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Complete Meditation Instructions

Lesson 3 Chapter 1

Begin this meditation by finding your meditation posture
Comfortable yet upright
Relaxed, present
You can notice your body, seated here
Noticing the weight and movement and touch
Letting your attention sink into your body
Feeling it as though from the inside


Relaxing
And then exploring
What is here what is true for you


In this moment
Let your attention gently come to rest on your breathing
Your breath is your anchor
And it’s your focus that you can always return to


It’s your homebase
So feel the gentle rising and falling of your breath
In your abdomen or chest
Or the in and out sensations located at your nostrils
So we feel one breath after the next
One breath at a time
With a curious attention


What does one breath feel like in this very moment
Now we can also open our attention to a variety of other experiences
When they become predominant
Or obvious
When they become more predominant than the breath itself
So you might notice sounds from the outside
Inside your room, outside your home
You might notice sounds pulling your attention away
So you can listen to the sound


Let go of the breath and listen to the sound
When it no longer holds your attention
Then return back to the breath
If a body sensation gets strong
Becomes predominant, pulls your attention away from the breath
Again, let go of the breathing


No need to be intention with breath or the body sensation
Just go naturally
Let your body go to the body sensation
Feel it
Sense it
Notice it
What happens, does it grow or shrink
Expand
Increase, decrease


Does it shift into something else
When it no longer holds your attention
Come back to the breathing
The simplicity of the breath
It’s always available to you


If while you’re sitting, an emotion becomes strong and obvious
That can be what you focus on
You can bring your attention to the emotion
So again letting go of the breath or whatever else you were focusing on
And paying attention to that emotion
Specifically, feel it in your body


Investigate in your body how you feel this emotion
You might notice some clenching or tightness in your belly
Maybe there’s some vibration or tension in your chest
Maybe your throat feels tight
Maybe your face is warm


There’s all sorts of sensations in our bodies to pay attention to when we’re having an emotion
You can label that emotion
Fear
Sadness
Irritation
Whatever it is


Labeling it and feeling in your body what’s happening
When the emotion no longer has a hold on you
Or something else pulls your attention
Or it’s stopped
You can go to that new thing that’s pulled your attention


For instance a new body sensation or sound
Or you can always return to the breathing
Just come back to homebase
To your anchor
Now if thoughts
Become obvious


Sometimes thoughts are just in the background
In which case there’s nothing to do really
Just stay with being with your breath
Sometimes you notice that you’re lost in thought
And you can use the word “thinking”
Or “wandering”
And then return your attention right back to your breath
But if a thought is repetitive


You can begin to label the thoughts
Worrying
Planning
Remembering
Sometimes in the act of labeling them
They disappear


Sometimes they continue on
If the thought keeps going
In a repetitive way
You might check into your body and see if there are body sensations to notice
Let yourself be curious
About the thoughts arising
Coming and going


If it feels like too much always return to the breath
So as you do this practice
The breath is your anchor
And no matter what’s happening in your awareness
Whether it’s sounds or body sensations
Or emotions or thoughts


You can always find that place to return to
You might also notice
If there’s an attitude or mood in your mind
Like a sense of restlessness or sleepiness
Or just a general feeling
Like sadness


Notice if these mental states color your experience
You can pay attention to them too
So we’ll sit together now in silence
Remembering to keep your attention mostly focused on your breath
And then if a sound or body sensation
Emotion, thought
Or obvious mental state or mood
If they become evident
Predominant
Let go of the breathing


Notice whatever it is that’s happening
When it’s stopped or no longer holds your attention
Return to the breath
And just relax
And have fun, be curious
You’re exploring your own mind
With curiosity and openness
So we’ll try this for some time now
[silence]


If you find yourself lost in thought
It’s not a problem, just relax
Notice your thinking
Really kindly, return your attention right back to whatever is happening in this present moment


You might find that you move from one thing to the next
There’s a sound, a body sensation, a thought, an emotion
And then return to your breath
Trust in this natural flow of your experience
As we relax and witness with curiosity
Our life unfolding in front of us
[silence]


So once again, notice your body
Here
Present
Present time awareness
Feeling your weight
Posture, shape
And then just invite in some kindness for yourself
Wishing yourself well
The best you can
Appreciating yourself


May I be happy and peaceful and at ease
May I be safe and protected from danger
May I be healthy and strong
May I be at ease
May we all be happy and peaceful
And safe and protected
Healthy, strong
At ease
[bell ring]

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