Body and breath meditation

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Body and breath meditation (Spend 15 to 20 minutes – this is considered optimum)

1.
– Find a quiet place and sit comfortably in your chair
– Sit so your spine feels supported with just its base in contact with the back of the chair
– Avoid slumping against the chair
– Now close your eyes or if you prefer, lower your gaze so it falls unfocused on the floor a metre or so from your feet
– Rest your hands on your thighs or knees, or in your lap
– Keep the soles of your feet flat on the floor
– Keep your legs relaxed and uncrossed

2.
– Allow your body to relax and let your mind become calm
– At the same time, stay alert and aware – if you find you cannot relax the first few times you try it, and if this instruction is making you anxious – do not worry
– Simply attend to your in-breaths & out-breaths for a minute or so, before resting your attention gently on your body

3.
– Bring your attention to all the places where your body is in contact with your surroundings – such as where your thighs and backs of knees touch the chair and where your feet make contact with the floor
– Spend a few moments exploring the sensations in your mind – don’t dwell too long – just make their acquaintance

4.
– now turn your attention to 1 foot
– Start with your toes, moving your attention from one toe to the next, then move to the sole of the foot, then the heel, and the top of the foot
– Repeat with your other foot, bringing each part briefly into awareness

5.
– Follow the same procedure now for your legs – one after the other
– Then progress from your pelvis and hips, up to your shoulders, until you have explored your whole torso

6.
– Now explore the sensations in your hands and arms
– Move your attention from one finger to the next
– Work up each hand & arm in turn to the shoulder
– Then attend to the neck and the head in the same way
– Spend a minute or two resting in the awareness of the whole body – just being, just breathing

7.
– Attend to your breath
– Focus on the sensations of each in breath and out breath
– Focus also on your abdomen or your nose
– If you wish, put your hand on your belly to help you attend to each rise and
– After approximately five minutes of mindful breathing, open your eyes and take in your surroundings again

Source: K.A. Verni (2015)

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