When it seemed I was finished moving for the morning, I was able to sit in meditation again. It was brief, and the mind was trying to make me feel like I needed to get that coffee made before anyone woke up, but I stayed as long as I felt still, calm, and called to sit there. When I opened my eyes, I noticed my bookshelf in front of me, two books were drawing my attention. I chose the one I didn't really remember reading very intently during my training. But, this morning, as I began to read it, I realized that now was the time for this book.
I'm not very far into the book, but I decided this time, I would actually do the practices as I came across them. Not just read through the entire book, to finish the book, and say "I'll do them". So, the first practice, was a practice in stillness, a practice in learning to find your center and just notice the stillness. I left my ego at the door, the one that says you know how to meditate. It's true, I do know how. It's also true that I've gotten out of practice and the mind has gotten a little to comfy being in control. So, I willingly surrendered into trying someone else's way of finding stillness. It was lovely and I'm sharing it here for you, in case you, too are needing another way right now.
Sit comfortably with your eyes closed and your back tall. Notice your breath. Don't try to control your breath, just notice when you exhale and when you inhale. When you exhale begin the backwards count from 50. Exhale - 50, inhale - 49, exhale - 48, inhale - 47 and so on, until you reach 20. At 20 begin only counting exhales. Exhale -20, inhale, exhale -19, inhale and so on to zero. At zero, just stop counting and notice the breath.
Sit here in quiet as long as you are able and slowly return to noticing the breath, opening the eyes slowly. Stay there, with eyes open and just notice for a couple of minutes before you move.
My first experience with this, I found it easier to just relax into stillness by not worrying about where my breath was moving, how deeply I was breathing, if I was breathing correctly and what not. I noticed not every inhale and exhale were the same. Some were deep and slow, some quick or short. There was no criticism, I just noticed it. I also noticed, it was super challenging once I hit 20 to not mentally do something on the inhale, I tried to count 20 again or just resigned myself to saying "in". I also noticed as I got to 10 the mind started trying to speed up the count, even though the breath was not moving as fast. But, we made it to zero, the breath, mind, and body together. I was peaceful and had a lot of energy in my arms and hands as I sat in stillness.
So, if you are looking for something to help you relax, maybe give this a practice a try. If you are looking for a new book to read, this practice came from Yoga The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann.