2.1 Meditation - Mindfulness

The Elements of Meditation Practice 2 - Mindfulness
13 minutes
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I know this is the tragedy, we're gonna, we're gonna, we're gonna sub in a really nice sounding bell for the for people, the non locals. Okay, so you can start by closing your eyes If you feel comfortable closing your eyes or you can have them open at half mast. That could be an option if you're feeling a bit sleepy. And we'll start the same way which is with a couple of nice deep breaths as you breathe in through the nose, breathing into the nose and stretching up the spine. As you're stretching up, you're kind of finding this alertness, poise. And then the downward motion is the exhale.

Breathing out and as you're breathing out, letting yourself settle. This body settling on this chair, this cushion We can make it systematic by deliberately smoothing out the forehead on the next exhale. softening the jaw, mouth and the throat, softening the hands. And right away. The essence of our meditative stance is open, easygoing, quality, which is like Yep, there is music coming next door. That is true for our sounds coming from the street, or, or the person next to us might have grumbles in their belly, little shifts.

It's like, that's okay. Mindfulness is being aware. We're not trying to get rid of any sounds or sensations starts with just accepting that all this is here. And if you're aware of it, then that's just part of the practice. So seeing if we can be completely not uptight about that, and that will make a big difference in the practice. So even in a mindfulness practice sort of choose, we could have a general one where you're just sort of doing a general survey of everything going on your experience.

But let's make a little bit more specific. Let's be mindful of our body sensations, which may include emotional feelings to some mindfulness of the body. So you can do a little survey sort of slipping down underneath the head, although you can look explore the face sensations to just be curious what what sort of upwelling are happening in your body right now could be feeling tingling feelings, maybe in the chest or throat or in the hands of warm hands. Like the aches and pains. Like the hunger the breath itself is a strong generator of sensations through the midline stroll down into the belly sometimes there's vibrating feelings flows are you feeling of the air on your skin, feeling the clothes just doing a little exploration right now. So this is similar to being a private investigator of body sensations.

There's also there may be emotional license ation, sometimes lingering feelings from earlier in the day or even from this class. And these happen all over the body but especially through the midline, around the jaw and eyes, in the throat, definitely around the heart, the belly, back of the neck, can hold tension and stress there. So you're just doing a survey and Idea is really you're kind of like a field naturalist of your own experience and you have a very friendly attitude to the to the critters in the undergrowth. So whatever you're feeling whatever sensation Can you bring this kind of caring quality so you're you're feeling a sensation of the tension in the back you have this almost a parental friendly quality like you're letting it be there. Just curious about its edges how it might be changing. Same with any emotional body sensations or energetic sensations.

About awareness. What can you be aware of in your experience, body With a couple options here, one option is to keep it at a kind of even hovering the tension and a globally aware of the body and sensations that are rising and falling. That's one way to work. Or you can more zoom in on one particular sensation. somewhere that draws your attention, whether it's a pleasurable sensation or unpleasurable. A big part of a mindfulness practice is learning how to actually be okay.

With uncomfortable sensations. So if you're working with a sensation, really how softly again, can you feel it can you kind of soften the area around it? Give it permission. sensation to express itself. And you can pace yourself a bit here to pick it up. If you're working with an emotional feeling, sometimes we might want to sort of titrate we just go in a little bit and then we're like, you know what, that gets a bit intense.

Relocate my attention to my hands or something else. Or we can kind of sort of be with that intensity and it might peak and then soften out. You can kind of choose what pace feels right for you. Finally, if things are quite quiet in there, I'm pretty neutral. And always just inches of physical sensation with the breath or the and the feeling of a seat Curious whenever sensation working with how is it changing in the subtlest ways its edges, expanding it or shrinking. Maybe it's very stable, in which case just being curious about that.

You're practicing being the knower of your experience. Something very liberating about this. Practice this technique because it's all just sensations. sensations come sensations go. If you stop struggling with a sensation, and often gets more quiet, more, less intense. seeing if you can pletely open to other things you're feeling no bracing or resistance.

And if you're inside a thinking pattern, notice how's that thinking affecting your body? Is it creating tension in the face or triggering you in any way? Curious keep our attention in one direction. start to notice the subtlest new sensation, blooming up urging for being on the lookout for very subtle qualities and as we pay more and more attention to it, it may be able to move inside it expands. Just letting that happen. element of concentration on this too easy for the mind to wander, just bring it back to whatever sensation you're working with.

Notice how you're conducting your investigations you're serious sternness in your face. Are you Is there a kind of intensity and can you soften a little bit? Let it be easy. There's no nothing you need to do to be aware awareness just naturally happens. You're already aware. It's just about gently holding your attention in a direction exploring what happens to the sort of almost imagine leaning back a little bit.

I think Awareness be soft. Attention be soft and nothing much is happening. Can you be okay with that? It's really about being okay with whatever is happening in your experience, the exact human moment of configuration that you needed to hear that you're in Good. Okay. Awesome.

So that was a mindfulness practice. And that's often the hardest practice for people. It can be hard practice and some people find it really easily. It can change a lot. It's about perspective. You know, it's about learning how to see what's going on in your experience and in the scene, not being so caught up in it.

So although I lead it here as a sitting practice, it's a wonderful tool for walking around in life for just checking all just checking in continuously, you know, wherever you're in a situation like, Hey, what's going on with me from Ohio to take a moment to check in? Yeah, actually, I'm really in this bad mood or I've got this thing going All right in this thinking, do I need to kind of be in this pattern right now. And in that way you can pop out of it, and you're less likely to kind of go on with it automatically. And it's the practice of a lifetime. You know, you I do this practice all the time. It's my, it's my life practice, you know, it's, it's learning how to continue to get more perspective to know that, you know, this, these challenging times are gonna pass and you'll be in a different time.

And it's like that there's, and that's the same, by the way, with the meditation practice, too. There's time when it's really easy, it's very, we're able to get really concentrated, and then there's times when it's much more difficult. And so just having that big picture perspective of knowing that, you know, this stuff comes and goes and there's a natural cycle for everything. That's a very consoling place for me to go to and it's hard. I need to remind myself that when I'm in the catastrophe of some, you know, activation, so, anyway, I'm curious what that was like for you guys.

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