Welcome to the second instalment of my journey into Mindfulness. We’ve been concentrating on breathing to begin with, now we will combine breathing with the body. We will integrate the mind and body into a powerful whole.
Many people get to the second instalment expecting to clear their minds immediately. They want to get rid of their troubled thoughts and soothe their frayed edges.
But it takes time and practice. In the body scan we put our attention for longer periods of time on something we usually ignore, our body.
So, here goes the body scan:
This meditation will take about 20 minutes. Lie on your back, eyes closed or open. I almost fell asleep while doing this scan, it’s so relaxing!
Start breathing mindfully. Bring your awareness to the sensations in your belly and abdomen as you breathe in and out, feel the rise and fall.
Now, bring the spotlight of your attention to your feet and legs, wiggle your toes, feel the sensations.
Move your attention , as you breathe, to your thighs, groin, hips, buttocks, lower back, upper back and shoulders. Focus on your hands and then your face. Go through your entire body. Twenty seconds on each part. Direct your breath to each part of your body, almost like you were breathing into each part.
After you have scanned your entire body, spend a few minutes being aware of your body as a WHOLE. Wiggle your toes and fingers and move your legs and arms.
At times your mind might wander with other thoughts. Make a note where your thoughts went off to, it could be revealing!
As far as your mind wandering, you may find that you are unable to control this. And many thoughts are unwholesome, thoughts you don’t want.
The mind is a double-edged sword: It is capable of doing us great benefit as well as injury.
The untamed mind jumps from thought to thought. But, we do have a choice through meditation which thoughts to entertain and develop and which to observe and dismiss.
Replacement is a weapon you have against unwholesome thoughts. When a bad thought arises, you can replace it with a good one. Like weeds in your garden, when you see one, pluck it!
Walking is a great exercise and a wonderful stress reliever plus a mood booster. I go to the woods near my house for an hour walk, one mile into the woods and one mile back. I take my time and sit on a bench at the halfway mark trying to notice everything around me.
When I’m walking, I focus on my feet as they land on the ground and I feel my muscles and tendons in my legs stretch and contract. I notice my whole body moving as I walk. I try to pay attention to all the sights, sounds, and smells. I see how the patterns of light and shade shift unexpectedly. It doesn’t matter what time of year, every moment of every season has many sensory delights.
Enjoy every moment of your walk, life only happens here, at this very moment. The birds are singing. Enjoy the here and NOW.
When I’m walking, I say to myself:
“Just NOW is enough! Just NOW is all there is!”
Remember, life is just a series of present moments. If you don’t show up for these moments, you’ve missed your life.
Walking is a great way to “let go”. Envision you are leaving your worries behind and taking a step into a new moment, a peaceful moment.
I was left at the end of the second instalment with this thought:
When you remember some time you enjoyed in the past, do you feel sad that that time is gone forever? Do you wish you could bring it back?
But, you can’t bring it back!
All the moments in life are fleeting, that’s why you have to ENJOY the present moment and pay attention to it.
See you for the third instalment.
Also published on Medium.