If you need a goal (I do!), the goal is to FEEL your sensations and emotions, especially in the areas that seem very tensed, closed off and protected. Yes, the sensations will absolutely dissolve when the message is delivered, but if you take it as a goal, you'll totally miss the point. The only goal you might set, is to be unconditionally present and loving to yourself, which is the very and only thing you’ve ever needed in life, and that no one has actually been able to give you so far, not even the most loving parents (because anyway you’re the only one who can give it to you).

Also, it is very important to understand that there is no enemy within you. If you are doing this work with the goal of healing yourself (like if you're broken or something), getting rid of your unpleasant emotions and fighting the “devil” within you, you are just being unloving and nasty towards yourself, and this will create inner conflict within you, between the different parts of yourself. And by the way, I am going to release an article about inner conflict, so stay tuned for it. So, some parts of yourself are protecting you (and have a lot of safe locks), some need protection from you, some need your love, understanding and compassion, some need only your attention and presence. They will express their needs with emotions and sensations for you to feel. So what you want is to give yourself those things when meditating, but also in your daily life. And so, be gentle and kind, be here for yourself and aim at building trust within you.


So to conclude, practice this meditation technique and you will get results, at some point, when you start mastering the process. It will help you reprogram your mind into healthy happiness-generating patterns. Plus, giving your unconditional love and unconditional presence to your emotions, feelings and sensations, is the most fundamental thing you can do for yourself. I wrote an article on unconditional love, if you want to check it out. It explains what unconditional love is, and why it always wins.

In the meantime, go on Peace, Grace and Freedom.

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