Another methodology of Meditation developed in Vivekananda Kendra is Cyclic Meditation (C.M). A cyclic of alternating stimulation and relaxation is tool used make aspirants to reach the state of deep silence. A verse found within the 'Gauda Pada Karika' (commentary) of Mandukya Upanishad is the inspiration of this technique.
Laye sambodhayet cittam viksiptam samayet punah
Sakasayam vijaniyat samapraptam Na calayet. (Man. Karika-II.44)
(Meaning: Stimulate and awaken the sleeping mind, cool down the distractions, acknowledge the innate stagnation and keep in steadiness while not heavy it.)
In day-to-day life, we tend to relax deeply, though unconsciously, by stretching and restful through yawning. In Cyclic Meditation we tend to stretch consciously and consistently in a systematic order and then relax in standing asana like Pada Hastasana, Ardha Chakrasana, and Ardhakati Chakrasana and additionally relaxing using sitting asanas like Shashankasana and Ushtrasana. This provides stimulation at the muscular level. The method begins with Tadasana that helps to center our body. All the asanas performed with a slow speed maintaining internal awareness (observing, as a Sakshi, numerous changes within the system with eyes closed). Before beginning Cyclic Meditation, one should relax through a method known as I.R.T (Instant Relaxation Technique).
Instant Relaxation Technique: Lie down in supine position (in the position of Savasana). Tighten all the muscles from toes to head, half by half, and after tightening the entire body, relax the complete body instantaneously. This could also be practiced sitting on a chair to induce fast relaxation. It hardly takes few minutes of your time with instant relaxation to your body.
After active standing postures slowly, with awareness, one should perform which is called technique Q.R.T. (Quick Relaxation Technique). It takes 5-8 minutes.
Q.R.T.: Coming back to Savasana. Observe the movement of abdominal muscles. Try to be aware of the movements of the abdominal wall going up and down, slowly and gently. With an inhalation, the wall rises up. Feel energized with every inhalation. With an exhalation, the wall collapses. Feel relaxed with every exhalation. Merge in deep silence by chanting gracefully one ‘A’ Kara (AAA sound).
After gently developing in sitting position from Q.R.T., perform slowly with awareness Shashankasana and Ushtrasana (Ardha Ushtrasana, if Ushtrasana not possible). Change posture back again in toSavasanafor the technique called as DRT (also known as Deep Relaxation Technique). Here bringing awareness to each and everybody part-by-part starting from the toes to the head, which will take 10-15 minutes. After that, slowly sit down in deep silence for some time to witness the changes in the body and mind.
Apart from muscular stimulation in C.M., we tend to use sound (chanting of Akara, Ukara, Makara, and Omkara) and visual (attuning to the immense ocean) stimulations furthermore to travel deeper in silence.
This description is simply an introduction to the technique cyclic meditation, not the detailed technique. One ought to practice C.M. under a professional teacher.