Mindfulness of Body Follow-Up
In this weekly follow-up, I’m offering many ways for you to work with the content that was presented in class. Please don’t feel pressured to do it all. Do what feels right to you. Trying to meditate daily might be enough! Some days, having the intention is even enough. But if you want more, I’m offering options to take it deeper.
In this class, we practiced standing meditation, learned about mindfulness of the body, and practiced body scan meditation. Highlights from the class include:
- Standing meditation can be done on its own or during sitting meditation to help energize you if you feel sleepy
- Mindfulness of the body helps us come out of the mental control tower of the mind where we’re lost in a virtual reality…and return to the here and now
- Body scan meditation is a journey through your body that deepens the mind-body connection.
- The intention of the body scan is to check in with each area of the body in a nonjudgmental way.
- Aim for feeling the sensations of the body, not thinking about the body.
- Be especially aware of throat, chest, belly – areas that tend to hold a lot of emotional tension.
- Can you bring an interested and gentle attention to how you’re experiencing pain and move from fighting pain to experiencing the space it’s happening in? It’s not what’s happening. It’s how we’re relating to it.
- Bring compassion to any tension, shame, or feelings of physical inadequacy. You can breathe lots of love in and out of those areas.
- Informal practice: pausing to be aware of your feet, sounds, or remembering to take a few long, deep breaths.
Here is an article about new research on How Body Scan Meditation Practice Reduces Biological Stress.
The class consisted of an opening standing meditation, the main talk on Mindfulness of the Body, and guided body scan practice.
Opening Meditation: Standing Meditation
Teaching Talk: Mindfulness of the Body
Guided Meditation: Body Scan
This Week’s Homework
- Continue meditating for ten minutes or more each day.
- Experiment with one or more the guided meditations below and any practices you enjoyed from last week.
- Record each meditation session in your Mindfulness Meditation Practice Log or journal. Include what you noticed during your sitting, what challenges or insights arose, and what questions you wish to ask during the next class.
Please remember that any meditation is better than none! If you don’t have time to meditate on a given day, you might try:
- Going to sleep listening to a guided meditation
- Taking a few minutes to imagine yourself in the most beautiful, soothing place
- Pausing to take three conscious breaths throughout the day
- Breathing with your sleeping child
- Stepping outside and feeling the sun on your skin, watching or listening to birds, observing a bee pollinating flowers, watching the clouds drift through the sky, gazing at the stars, being mindful of sounds, etc.
- Taking time for gratitude by writing down five things you’re grateful for each day and pausing to savor pleasurable experiences. (Here is a blog post I wrote that might be helpful.)
- Breathing with the Breathe Bubble on Calm.
Questions to Reflect on
- During the body scan, what parts of the body—or what bodily sensations—were the easiest to include in mindful presence? Which ones were the most difficult?
- When sensations are unpleasant, what helps you to stay present and to simply notice what they’re like?
- Are you able to feel the sensations in the body vs. thinking about the body?
Live Guided Meditations
I’m offering live, guided meditation sessions weekly via Zoom through Schuylerville Public Library. Please join me if you’d like on Tuesdays at 7 PM and Thursdays at 8:30 AM. You can save the links. They will remain the same from week to week.
Thursday evening Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87301609088?pwd=dU0zMko2Z0xnMHZtN2NZS1ZJNTlOQT09
Tuesday morning Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85925866762?pwd=ZEtmWndJb0VBdUduVm1wTHREYzdtUT09
Pre-Recorded Guided Meditations
Choose whatever meditations resonate most.
Susan Meyer (18 min. *meditation begins at 2:55)
Mindfulness of Breath and Body
Susan Meyer (12 min.)
Body Scan – Living Presence
by Tara Brach (11 min.)
On Insight Timer
Basic Body Scan & Breath Awareness
by Tara Brach (11 min.)
Compassionate Body Scan
by Kristin Neff (20 min.)
Yoga Nidra for Sleep and Rest
The Stillpoint (30 min.)
Yoga Nidra Maximum Body Scan
by Steve Wolf (30 min.)
I’ve recorded and uploaded more guided meditations that can be accessed when you sign up HERE (scroll down to the bottom) for my newsletter mailing list. Please also refer to the Course Introduction page for additional resources to support your meditation practice.
May your practice be fruitful this week! This is important work you are doing. I look forward to seeing you in the next class. Until then, please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you may have.
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