Mindfulness and Breath Meditation
Welcome to mindfulness meditation. Let’s begin this meditation by relaxing your eyes and beginning to bring your attention inward. Slowly settle into your body.
- Begin to bring your attention to your feet. Become aware of the contact that your feet are making with the ground. Notice simple touch sensation. Notice whatever is present from moment to moment and allow this to be whatever it is. Bring ease wherever possible.
- Expand your attention to the back of your thighs and your buttocks making contact with the cushion. Remain mindful of simple sensations; of a sense of warmth or coolness, itching or tightness, spaciousness or ease. Experience how the body is being supported by the solid ground beneath it. Rest peacefully.
- Begin to notice the contact your hands are making with your body and the contact they may be making with each other. At this time it is beneficial to have your palms open and your fingers relaxed.
- Bring attention to your spine. Notice the length of the spine; the muscles that sit on either side of the spine, offering it support. And what it feels like to sit in an upright position. As we travel through the body you will become aware of both pleasant and unpleasant sensations. Whatever you observe please greet it with openness and acceptance. Allowing it to be what it is without resistance or clinging.
- Notice your abdomen and chest and allow the muscles to be relaxed. Bring awareness to the rib cage, any sensation in internal organs and the core area of feeling in the body.
- Bring attention to your shoulder region. This is an area where many of carry burdens. So if you notice tightness here allow the shoulders to relax downwards, releasing any tension. Bring awareness to all parts of the body.
- Bring attention to these areas with gentleness: Your jaw allowing it to open, your forehead, your temples, the area in and around your eyes, the top of your head, the sides and the back of your head. Notice any sensation of pressure, constriction, holding and simply soften. We are mentally massaging our body with awareness.
2. Breath Awareness
- Bring your attention to the sensation of breath in the body. Continue breathing naturally, at your own rate and pace. Focus on your breathing by bringing your attention there. Let your body breathe itself.
- The breath is occurring moment to moment so when you synchronize your attention with it you too are in the moment. You can notice the sensation of breathing in three places in the body.
- Breathing in and out through the nostrils you can notice the movement of breath with the inhalation and exhalation.
- Breathing in and out you can notice the movement of breath in the rising of the chest and falling of the chest.
- Breathing into and out of the abdomen you can contact the movement of breath in the belly.
- Feel yourself in your whole body and breath, just settling in. Choose one place to rest your attention, wherever the breath is most clear and distinct.
- The breath acts like an anchor, stabilizing our attention. As you sit longer you notice the rhythmical motion of breathing. The breath is very much like a wave that continuously moves in and out. See if you can ride that wave of breath. Letting it come and go as it will; resting in your breath.
- As you continue to settle in your mind begin to slow. If at any time your mind begins to wander or you are distracted, simply acknowledge this wandering and with gentleness and patience bring your attention back to breath. There is no need to worry or feel you are doing anything wrong. No matter how many times you drift away you can return to the in and out movement of breathing. (Quiet practice.)
- Continue to rest. Whatever is present let it be as it is. If there is tiredness, boredom, impatience, wandering mind, please accept, acknowledge and gently return to breath. These sensations and mind states come and go they are impermanent.
You will do this slowly and carefully waking up the body.
- Bring your attention to your feet this time with the intention of awakening.
- Begin to move the toes and then the ankles in one direction and then the other.
- Bring motion to the knees and legs.
- Begin to move the fingers and then the wrists.
- Gently raise the shoulders towards the ears and lower, a couple of times.
- Slowly begin to open the eyes keeping them soft and relaxed adjusting to the light.
- Take a moment to notice how you are feeling before you get up, take whatever benefits there are and thank yourself for taking this time to practice in this way.
Copyright Lhasha Tizer 2014