Guided meditation with explanations. This is a variation of the “the breathing space” meditation which is taught in MBSR. The steps I am guiding you through are 1. Gathering/ grounding in the present moment 2. Exploring what is here 3. Opening up to engage with the world again
Intention – Changing gear. Coming back and turning towards our present moment experience (thoughts, emotions, sensations)
Attention – On the experiences being felt in the body, awareness of thoughts and emotions.
Practising gathering onto the breath or the feet on the floor as an anchor, and then expanding into the whole of the body.
Attitude – Curiosity, Openness, Acceptance, Kindness, Non-judging.
3 Step Breathing Break – guided meditation
First of all, congratulations that you are here. As you chose this meditation, you already had the most important moment of mindfulness: you realised that you need a break …..
We all get to the point where we need a break, where we need to shift gear when we need to change the perspective when we need a pause and a deep breath (or many).
But how often are those situations also the ones where we are trapped in the story we tell ourselves, we are grinding, and we are pushing hard, and the harder we push, the less we move. And the tenser and we get the less flexible we become.
Having this moment of mindfulness in which we realise that we are stuck and needing a break to breathe and relax and reassess is already a huge step.
The next giant step was to act on the impulse in that moment of clarity. And not to tell ourselves that we will take a break once we have pushed through but to take that break now.
You are here – you are listening to this, so you have already mastered the biggest hurdles. Take a moment to congratulate yourself on that!
And now, let’s begin with the meditation.
Step 1. GATHERING – Grounding in the present moment
If you haven’t done so yet and have the option, I’d like to invite you to change the place and the position. ….. If you have been sitting – stand up if you have been in the office – go outside. Whatever is possible in your situation today to manifest the idea of change.
Once you found your position – whatever works for you today – settle into that position. Check-in with yourself and find a position that is balanced, dignified, relaxed and still awake and alert.
If possible, closing the eyes or softening your gaze.
Gathering the attention to focus on the physical sensations of the breathing itself. Maybe on the
sensations of the breath in the nose……or moving in close to the sense of the breath in the
belly . . . feeling the sensations of the belly expanding as the breath comes in . . . and falling
back as the breath goes out again. Practising following the breath all the way in and all the way out. Letting the breath fill the body with kind attention – breathing out, sending the body the intention of relaxation.
Breathing in …. Breathing out…
And if the mind wanders, which it will – that’s what minds do – without judgement but with kindness gently bringing the attention back to the breath.
Breathing in …. Breathing out ….
With the next breaths, we move to
Step 2 – INVESTIGATION – What is already there?
As the breath flows naturally dropping into the present moment, becoming aware of how things are in this moment. With gentle curiosity scanning through the body. What is there to recognize today? What is the weather inside the body?
● What BODY SENSATIONS here right now? Perhaps there are sensations of tightness or bracing, is there a familiar pattern? Areas of tension where emotions tend to manifest? What is written in the body?
● What EMOTIONS are here? As best we can, turning towards any sense of discomfort or
unpleasant feelings, recognising them, acknowledging them. Maybe there is a strong emotion in the foreground or numbness. Acknowledging that these emotions are here. Perhaps – if that is possible today – exploring what emotions are underneath or more subtle. There is no need to push any of them away. Welcoming them – as best we can, accepting them and giving them room.
● What THOUGHTS are going through the mind? Acknowledging thoughts as mental events. Labelling them without getting caught up in the story. “thinking” “planning” “remembering” “dreaming”. Thoughts are real, but they are not necessarily true. Recognizing them, labelling them and letting them go again.
Bringing awareness to the whole of our inner experience: body sensations, thoughts and emotions. Acknowledging the vivid play of life inside ourselves.
3. RELAXING – Opening up
Slowly moving into the last step of the meditation. In your own time, letting go of the exploration of thoughts, emotions and sensations and coming back to the breath, following the sensations of the breath flowing through the body. Breathing in … Breathing out …
When you are ready …. Taking a long deep inbreath ….. filling the lungs ….. followed by an equally long and deep outbreath.
And another one. A deep inbreath feeling where the breath enters the body ….. how the breath flows through the body and with the outbreath having the intention of relaxing letting go of areas of tightness and tension
And another deep inbreath. Becoming aware of the body as a whole, the posture, and facial expression. If there are sensations of discomfort, tension, or resistance, as best we can gently turning towards and breathing into them….having the intention to soften…..releasing….letting go on the out-breath.
one more time – a deep, long inbreath – becoming aware of how the body is moved by the breath and a long …. slow …. deep outbreath. Letting go ….. letting go ….. letting go …..
Resuming the natural breath …
Opening to the sounds in the room…
Opening the eyes
And as best we can, bringing this expanded awareness to the next moments of the day.
Thank you. The mediation is now complete.