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Body Scan for Sleep

Lesson 8 Chapter 1

This is a guided body scan meditation to help you prepare for sleep
As you do the meditation you may find yourself drifting off to sleep
This is fine
So you can allow the meditation to turn off on its own


If you notice thoughts such as worries or concerns arising that take your attention away from the meditation
This is also normal
See if you can redirect your attention
Back to the body scan
Gently letting go of these thoughts, if it’s possible


We’ll be noticing our body lying down on the bed
We’ll be feeling the body's sensations that are present
Scanning the body for any kinds of obvious sensations
Like vibrations, tingling sensation, heaviness, pressure, movement, heat, coolness


We’ll be noticing these sensations without trying to change them
Or make them different
Simply bringing a mindful attention of curiosity and openness to the present moment
If you notice yourself starting to think about the sensation
Or think about something else
See if you can simply come back to the feelings and sensations present in your body


We can begin the mediation
By noticing the sensations at the top of our head
So simply bring your attention to the top of your head
And notice what you feel
You might notice some vibration or pressure
And then allow your attention to notice your skull
As it make contact with the bed or the pillow
There might be a sense of pressure
Weight


You might notice some other sensation
Simply be curious about these sensations
Feeling them
Sometimes when you encounter a sensation there may be some tension
If you can, allow it to gently relax
If that doesn’t seem possible, simply notice what it is that you feel
And notice your face area
Your forehead
Eyes
Nose
Notice your cheeks
And mouth


There may be sensations of tingly, temperature, tightness,
Let it all be there
Be curious about your experience
Then begin to notice the sensations in your throat
And neck
And become aware of anything that’s present for you
And your shoulder area
If at any point you notice tension arising
Sometime in the act of noticing it you may find yourself releasing the tension and relaxing


If it feels extremely tense you can breathe gently
Directing that breathing into that area to allow it to soften
And if it still stays tense just continue on with the body scan
At this moment you’re aware of the sensations in your left shoulder
Bring your attention there
And then let your attention go down your arm
Noticing any vibration, tingling, heat, coolness, pressure, movement,
As you reach your elbow
Your lower arm
And then your hand


There are often quite a few sensations in your hand area
Notice your hands and fingers
Be curious and open to the sensations that are present
Also allowing your hands to soften and relax
Now bring your attention up to your right shoulder
Again noticing any sensations that might be present
And then start to go down your right arm
Feeling vibration, tingling, movement
Noticing your elbow
Your forearm
And then also your hand and fingers


Again lots of sensations are usually present in our hands and fingers
But if at any point, there’s no sensation
Just notice the absence of sensation
Now let your attention go back to the top of your shoulders
To your back
Notice the shoulder area soften
Breathe
Begin to bring your attention down your back
You can zig-zag it across your back
Or make an up and down movement in your mind


Sometimes there’s strong sensation in our back
The sensation of touching the bed
Pressure, weight
Sometimes there’s not much sensation at all
Can you be open and curious to whatever the experience is
Kind to yourself no matter what
You can notice your upper back
Your midback
And notice the sensations in your lower back as well
Making sure to breathe


If thoughts crop up as you’re doing this
Worries, concerns
Once again, see if you can let them go
Let them be like clouds floating in the sky
Moving across your mind, but don’t take them so personally
Just let them go, if possible
Or at the very least come back to my words and this body scan


Now bring your attention to the top of your chest area
And let yourself gently scan your chest
Down to the upper ribcage
Into the stomach area
See if you can soften your stomach
Breathe more deeply
Directing some breath into that area
Allowing it to soften and relax
You can notice your pelvis
The whole pelvic area
The places where your body connects with the bed


Feeling whatever sensations are present
And now gently bring your attention to your left hip
And we’ll start to bring our awareness down our leg
Noticing the sensations in our thigh
You can circle your attention gently around the leg
Noticing whatever is obvious to you
Not forgetting to breathe
Bringing this kind and curious attention to your leg
And then to your knee
And left calf
Noticing whatever is present
Vibration, tingling, heat
Itching, warmth, coolness, heaviness
Let it be here, whatever it is
And noticing your ankle
Foot
And toes


There may be quite a bit of sensation in your feet
Possibly
Maybe not
Become aware of whatever is here for you
Now come back up to your right hip
Notice the sensations in your right hip
And again bring your attention down your right thigh
Feeling whatever is present
You can circle your attention or notice it in any other way that makes sense to you


Feeling the vibration and tingling

Heat, heaviness, movement
And to your knee
And down to your leg
Your calf
Feeling the sensations present
Scanning your body
And then down to your right ankle
Foot
And toes


Now that you’ve scanned your body
You’re welcome to start again
You can continue listening to the CD for another time
Or you can continue on your own
This time if you wish you can start at your feet
And go back up through your body till you get to the top of your head
Feel free to scan your body up and down
As many times as it’s helpful to you

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