Mindfulness Body Scan for Wisdom
Mindfulness body scan for wisdom. Drop out of the logical mind & delve into a direct experience of the interconnectedness between all things.
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This body scan meditation is best done seated, so you can remain alert and attentive
Find a comfortable position in a quiet place where you are relatively free from distraction
Close your eyes or gaze softly at the floor ahead of you
Turn your attention toward your breath
Breathe patiently and evenly in and out through your nose
Let the length of the breath out be at least as long as the length of each breath in
During this body scan, we’ll walk through a contemplative meditation
While the meditation is in part based on logic,
The goal is to feel versus think
At any time, when the mind has arrived at a felt sense of open and relaxed spaciousness
Feel free to pause and simply rest there
We’ll begin by asking questions…
Am I one thing, or am I many things?
I have a body, and I have a mind, and those are two things
So if I am two things, I suppose my body could exist without my mind,
And my mind could exist without my body
But body and mind cannot exist separately,
So I must be one thing.
But if I was one thing, how is it that I recognize separateness
Between body and mind?
And is my body one thing, or many things?
If it was one thing, it couldn’t have parts. And yet I have all these body parts
But if it was many things, I suppose there would be many of me? Many bodies?
There would be the me that’s in my toe, and the me that’s my foot
And if my body was many things, these things could exist separately
And if they did, where would “I” be?
If my big toe and the rest of my body were separated,
Where would I be?
Would the me that I think is in my big toe still be there?
Or would it remain only in the rest of me?
I could still be me without my big toe
So does my toe have nothing to do with me?
What if both my feet were separated from the rest of the body?
Then where would I be?
Would I still be fully me?
All of me, still present in my body?
I suppose then, that I’m not in my feet
Since I could live without them and still be me
What if my lower legs and my knees were also separated from the rest of my body?
Then where would I be?
Could someone look at my legs, out there on their own, and recognize them as me?
Or would I exist only within the rest of me?
I suppose I’m not my lower legs and knees then
These parts have nothing to do with me
What if my thighs and pelvis were also separated from the rest of my body?
The same thing would happen, I could be me without them
I must not be my things and pelvis either
These parts of my body clearly do not define me
Where am I then?
In what way do I exist?
Am I in my fingers, my lower arms, my elbows and my upper arms?
I could do without my arms and still be me
And if someone saw my arm, lying in the street
They wouldn’t say, hey, there you are!
So I am not my arm
My identity is based on something else
What then of my torso? Is that how I exist?
There are certainly people who have lost a kidney, a lung
Who have received a heart transplant
Who have exchanged all sorts of parts
Are they multiple people?
Are they multiple things?
Or are they one thing?
If they are one thing, how is it that they have interchangeable parts?
In what way do we exist?
And then what if my torso, shoulders, neck and head were also gone?
Then would I still be me?
Is the essence of me in my heart?
Is the essence of me in my head?
Does the essence of me need a body at all?
But what would I be, if I was only my mind?
Who and where would I be?
How would I function?
How would anyone recognize me?
So I am not my body
But I need my body, or at least some parts of it, to exist
Mind an body must be connected
And what came first, body or mind?
If my body came first,
It must have been able to exist in some way without my mind
If my mind came first,
It must have existed in some way before it had a body
But a mind without a body does not exist
And the body cannot function without a mind
So neither could have come first
The body and mind must arise together
They are neither two things, nor one thing
They are both two things, and one thing
The body and mind are interdependent
What I call my body is dependent upon the mind that calls it ‘my body’
What I call my mind is dependent upon this body as its home
Body and mind exist interdependently
And so too, does everything else
Let this contemplation carry your mind into a state of open and relaxed realization
And rest the mind there for as long as you can