My experiences fighting colon and breast cancer played a tremendous role in my consciousness. My self-awareness was heightened by coming face to face in a real way with mortality.
But the fact is, you don’t have to experience some tragedy or moment of truth to start living a mindful and conscious life. The purpose of this post and the current series – “Mindfulness and Meditation” by Dr. Richard J. Davidson is to provide a life opportunity to learn to appreciate the silence in meditation and the awareness it brings.
My wish is to be a conduit for making it a practice to live in the here and now, not the past or the future. Realize that NOW is the only reality there is.
So, as I promised in my previous post, this lesson’s Meditation Technique is:
“The Body Scan”
A Sensory Experience of the Body.
This practice will focus on:
• The systematic review of regions of the body.
• Connect the mind to what we’re experiencing physically.
• Improve our Focus and Intention.
Led by Beverly Hays Center for HealthyMinds
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Make yourself comfortable. Sit in a chair and allow your back to be straight, but not stiff, with your feet on the ground. You could also do this practice standing or if you prefer, you can lie down and have your head supported.
Your hands could be resting gently in your lap or at your side. Allow your eyes to close, or to remain open with a soft gaze.
Take several long, slow, deep breaths. Breathing in fully and exhaling slowly.
Begin to let go of noises around you. Begin to shift your attention from outside to inside yourself. If you are distracted by sounds in the room, simply notice this and bring your focus back to your breathing.
Slowly bring your attention down to your feet. Begin observing sensations in your feet. You might want to wiggle your toes a little, feeling your toes against your socks or shoes. Just notice, without judgment.
Perhaps you don’t feel anything at all. That is fine, too. Just allow yourself to feel the sensation of not feeling anything.
Move your attention up to your ankles, calves, knees, and thighs.
Continue to observe the sensations you are experiencing throughout each region of your body.
Let your attention expand out to include the entire body as a whole. Bring into your awareness the top of your head down to the bottom of your toes. Feel the gentle rhythm of the breath as it moves through the body.
As you come to the end of this practice, take a full, deep breath, taking in all the energy. Exhale fully. And when you are ready, open your eyes and return your attention to the present moment.
When we ground ourselves in meditation practice it benefits not just us but others as well. It reminds us to take the time to ask – “How am I feeling today?” What emotions am I aware of?
The practice of self-awareness in our physical body helps us better connect with our emotions.
I love the idea of Meditation without judgment as a basic premise. Knowing that it’s okay to accept what is and move on. Understanding that loving oneself is paramount to loving others. We are all connected and when we reaffirm love for ourselves it can allow us to embrace and forgive others.
The Universe dictates that Love, Compassion, and Empathy are the essence of what our lives are meant to be. As John Lennon once wrote:
“I am the Walrus”