Introduction to the sitting meditation – Awareness of body and breath
Intention – Practice waking up to automatic pilot. Allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them
Attention – The breath, the body, the senses
Attitude -Non-striving, non-judging, allowing the experience to be as it is, curiosity to our experience in the present moment
Settling into a comfortable sitting position
If using a chair, practising sitting away from the back of the chair so that the spine is self-supporting.
having the feet flat on the floor with legs uncrossed
Taking time to experiment with the posture to find a place of comfort.
When you are ready, gently closing the eyes if that feels comfortable
If not, letting the gaze fall unfocused on the floor a short distance in front
Feeling the sitting bones on the chair or cushion
awareness of the sense of touch
tuning in to the sensations of the body
perhaps feeling a lightness or expansion in the spine – the head balanced on the top
finding a position for the head where it is not to far forward or too far back
The shoulders falling away from the neck
Moving the attention to the sense of hearing
noticing sounds outside of the room
practising not identifying the sounds
just moving from sound to sound
just like the breath the sounds have a beginning – a middle – and an end
Moving to sounds inside the room – the sound of my voice
allowing sounds to come and go as they please
Making a choice to allow ourselves to be exactly as we are in this moment
practising awareness of thoughts and emotions as they come and go
awareness of the sense of touch
paying particular attention to awareness of sensations in the body as we encounter them
When it feels right, gently noticing the movement of the breath
it’s such a constant feature of life that it’s easy to ignore
so taking time with it now
actually feeling the sensations as the breath
and rolls out
allowing it to move through its cycle of in-breath
and out-breath – without controlling
perhaps sensing the rise and fall of the belly
or the feeling of the air in the nostrils – or upper lip – if you care to, placing the hands on the belly
feeling the movement of the breath
just letting it roll in
and roll out
riding the waves of the breath from moment to moment
and then this breath
As we practice this meditation
if at any time sensations in the body become too uncomfortable,
thoughts carry us away to the past or the future or emotions arise that are too difficult
remembering that it is always possible to return to the rhythm of the breath as a refuge
practising coming back and being with the breath or the feet on the floor as an anchor
until ready to venture again into the meditation
just tuning in and listening to the sound of my voice once again
What is the experience at this moment?
Moving awareness to the level of physical sensations in the body
investigating the experience of aliveness
how this aliveness is known through the senses
What is our experience in the body?
And now perhaps bringing the attention to the sensations of touch, contact, and pressure
where the body makes contact with what you are sitting on
exploring these sensations
Bringing awareness to the breath in the body
to the changing patterns of physical sensations in the body
the expansion on the in-breath
and coming back on the out-breath.
Where do we feel the breath most vividly today?
perhaps the nostrils – the top of the lip – or the throat – the belly.
Perhaps imagining a balloon in the belly.
Every time we breathe in – noticing that the balloon inflates
Every time we breathe out – noticing that the balloon deflates
As best we can, staying in touch with the changing physical sensations in the belly for the full duration of the in-breath
and the full duration of the out-breath
is there is a slight pause between an in-breath and the following out-breath?
and between an out-breath and the following in-breath?
When does the in-breath become the out-breath?
There is no need to try to control the breathing in any way
simply letting the body breathe by itself
as best we can bringing a freshness – a beginners mind to exploring the body as we breathe
there is nothing that needs to be fixed, and no particular state to be achieved
simply surrendering to the experience as it is, without requiring that it be any different
At one moment we may be aware of the senses
aware of sounds – as they come and go
or physical sensations
and in another the rise and fall of emotion
practising letting go and gently coming back to the anchor of the breath
the sensations of the bottom on the chair – feet on the floor
What is our experience?
When thoughts come into the mind – which they may well do as that’s what minds do
Simply watching them with a gentle curiosity
noticing if we get caught up in them
what would it feel like to let them go?
we don’t have to follow those thoughts or feelings, or analyse them in any way
softening any judgements about having them,
Just noticing thoughts, and letting them drift on by choosing to come back to the body- back to the anchor of the breath – feet on the floor.
Whenever we notice that our attention has drifted off
That our attention is becoming caught up in sensations, thoughts or emotions – simply noticing that the attention has drifted – and then coming back to the breath
It’s okay and natural for thoughts to enter into our awareness, and for our attention to follow them
No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing our attention back to our breathing
we are practising flexing our mindfulness muscle
And when you are ready, expanding the attention to include the entire body from the soles of the
feet to the top of the head
being present to the totality of the experience of sitting here at this moment
gathering onto the sensations of the breath
noticing how it has been here with us the whole time
how it bringing the body together, keeping it alive
Feeling the earth beneath us
the sense of sitting here in this present moment
the breath rolling in
and rolling out – down into the ground
and breathing out – down into the earth, earthing ourselves
And when you are ready, gently turning our awareness to sounds in the room
the sounds outside of the room
feeling the room around us
maybe starting to move and stretch in any way that feels good right now
when you are ready opening the eyes
the meditation is now complete.
ALLOW TIME TO MOVE FROM SENSING TO TALKING PERHAPS BY SAYING –
“There is no rush, taking a few moments to notice what sensations are present in your body right
now” (long pause…..)
(When everyone is back, ask your first inquiry questions, for example -)
“I am interested to hear anyone’s experience of the meditation”