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Simply Stopping

Simply Stopping. This is a simple guided meditation script that reminds us that we can stop whatever we're doing & harness awareness to become more present.

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Let's begin by taking a moment to allow your body to settle into a comfortable position
(2 seconds).

You may close your eyes or keep them slightly open allowing the spine to lift
(2 seconds), 

the shoulders to soften (5 seconds).

Today we will practice simply stopping (2 seconds)

Begin by taking a full breath in (2 seconds)

and a long breath out (5 seconds).

Notice what it's like to just stop (2 seconds).

To simply be still and present in this moment (10 seconds).

You may notice thoughts, bodily sensations, sounds. Just noticing what it is like to be
alive in just this moment
(15 seconds).

Simply Stopping

Simply stopping (10 seconds).

Each time you find the mind somewhere else, play with inviting a sense of stopping
(20 seconds).

Let's continue practicing like this, for a little while (60 seconds).

And as we near the end, finishing with a deep breath in (2 seconds)

and a long breath out (5 seconds)

*ding* (15 seconds).

Integrated Practice: Try a 'Minute to Arrive' practice. When you start a new activity
today, maybe a work meeting, maybe a meal, practice stopping and practicing one
minute of silence to give yourself time to stop and become more present to this next

Reflection Questions:
What impact did stopping and practicing a minute of silence have on your next


“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

Franz Kafka

Setting Yourself Up for a Day of Silence

It seems like a radical idea, maybe even an impossible one – but spending a day in mindful silence can be done; and to do so is a great gift to yourself and those you come into contact with daily. The benefits of your ‘day of silence’ – a sense of deep peace, calm, and clarity – will last far beyond the day itself.

To echo Kafka’s famous words, “you don’t need to leave your room” to set yourself up for a day of silence. You don’t have to spend time and money going to a retreat. In fact, staying at home can help you improve your relationship with your daily surroundings. It is recommended, however, that you prepare for your day of silence so that you are not tempted to turn towards dirty laundry or other things on your ‘to-do’ list. Ensure all priorities are out of the way so that the mind can rest for this time. Inform those you live with of your intentions so that they can support you in this mindful practice

There is a magical quality to taking a day to retreat from the voice, a sort of alchemy that comes out of the silence. Solutions to long-standing problems will come to you out of the blue.  Other problems will seem less pressing.  There is an automatic reordering of our priorities that can take place only in silence.  When the mouth stops chattering, the mind follows suit. Be forewarned that your thoughts might become louder at first. Sometimes referred to as the ‘monkey mind’, the mind is often quicker and louder than the mouth.

A great example of this ‘monkey mind’ appears when we are driving in a car alone. Driving becomes second nature for many people, and often times we get from A to B without remembering the drive. This is because our mind is elsewhere, thinking about the laundry, the kids, our future, and so on. When we have no one to speak with, we are left with our thoughts. This will undoubtedly arise during your day of silence, so be gentle with yourself. Intersperse your unstructured quiet time with formal seated mediation sessions to help bring yourself back to the present moment. This is great opportunity to really get to know yourself.

“There is a magical quality to taking a day to retreat from the voice, a sort of alchemy that comes out of the silence. Solutions to long-standing problems will come to you out of the blue. Other problems will seem less pressing. There is an automatic reordering of our priorities that can take place only in silence.”

A day of silence can also be empowering and comforting. You are taking control of your voice. And even though being alone in silence can feel uncomfortable at first, eventually you will become comfortable with your thoughts. This is a great task to accomplish. And since you’re not speaking to people, you could take this time to really think about what you say on a daily basis. It will also help you to become a better listener. This day of pause will enable you to return to the world with the ability to engage in more mindful communication. Mindful communication results in less confrontation, more meaningful conversation, and greater equanimity.

Mindfulness meditation is all about being in the present moment. Taking a day of silence can help you stay present for days afterward. Again, remember to set yourself up for a day of silence when you don’t have to work – when other things aren’t calling for your attention. Call up your closest friends and family and let them know you will be unreachable for one full day. Breathe, relax, learn, and grow.

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