Opening Your Senses | Mindfulness Exercises

Let’s begin by taking a moment to allow your body to settle into a comfortable position.

You may close your eyes or keep them slightly open (2 seconds) allowing the spine to lift, the shoulders to soften (5 seconds).

 

Today we will practice open awareness (2 seconds).

As we’ve explored, the open awareness practice can give us the gift of being aware.

Aware of things like our thoughts, and emotions, what’s happening in our relationships,

but without getting stuck or hung up on them, as we may usually do.

Open awareness practice helps us to have a gentle matter-of-factness

saying to ourselves,

“Oh this is here, got it. How might I need this?”

 

So we’ll begin by taking a full breath in and a long breath out (5 seconds).

Noticing the in breath (2 seconds), noticing the out breath (5 seconds).

Allow the breath to settle now and to find its own natural rhythm.

Letting the breath breathe itself.

Try not to interfere with the process and notice how the body moves in response to the breath. The chest expands (2 seconds), it relaxes (2 seconds)

the belly rises (2 seconds) and falls (5 seconds).

Now gently expand your awareness to whatever is arising (2 seconds).

You may notice thoughts, sensations, sounds, all coming and going.

All arising and passing away (5 seconds).

Try letting go of any ideas about you think this moment ought to be

and just rest with an awareness of how things actually are for you in each moment (15 seconds).

Notice if you are aware of any changes in the body or the mind tensing up around your experience (2 seconds)

and in this noticing you can gently let go again without judgement.

Doing this as often as necessary

with a kind and gentle awareness (15 seconds).

 

Now if it feels safe for you to do so,

include any pain or discomfort in the body within your awareness (5 seconds).

Often you resist feelings of pain or discomfort.

Use the breath to help soften the discomfort (5 seconds)

and as you do, see if you notice any changes in the experience of that discomfort (15 seconds).

Now invite in pleasurable dimensions into your awareness (2 seconds).

They might be subtle

such as contact of clothing on the skin,

the felt sensation of the breath (2 seconds),

or maybe there is a cool breeze on your skin (2 seconds),

there is a warmth in your seat or perhaps in your hands (15 seconds).

With each breath, return to a simple clear awareness of what’s here (2 seconds),

right now (15 seconds).

Now, as we near the end of this practice bringing your attention back again to focus on the breath (2 seconds),

letting awareness of other things fade into the background (5 seconds).

Finishing with a full deep breath in (2 seconds) and a long breath out (5 seconds)

*ding* (20 seconds).

 

 

Integrated Practice: Practice open awareness today by allowing yourself to notice details around you that you may not normally pay attention to (e.g. the color of other cars on the road, smells in the air, sounds in your office, other people’s body language, etc.).  If it helps to pick a specific time to do this, try something like when walking from your vehicle to your office or home, or perhaps while running an errand today.

 

Reflection Question:

How does this impact how you engage in your day?

 

 

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