Learning to meditate is a generous gift to oneself. It is not a gift of self-improvement, there is nothing to improve. It is the gift of valuing the life you already live.
This week the focus is on the 1st Foundation of Mindfulness – mindfulness of the body. Becoming aware of the body is the primary way to become present to your life. Mindfulness of the body means noticing “that” you are hearing rather than “what” the sound is called; noticing “that” you are seeing rather than identifying and reacting to what you see. It is the same for touch, smell and taste. We are learning to become aware of our lives by softening our attention around the senses. Soften your gaze around what your eyes perceive and you will diminish the constant need to label. Soften your attention when listening and will hear far more. Soften your sense of touch, taste, and smell and you will be surprised by what you discover. You do this by paying more attention to the quality and texture of whatever object is being perceived by the senses while paying less attention to the label or identification we have given the object.
This is your week! Experiment with these instructions. You can do this within a second or two – while walking to a meeting; at the gas station or siting in the car. How you experience this week will be entirely about your willingness to give it a go.
Don’t forget to practice keeping your attention on one thing you do every day and spend at least 15 minutes every day in meditation.
With a deep bow to your practice…
BREATHING IN, BREATHING OUT PRACTICE
Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out.
Breathing in short, I know I’m breathing in short.
Breathing out short, I know I’m breathing out short.
Breathing in long, I know I’m breathing in long.
Breathing out long, I know I’m breathing out long.
Breathing in, I calm the mind.
Breathing out, I calm the mind.
Breathing in, I calm the body.
Breathing out, I calm the body.
(Say over and over as often as necessary to steady the mind)