Imagine you are seated on a soft, white fleecy cloud, coming up over the hips. The cloud lifts you lightly as it begins to ascend into the limitless sky. Up, up, up you go, seated on the fleecy white surface. Now, directly above, a great waterfall comes into view, a waterfall of warm, golden light.
Gradually you approach the cascading drops of light, and now you begin to feel the pleasant warm spray pouring down over your head. Up, up, into the waterfall you float. The moist golden light pours down over the top of your head, passing through your skull at the back of the eyes, so that you light up with a gentle, golden glow.
There is a faint sound as of running water. The warm golden light moves down to the nose, then the mouth and the chin. It trickles past the neck to the shoulders and the chest, energizing and thrilling each cell of your body that it touches. From the chest to the abdomen, and then the tanden, the point two inches below the navel, it spills down, then separates to flow simultaneously down the outside of both legs.
Now the soles of the feet are bathed in the warm, moist stimulating light. Slowly it moves up the inside of the legs, and through the space between the legs to the tailbone, where it again becomes one unified current.
Now, from the small of the back, it rises to the centre of the spine, touching and revitalizing each cell as it goes. Now up to the shoulder blades, the shoulders, the neck and the base of the skull. Finally, it rises to the top of the head and pours down from that point, leaving the skull with a warm golden light.
Once again the light begins the descent down the front. Past the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the chin, to the neck and shoulders, then the chest, past the heart and abdomen, to the spot two inches below the navel, where it separates and moves down the outer part of the legs to the soles of the feet, bathing the toes and the soles of the feet in soft warmth.
Again, the light begins its passage up the inside of the legs, through the space between the legs, to the tailbone, where it unites to become one stream; then, slowly up the back till it reaches the top of the head, briefly pausing there while it spills down over the skull.
Now starts the slow descent down the front, to the tenden, two inches below the navel. Here let it rest for a few minutes, feeling the glowing warmth at this vital point. No thinking, just awareness of the feeling of that warm golden revitalizing light two inches below the navel.
NOW WE START THE GREAT CIRCLE MEDITATION proper. Please listen very carefully to the sequence.
We take the light from the tanden, between the legs and start up the back. As it moves upward, we slowly inhale, bringing the breath to the top of the head along with the light. In order to make this easier, we also gradually raise the eyes (even though the lids are closed), using the eye movement and
the breath as levers or ropes to push the golden light up the back. When the light reaches the top of the head, we hold the breath, eyes tilted up, for a few moments, bathing the entire skull. Then, as the light comes slowly down the front, we gradually exhale and begin to lower the eyes.
Finally, the breath is fully exhaled and the eyes looking down as the light reaches the Dantien or Tanden, two inches below the navel. Here, with the breath out and the eyes cast down, we hold the golden light and sit quietly in awareness of the warm feeling just below the navel. Then we sit for a short while in meditation, feeling but not thinking. Just feel, do not analyse! It is important that we move the light slowly, slowly, with each cell of the body feeling the warmth as it passes. The eyes must be closed and the back straight just as in Zazen. Now do the meditation for yourself properly, that is, in multiples of three orbits. I suggest nine or more bits of three.