Guided Mindfulness Meditation by Oren J. Sofer:
So, as we begin a period of meditation, I often find it helpful just to tune in to the space around the body, disconnecting with the sense of openness at the space around you as unobstructed, there’s no pressure, no one’s asking us to do anything, or be anything, and just feeling us that in the very space around you. I also often like to remind myself, there’s nothing I need to do right now. At this time, has been giving, I’m giving myself this time to just be here rather than trying to get somewhere, achieve something, produce some special state. All of those intentions and motivations that we use in our ordinary life, and which serve us well.
Actually, we don’t work so well in meditation. So, seeing if consciously you can just set that down, doing, getting, becoming, having, attaining, and think about just arriving, what’s it’s like to just be here, what’s here. And so, in this way, we are orienting our mind and our heart in a different way. Ahhh, nothing I need to do right now. Just to be here. What a relief. What a gift. This could be quite enjoyable.
Allowing the thoughts of the past, where you’ve come from, who you’ve loved, your responsibilities, just allowing that to fade into the background, setting those aside. Setting aside thoughts of the future—what’s for lunch, what will yoga be like, how will it be at the end of the retreat. Just having that conscious attention to give up thoughts of the past and the future. And instead, to have interest in discovering what this moment holds.
So, we’re framing it up. Setting our intention to be here. Nothing to do. Just relax and arrive.
Where is that orientation that’s often very helpful to, ___ to ground the attention in the body. So, using the felt experience of this human body sitting or standing, or lying down, as a reference point, for here and now, very tangible, easy to feel. So, that lets you know that you’re sitting or standing inside where the actual sensations.
Feelings of pressure, wait. Perhaps, temperature. Just bringing the attention fully into the body. Sometimes, you can even use a soft mental note sitting just as a pointer pointing to the experience that’s happening. It’s like, we’re telling our mind, hey, hey, this is what we’re doing now. This is very simple study activity of sitting here. Let’s just be in this consciously knowing that sitting is happening through the direct experience.
Standing. Standing. – was pointing out last night, checking in with the posture, feeling the uprightness of the mind, of the spine, and allowing that to bring a sense of uprightness and alertness to the mind. And balancing that with the sense of ease and relaxation, and all of the muscles and tissues can soften around the support of the skeletal structure. When the body’s aligned, the skeleton holds it up and everything else can just rest, soften, sink down.
Can sometimes be helpful to give some attention to areas that we usually held tension like the jaw. Seeing if, and just bringing awareness to these areas. There might some releasing, some softening. Muscles around the eyes, back of the neck, shoulders, the chest or the belly. And as we enter this experience of sitting in the human body more complete, you might notice that it’s breathing.
It’s rhythm of movement, and just allowing that to begin to enter your awareness in a very gentle way. Not needing to focus on it or catch it. It’s like you’re adjusting lens on a camera. Just allowing it slowly on its own time to come into focus, noticing what sections of the breath you can feel naturally as well as your expanding of the in-breath, the sinking, the settling, the ___, the stopping of an out-breath.
As you begin to tune in to the breathing, seeing if there’s some place in the body where you feel the sensations of breathing in and breathing out more clearly, more easily, this might be the nostrils, often the rise and fall of the chest, or the belly and the abdomen, the expansion, the softening and contraction. There’s no better place, or right way to do it. Seeing where you can feel it most clearly. – try to get it, or grab, just allowing it to come to you, or just listening, feeling, receiving. Receiving the sensations of an in-breath. Receiving the sensations of an out-breath.
And seeing if through this listening, as receiving, the mind might start to want to just rest and settle with that experience of feeling, sensing, breathing in and breathing out.
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