Self Kindness - Part 2
Self Kindness - Part 2. Can be done immediately following Part 1 of the Self-Kindness meditation, or on its own. It’s an excellent practice in connecting with the body, and works well when a sitting meditation practice seems especially difficult.
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Remove shoes, and, if at all possible, socks. If you like, have some massage oil or lotion nearby.
Sit in a comfortable way where you can easily access your feet. If you’re on a couch or easy chair, settle back into the cushions. On the floor is good too, or on the grass (preferably in privacy).
Close your eyes for a few moments and turn your focus towards your breath. Notice your in breath, your out breath and any pause that happens in between them. There’s nothing to change here, we’re just paying attention.
Notice sensations you can feel against your body. The feeling of what you’re sitting on. The clothing against your skin. The breeze, if there is one. The feeling of air around you. Any heat or coolness.
Cross your legs, or just one leg so you are able to touch one foot. Bring your loving presence to mind again. Feel that presence in your body, in your heart… and, when you’re ready, in your hands. Remember, this is something we evoke through our body, not with our mind.
Once you’ve tuned into that feeling of love and of being cared for, begin massaging one of your feet. Start near your toes, and start with a light touch – even a caress.
Imagine your foot as a baby or small animal. Imagine sending all the love from your loving presence into your foot. Go as slowly as possible.
Notice what comes up. There might be resistance, or the thought that “I don’t deserve this”. Allow the thoughts to be there, but don’t engage with them for now. You can always return to them after this meditation is over.
Massage gently between the toes, and along the arch of the foot. Let that loving presence pour out of your hands and into your foot. Work your way towards your ankle, and notice the tender spots. You can massage all the way up your calf if it feels good.
If you notice your mind wandering, gently bring it back to the sensation of the massage. You can focus on the feeling of giving, the feeling of receiving, or both.
If you notice any emotions arising, imagine you are gently massaging, caressing and caring for them, too.
See if you notice any tension releasing as you give your body this gift.
Massage both feet for the same amount of time.
When you’re finished, sit quietly, noticing any differences in your body, in your emotion, in your mood.
This practice can be an excellent way to start off or finish a meditation, or can be done on its own.