Guided meditation with Sherelle, focussing on the body, breath and mind. | Mindful Moments: Ep 05

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SHERELLE CONNAUGHTON: Hello
I’m Sherelle Connaughton from Monash Mindfulness. And in this Mindful Moment
we’re going to do a meditation focusing on the body,
the breath and the mind. So let’s start just by finding
a comfortable seated position and closing
the eyes if that’s comfortable for you. Of course you can keep the eyes
open if you prefer. We’ll begin just by noticing
what’s happening at the feet today. You may notice the weight
is a little more fully through one foot or the other. Feel free to adjust a little
if you wish to, to be a little more even. Know that the body
has lots of different asymmetries, so it’s fine
for the weight to be a little more fully through one
foot or the other. You might like to also notice
the feeling of the shoes or the socks, or maybe you have
bare feet. Just any sensations
there around the feet. And as you bring the attention
up to the legs, again just noticing
the sensations there. So perhaps there’s some
clothing touching the legs or perhaps there’s spaces
where there’s air, you’ll notice those
different sensations. Feel the support of the chair
underneath you, and perhaps along the spine. Just notice the position
you’ve taken instinctively for the hands.
And the hands, particularly the fingertips have
many sense receptors so just noticing
what you can observe there at the hands at this point in time. Notice what’s happening around
the palms, notice perhaps part of the hands
are in contact with the body, part of them are in contact
with the air around you. Again noticing those two
different sensations and the contrasts. And then as you bring
the attention from the hands, up the arms, again, just being aware
of the position. Perhaps the warmth
of the clothing. Bringing the attention
up to the shoulders, which is quite a common
point for holding a bit of tension so if you notice any
tightness around that shoulder, neck region, feel free just
to move the head, the neck a little.
To help that release. And also just watch that the
head hasn’t dropped forward at all. Encourage it to stay in line
with the spine as much as possible. For this creates more space
for the air to comfortably travel from the nose down
to the throat and the lungs. We’ll spend a little time now simply
witnessing the breath, really giving it
our full attention. You might like to focus
on the air coming in and out as your main focus. Or you might prefer to focus
more on the feeling of the abdomen expanding
and releasing a little as you inhale and exhale. Alternatively you could focus
on just watching the timing
of the breath, noticing how long it takes
to breathe in or out. You could even experiment
with counting the breath. If the mind is wandering a lot,
you can count one as you inhale, two as you exhale as a way
to keep the attention focused on the breath. Just counting in rounds
of say ten or so. Using any of those
techniques that feels right for you. Aiming to bring the attention
to the breath, as fully as you can. If the mind wanders from time
to time as it tends to do, just gently steer it back
to the breath. And know that over time, with practise we get better
at letting go of those distractions and bringing
the attention to where it’s needed. And as you’re watching
the breath you may notice sometimes that the breath
starts to change a little. Perhaps it will slow down a bit. Maybe it’ll get a little bit
deeper or it might even get very light and very gentle. There’s no right or wrong way
to breathe when we’re meditating. Normally the breath will just
take care of itself. If you do notice that you’re
feeling a little uptight or tense you might like to focus
on a slightly longer exhalation now, just to help you soften
a little bit more. Or if you notice you’re
feeling a little bit sleepy, perhaps focus on a slightly
deeper inhalation, just to bring a little bit more
oxygen and energy to the body. Having spent some time
focusing on the body and the breath. Now let’s take that same
witnessing attitude to the mind. Just noticing
the thoughts there. Perhaps noticing
if there’s a sense of the thoughts slowing down
a little. Perhaps there’s spaces
between the thoughts. Or perhaps the mind
really is very busy and active today and just
noticing and accepting that too. And know that over time
we can practise choosing which thoughts to follow
and which ones just to let go. And observe from a distance. It’s like you’re standing at
a train platform, watching a train
of thought come up, choose if that’s one
that you want to get on and follow, or perhaps you can just let
that one go by. Then as we do this practice
we’re really aiming to connect more
fully with that witnessing part of ourself, that can observe the body,
the breath and the mind. It’s our higher attention.
Our higher awareness. And so we’re really aiming
to identify with that part of ourselves
that can witness the body, the breath and the mind. It really is our
higher awareness. And the more we can
cultivate that the more mindful we can become. Gently now bringing attention
back to the breath, then back to the body. Just notice your position
in the chair. If the posture’s changed
a little, feel free just to adjust so you’re feeling more
steady and centred. Invite a sense of groundedness
down through the feet. And when you’re ready just
gently beginning to open the eyes if they’ve been closed. Feel free to ease out
and stretch a little if you need to. Notice how you feel at
the end of the practice. And if that’s been helpful
for you I hope that you might like to practise
that again sometime.

 

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