– why you chose this topic
– how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic
– the emotions that you can associate with these visceral feelings
– the positive or negative impact of any stories you believe in regarding this topic
– the consoling/humbling/inspiring fact that many others are feeling similarly about this topic as you
– how you will feel with increased awareness around this topic
– when you can apply increased mindfulness to this topic in your day-to-day life
We all need some grounding, at times. Our modern lives can be so hectic, that we can feel disembodied and lost in “head space”, disconnected from ourselves and our surroundings. Even our usual meditation practices might not help in these cases, especially if we fall into the trap of trying to manipulate our thoughts rather than staying with our naked experience.
So how do we become more grounded? It’s not difficult to do, although it might not be perceived as easy at first. To put it simply, we need to go back to our truest experience, as it is unmediated by thoughts. The easiest way to do so is to re-learn to connect with our body, staying true to what we are sensing and feeling in this moment.
A grounding meditation can work wonders. These are very simple meditation practices that bring us back in touch with our experience of our body and senses in the present moment. The difficulty often comes from our mind’s desire to hijack the process and complicate matters.
In the PDF below, you’ll find a very simple Grounding Meditation, which offers an amazing starting point into grounding practices, whatever your current level.
If you’ve benefited from our Grounding Meditation and would like explore this path further, do keep reading. We’ve listed a couple of wonderful somatic meditations below.
Here are two great grounding meditation practices you might enjoy if you are looking to explore your experience of your body further.
1. The Hand Sensing Exercise, by Eckhart Tolle
This is a very simple grounding meditation by Eckhart Tolle, designed to help us get in touch with our inner sense of aliveness.
Close your eyes and hold out your hand. Allow yourself to feel your hand.
Now ask yourself: without touching anything, without moving your hand and without looking at your hand, how can you know that your hand is still there?
If you pay attention, you realize that you can feel the inside of your hand, a subtle sense of warmth or tingling.
Now move your attention slowly to the rest of your body and feel that sense of warmth/tingling throughout. Add progressively more and more parts of your body until you can feel that sense of aliveness in every single cell.
This is a really simple and pleasant exercise you can do anywhere at any time. The results over a short period of time can be amazing.
2. Somatic Descent, by Reggie Ray
Another great practice is Reggie Ray’s “Somatic Descent”.
Inspired by the yogic practices of Vajrayana Buddhism, Somatic Descent teaches us how to be present in the body, so that we can allow the depth of our body-based intelligence to reveal itself. It teaches us to go deeper into the body and experience its fulness, rather than staying in more rarified, "above-the-neck" states of consciousness.
This practice requires a bit more time and commitment. You can hear Reggie Ray introducing it here. There’s also a PDF you can download with the full practice. If you prefer step-by-step audio guidance, you can find it in his audiobook “The Practice of Pure Awareness: Somatic Meditation for Touching Infinity”, where he walks us through nine step-by-step sessions for “waking down" into the body and reconnecting with it.
These Grounding Meditation practices are highly recommended and their benefits cannot be overstated. Once you re-train yourself to be in your body in a very simple and natural way, you’ll start seeing benefits in all areas of your life, as your whole being becomes more open, connected, and compassionate.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at Sean@MindfulnessExercises.com
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