…in the body. This is the Buddha’s instruction. In the very first foundation of mindfulness, the core teaching on how to do mindfulness, how to practice it. Mindful of the body in the body. Put internally and externally.
At some point, you naturally become aware of the breath. It tears the body’s sensation that’s arising and passing. Just like all other body sensations. The breath, too, has a thought sense. If you’re drawn to it, you may make the breath the primary object of meditation at this point. If not, stay with the body as a whole. As a primary object. And you can go back and forth between the two. One in the foreground, one in the background. Relax the tension on the breath.
Not controlling the breath. You may be experiencing the breath as pressure, or pulsation or vibration, or tingling or wave measure in and out. Now, in a particular way, it has been present. You may feel the breath primarily in the belly or the chest, the throat, or the tip of the nostrils. Just at the beginning, right above the upper lip. Ease. Ease the breath. Relax the mind. Enjoying the sensation of that breath. That little energy impact of the inhale. Maybe a relaxation or a releasing of the exhale. The energy impact for the whole body of the inhale as the ribs respond, the chest responds, the ease in the throat, or the neck, or on the ___, or on the chest of the exhale. Shoulders maybe relaxing. Palms, quiet. Any sense of ease of well-being that arises, create it with a small smile. Invite it to spread without pushing it or trying to hold on to decease. Chest, relaxing. Relax the tension. It’s receiving the experience. Softening into it. Hear. Now.
For tonight, when the mind wonders, as it is likely to do. For you when become aware of that, pause of a moment. In this moment, you’re awake, you’re mindful. You know the mind has wondered. This is what it’s like to feel present to wake up. Notice that for a new, or awaken this way. You have choice of what you’re attention. That you can choose to place the attention back on the breath. Very healthy moment of realization, choice about the tension. And then gently, but firmly return to the breath.
Just this one inhale.
Just this one exhale.
Breath, and other body sensations arising and passing in this stillness of mind.
If the mind has wondered when you wake up, pause. Know you’re awake and start over. So simple. So relaxed—the tension.
Stillness of mind just for an inhale.
Stillness of mind just for an exhale.
If you’re realizing the body as an ally in helping you be present in this moment. How can you be present to meet experience throughout your day? Sometimes, when we’re under a lot of pressure, we actually cannot find the breath, or the breath can actually be alarming, because it’s a little jagged or a little fast. But, there’s this good old body. There’s always some place in the body that’s neutral, even if there are other places that are activated. And walking around with this general body awareness, very powerful way to be in the moment in our daily lives.
Before we have our break, ___ for the evening. I will be back here along with Sally Armstrong, and others teaching the concentration retreat on starting August 10th. And I don’t know if there’s any space available in there. I don’t think there is. No. Then, I will be here on August 29th, teaching a day long called Exploring the Dharma through Poetry. And this is one of my two favorite day-longs of the year. It’s really—if you enjoy poetry at all, it’s really fun. And I selected the poems, I took a number of days selecting poems, I collect them all year. At some point, decided on the theme, and this year, it’s Joy and Grief. Exploring Joy and Grief through our Mindfulness Practice. And then, I first ___, I probably got a hundred and some poems. I got it down to 60 then down to 40, and finally down to 24 poems. And ___ reads the poem, and the course of the day, that wants to read the poem out loud, and it’s really fun. And then on October, I will be here for an introduction in.. Inside Meditation day long. That’s October 25th. And Dharma Seed, there’s a little ___ on the book table, about DharmaSeed.org, and how you can listen to tonight’s talk and many other talks at DharmaSeed.org. It’s a wonderful resource for us. And I’m supposed to ask you to make sure your cellphones are turned off at the talk. I will be more interested in having your cellphones turned off for the meditation, but—and there’s also a ___ information on the bulletin board and on our website. And then, I’ll say the rest of the announcements towards the end of class.
So we have a 15-minute break.
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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 [email protected]
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