Jon Kabat Zinn – Mindfulness Guided Meditation
Jon Kabat-Zinn (born Kabat on June 5, 1944) is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn was a student of Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen Master Seung Sahn and a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with those of science. He teaches mindfulness, which he says can help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness. The stress reduction program created by Kabat-Zinn, called Mindfulness-based stress reduction, is offered by medical centers, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations.
Source : Wikipedia
To begin the regular practice of meditation, of looking into ourselves, let’s arrange to spend this time on a regular basis in a place where we can comfortably still the body, in the time when we will not be interrupted, allowing this to be a time in which we set aside the usual mode in which we operate. ___, more or less, constant doing, and switch to a mode of none-doing, a mode of simply being of allowing ourselves to be, and becoming aware of our being.
This, of course, will tend to slow time down and it’s best accomplished by making this time, and coming to sit in an erect and dignified posture either on a straight back chair or on a floor, on a cushion, and as we allow the body to become still, just bringing our attention to the fact that we’re breathing and becoming aware of, on the movement of the breath as it comes to your body, and as it leaves your body, not manipulating the breathing in any way, trying to change it, simply being aware of it, and of the feelings associated with breathing.
And, if you feel comfortable with it, observing your breathing deep down in your belly, feeling your abdominal wall as it expands gently on the in-breath and as it falls back towards your spine on the out-breath. And simply being totally here in each moment with each breath, not trying to do anything, not trying to get in any place, simply being with your breathing.
Just giving full care and your full attention to each in-breath and to each out-breath and as they follow one after the other in a never-ending cycle of in-flow. Now, of course, you will find that from time to time, your mind will wander off into thoughts, fantasies, anticipations of the futures, worrying thoughts of the past, memories, whatever, but when you notice that, and your attention is no longer here, no longer really on your breathing, and without giving yourself a hard time, just intentionally escorting your focus, your attention back to the breathing and picking up wherever it happens to be in an in-breath or on in out-breath, and just observing, moving up close to your breathing and keeping the attention here as if you were writing the ways of your breathing, fully conscious of the duration of the in-breath and the duration of the out-breath from moment to moment.
And every time that you find that your mind has wandered off the breath, just be aware of it, since you can be. And gently bringing it back to your belly, back to the present, back to the moment-to-moment, observing of the flow of your breathing.
___ practice of your meditation using the awareness of your breathing, using your breath as anchor to re-focus on your attention, to bring it back into the present whenever you notice that the mind is moving out of the present or becoming unbalanced, or absorbed, or pre-occupied, or reactive. The breath can function as an anchor to keep you in the present and to help you ___ the state of relaxed awareness and stillness, which is itself is a profound state of balance.
Now, as you observe your breathing, you may be finding that from time to time, sensations from your body come into the field of your awareness, some discomfort or agitation, which may be quite intense from time to time.
And as you maintain the awareness of your breathing, see if it is possible now to just expand the field of your awareness around your breathing so that it includes the sense of your body as a whole, as you sit here, and feeling your breath, if you will, from head to toe as you become aware of all the sensations in your body. The sensation, in particular, touch, of contact with the nature, or with the floor. Contact made by the feed, by the buttocks, and the legs as you sit in a straight posture with the back erect and the head dignified so that now, we’re allowing the observation to include, not only a flow of breathing, but also a sense of your body as a whole, of whatever feelings and sensations come up in any moment, and being here with whatever does come up without judging it, without reacting to it, just being fully here, fully aware, totally present with whatever your feelings are and with your breath and a sense of your body as a complete, dignified whole.
And whenever you notice that your mind may have wandered off, just bring it back to your breathing into a sense of your body as you sit here, not going anywhere, not doing anything, just simply being, simply sitting.
From moment to moment, being fully present, fully with yourself.
Of course, it happens in all of us. There may be times when the sensations in one part of your body really become overwhelming and dominate the field of your awareness to the point where it becomes very difficult to stay focused and concentrated. And if this happens with two alternatives, one is to mindfully shift to a more comfortable position to relieve the intensity, and if you choose to move, to just be aware of the intention to do it before you actually move. But another way to work with this intensity is to try to simply stay here, with it, without moving and restricting the attention in these periods of intensity and just zero-ing that region of the body that’s experiencing it. Putting the mind right there in the knee, or in the small of your back or wherever it may be and just going right into the sensation in each moment and breathing into it and breathing out with it, and totally experiencing what your body is saying to you right now, right here, and responding to it by opening and softening rather than tensing and bracing and resisting, so that evening within the intensity, you may find stillness and acceptance.