MBSR Sitting Meditation

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This segment guides you through a sitting
meditation with breath as the primary object of awareness. Arranging
to spend this time in a comfortable but attentive posture, preferably sitting up
without leaning back for support, if that’s possible for you. And at a time and
in a place where you won’t be disturbed… …sitting in a dignified posture, head
balanced on shoulders, arms and hands resting in a comfortable
position. This is a time for allowing ourselves to switch from our
normal mode of doing and moving and reacting to one of simply
being… …just being attentive to what is happening
within your own awareness right here and right now. And as you sit, just noticing
sensations of breath… …just noticing how your abdomen moves on
each in-breath and out-breath… …the movement of air through your nostrils,
a slight movement of chest and shoulders… Just bringing awareness to whichever part
of the breath cycle and wherever in your body it is most vivid,
whether it be your tummy, or your chest, or your shoulders, or the
movement of air through your nostrils. …and noticing the entire cycle of breath, from the movement of the air coming in and
filling the lungs, and extending the abdomen slightly… …the movement of air going out… and being
aware of the pause, the stopping point in between the
in-breath and the out-breath, and the out-breath and the next in-breath. And
it’s all one movement, even through the changing of direction,
just noticing where that pause is… …listening to what degree you can be aware
of the whole entire cycle. Recognizing that each part of the cycle is
different than another part. And this time through may be different
than the last time through, and each one is absolutely unique in its own
way, if you pay attention… You’ll notice your attention from time to
time, shifting away from breath. The mind may wander into fantasies or
Memories, thoughts of the day, worries that you
might have, things you need to do. And without giving yourself a hard time when
you notice that that’s happened… Just gently, but firmly, bring your awareness
back to the sensations of breathing. The actual physical sensations of breath
as it moves through your body… Being aware of where the mind goes… …gently shifting your awareness to
sensations of breath… …and noticing the tendency to want to
control your breathing… …letting the quality of attention be light and easy. One of simply observing and
noticing… …just as if you were on a float on a gently
undulating sea… …here you’re up with one wave and down
with the next. You don?t control the duration of the waves or the depth
between the waves, you’re just riding… …Just gently coming back to sensations of
Breathing. And you may notice that there are sounds
in addition to the sounds that come from this recording. Sounds of
traffic or movement, or something else going on. And just noticing that your attention has
moved to that perception of sound and staying with it just long enough to notice
the quality of the sound… …sound as vibration, tone, volume or
intensity… …being aware of the tendency of the mind to label sound as traffic or as voices or as
music. Then coming closer to the actual
experience of the sounds that hit your ear drums. Qualities of pitch or rhythm or
intensity. Separating out the actual reception of
sound from the labels we put on it… …and if you’ve been paying attention to
sound or notice that you’ve gone off… noticing
the perceptions of sound, bringing your attention once again back to
breath. Letting your breath be your anchor of
awareness, so that each time your awareness goes somewhere
else, just gently coming back to breath without
judgment or any upset, if you can do that… just saying, oh, my attention’s gone somewhere
else, just coming back to breath… …and noticing the tendency to have an
opinion about things… …about liking the way things are going
right now, not liking it, finding it uncomfortable. That too can be
an object of awareness, just noticing that you have an
opinion about things often. So that’s my liking mind… …just liking this, and there’s my critical mind
saying it would rather have things different than
they are, and that too can be noticed. Building the capacity to notice liking or Disliking, and not to have to do anything
about it. How freeing that is. And as you notice that happening, just
bringing your awareness to the physical sensations of breath,
wherever it’s most vivid for you. Just riding the entire cycle, one cycle
after another. You may notice your attention shifting to
body sensations, sensations of achiness or Discomfort.. of tension… …and as you notice these sensations of
discomfort, if that happens for you… and several things that can be done with such
a sensation, and one is to simply, if it’s one that can be
remedied by shifting a little bit. One way to deal with this
sensation is to allow yourself to shift, but in doing that… first,
becoming aware of the sensation, and noticing precisely where the achiness or
the tension might be… …and once you’re aware of where that is…
developing an intention to move, and moving mindfully and with full intent to
make that motion. That’s one way to deal with a strong
sensation. A second way, and neither one is better
than the other, as long as full awareness is brought into all
parts… It’s to notice that sensation… …noticing it in its fullness, being curious
about the extent of it, and how your experience of it is
at the moment… …the actual physical sensations of tension or of throbbing, or of tightness or of pulling…
…or tingling. And the second way of dealing with it is
just to notice that it’s possible to stay for a moment longer with
that sensation and experience it as pure sensation without the
labels of discomfort or tension or achiness, just
noticing where it is… …noticing your experience of it… …and staying with it without having to
react to it, at least for the moment. And if your attention keeps getting pulled
back to that area of intense sensation, knowing you have those two choices of
forming an intention to do something about it and mindfully doing it, but forming the
intention first. Or bringing your intention and attention
right into it. Being curious about it. How big is it? How long is it? What quality does it have?
How is it changing over time? And wherever the mind goes in terms of
thoughts, or liking or disliking, perceptions of sensation, or hearing of sound, or feelings of peace, or of sadness,or of frustration, or of anticipation. And just noticing these
raw thought forms and bringing awareness to sensations, to the
movement of breath. Being curious about breath. Observing
that no two breaths are exactly the same… …and seeing if it’s possible to have a
friendly attitude towards whatever comes into your awareness. Now if your mind has just gone off on a fantasy
or a thought, or a judgment or a worry, or a sensation, or a sound. Just in a friendly way noticing that this
Is happening, and coming back to breath… …recognizing the entire cycle of awareness
is important to this experience, including the movement from breath and
including the coming back… …nothing to do but ride the waves of
breath… …seeing if it’s possible that those moments
when your awareness has gone somewhere else. Noticing how that
flicker of attention happens, that moment when you realize it is somewhere
else and somewhere other than breath. …and at that moment, seeing if it’s possible
to have an attitude of celebration, of congratulation, of recognition that
this is a moment of awareness. You acknowledge yourself for noticing
you’ve gone somewhere else… and just easily bring your attention back to breath
in a friendly and a non-judgmental way. As this meditation comes to an end,
recognizing that you spent this time intentionally aware of your
moment to moment experience, nourishing and strengthening your ability
to be with whatever comes your way, building the capacity for opening the senses to the vividness, to
the aliveness of the present moment… …expanding your skill to be curious and available about whatever presents itself,
without judgment… …and when you’re ready, allowing the eyes
to let some light in, if you’ve had them closed, and permitting
yourself now to shift or to stretch in whatever way feels
comfortable as this sitting meditation ends.

 

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