When you bring mindfulness to the breath, do you include the entirety of your body, incorporating all your senses? Mindfulness of breathing is not merely a cognitive process, one that takes place in the head.
In this guided meditation, Sean Fargo, founder of Mindfulness Exercises, invites us to observe our breathing using the body itself. Embodying awareness in this experiential manner connects us to the here and now, the only place where genuine happiness and contentment exists.
Please listen in a safe, quiet place where you can be relatively free from distraction. Practice with eyes opened or closed, in a posture that balances comfort with alertness. May this meditation be of benefit to you in your mindfulness journey.
We’re accustomed to navigating the world with our heads, thinking our way through life. But when we’re only in our heads, stuck there all the time, we miss out on experiencing what the rest of our senses have to offer. By the time information reaches the brain, it has gathered bias, judgment or story. So, how do we know that it’s true?
Practicing mindfulness meditation encourages us to incorporate the body and all the senses for a more direct, unfiltered experience of our world. Sensing our world through the body - embodying awareness - keeps us grounded, present and rooted in authenticity and truth.
Mindfulness and meditation instructors often speak of embodying awareness, but it’s not always clear what that means. To be embodied is to experience the world through the body itself, and not just the brain. The mind, after all, is not just in the head. The body as a whole has an intelligence that extends throughout our physical form, including the heart.
This meditation introduces multiple methods that can help us become more embodied. As we settle into the practice, we’re invited to wiggle, to play with small side-to-side movements. This engages proprioception, awareness of where the body is in space.
Sean then guides us from proprioception to interoception, awareness of what’s happening inside the body. To turn our attention inward, we follow the breath. Observing our breath as it moves through the body strengthens interoceptive awareness, especially if we ‘observe’ not with the eyes or the brain, but with the whole body itself.
By opening to sensation in the body, and allowing our experience to unfold as it wants to, we become open to deep insights about the true nature of reality and how disconnected we can be when our experience is obscured by thoughts, emotions and our past history.
Embodiment is not an adjunct practice, but the foundation of mindfulness and the means through which we achieve genuine presence.
Learn more about embodied awareness, including how to practice and teach it, with these additional free mindfulness resources:
About Sean Fargo:
Sean Fargo is a former Buddhist monk and the founder of Mindfulness Exercises. The online platform, which has shared free and premium mindfulness resources with over 3 million people worldwide, has now certified over 500 Mindfulness Teachers.
Sean is the lead instructor for the teacher training program, a unique self-paced approach which invites world-renowned mindfulness teachers to share their insights and experiences. Sean has taught mindfulness and meditation for corporations including Facebook, Google and Tesla and for health and government organizations, prisons and hospitals around the world.