“Butter on the Head” Relaxation Meditation

This meditation (attributed to Zen Master Hakuin) is a wonderful practice to soothe your nervous system and relax tight muscles in your upper back, neck and shoulders.  Give it a try, but don’t blame me if you crave popcorn afterwards!  😉

  • Sit comfortably, with your spine erect and the crown of your head floating up toward the ceiling.  Sitting either in a chair or on the floor is fine, as long as you are physically comfortable.
  • Allow your eyes to close, or if this is too challenging, keep your eyes at “half mast” gazing softly down and several inches in front of you.
  • Notice your breath, without intentionally trying to change it.  First notice the warmth and coolness of the breath at the tip of your nostrils.  Then notice the movement of your rib cage and belly.  How does your spine move with each breath?  What other sensations can you feel?
  • After two to three minutes, imagine that there is a sphere of golden butter on the crown of your head that is being warmed by the sun. As the butter slowly melts, it oozes warmth and peace down your body. Any place that it touches your body, stress melts away.
  • Imagine the response of every muscle to the warm liquid. As the butter flows over your forehead, feel wrinkles ease away from your brow. Imagine it running over your cheeks, relaxing the small muscles at the edge of your jaw. As it moves down to your neck and shoulders, feel any tension you might habitually hold in those areas release. Feel the warmth move down your chest, your belly, down your arms, hands and out through your fingertips. Feel it move in small rivulets down your spine, relaxing the tiny muscles that connect each vertebra.  Continue exploring the sensation of the warm, oily liquid as it moves down your body, down your thighs, calves, ankles, feet and toes.
  • After the first pass, notice any areas of remaining tension and bring your awareness to those areas again.  Imagine warmth and softness erasing all places of tightness.
  • If your attention wanders (and it will!) just notice it, and invite your focus back to the sensation of the breath at the tip of your nose.  Then begin to imagine the nurturing, warm buttery sensation again.
  • Continue this meditation for five to fifteen minutes

Enjoy.  May you find peace and vibrant good health!


Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and bookstores everywhere!

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