[5/30/22] Mind-Body Monday: A Meditation for Body Awareness
Today by special request I am going to be leading you through a special personal meditation to help you connect with your body on a deeper level. Learning to connect with our bodies in a way that allows us to be aware of early warning signs of dis-ease, is an essential tool for long life and happiness.
Before we begin I would like it if you are watching me on your lap top or phone, to set it down so you can just hear me. Seeing me will just be an unnecessary distraction. I would like it if you could lie down, or sit comfortably with your phone off, door closed and eyes closed for the duration of the meditation. I would also ask that you have a pen and paper ready to take notes about what you experienced or felt and you can share them with me later today, or later this week and I will respond in the comments. After this meditation I would prefer if you not try to jump up and comment. Just let the energy you create, carry you with a feeling of pleasure and awareness. I will give you a few minutes to set this up. While you are doing that, I am going to chat about why this is important for a couple of minutes.
So much of our lives we have learned or been told that pain needs to be ignored or feared,Thus we tend to minimize or avoid feeling. This type of self-ignorance, or awareness-avoidance is why we hear about women giving birth to babies they didn’t know they were pregnant with. It is also connected to people going in for pain they can finally no longer ignore, only to be told they have tumors the size of grapefruits. These are true stories and for some people incredibly hard to imagine, but it comes from a condition that is called, The Puppet Master Syndrome.
This occurs when someone lives primarily in their head. The majority of their lives focus around their congnitive functions, and their brain or head, acts as the master pulling the strings of their limbs. The body does what it is told, but the signals do not run both ways. The body doesn’t speak to the mind, the mind speaks to the body.
For the greatest degree of health, we must have a communication system that allows us to be embodied. Acting from our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of self. This enables us to feel more complete and satisified in life. It also has the benefit of greater health, the ability to heal oneself from dis-ease (as I have done) and an increase in sexual satisfaction. To be blunt, people cannot generally orgasm from thought alone. They need to learn how to put their energy in their genitals, and that is not something that women, specifically are ever really taught, hence the reason that they have a much harder time receiving pleasure, then they have giving it. But perhaps that’s a topic for another live, leave me Yes! In the comments at some point this week if you are interested in hearing more.
Now, let’s begin our meditation. We start by acknowledging there is nothing else we need to be doing right now but be present in our body. We will intentionally bring our thoughts and our attention into our body and out of our heads. And to begin helping us focus we will close our eyes. By removing the sensation of sight, we will more easily be able to feel rather than focus on processing what we’re seeing. Now we will start focusing on our breath. Breath is life. It is the first and last thing that we do. So, all meditation should begin by focusing on your breath. You can breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth or you can breathe in and out in whatever way is most comfortable for you. The important thing is that you breathe slowly, deeply, and fully. As you breathe pay attention without judgment to the sensation of your chest and abdomen rising and falling. Imagine it like the oceans wave coming onto and receding from the shore. With each intentional breath you will feel more and more connected with your body. You will begin to notice as you breathe that there are sensations in your body and you have not paid attention to. Take some moments now to simply allow them to rise into your awareness. And Breathe (Pause)
Perhaps these are sensations of temperature take a moment and see where you are warmer or where your body is cooler. Is there a fan or air conditioning in the room? Do you feel it touch or brush across any particular part of your body? Do you notice where your body comes into contact with your seat or bed that a part of you feels warmer? Perhaps you might now notice the interesting contrast of a part of your body feeling cooler and a different part feeling warmer. Just pay attention just allow awareness with knowledge there is nothing that needs to be done other than continuing to breathe. (Pause)
Pay attention now to feelings of pressure and lightness. Are there parts of your body that feel lighter and parts that feel denser? What part of your body do you notice presses more deeply against what you sit on or lay against? Perhaps you notice more pressure at the base of your spine, or the base of your skull. Perhaps it is your glutes or your heels that have the most sensation. Wherever it is in your body is right and perfect and there is nothing you need to do but pay attention and allow the awareness into your consciousness. And Breathe (Pause)
Now I’d like you to shift your focus to the sensation of pain or discomfort. Notice as you breathe if there is any part of your body that feels off or wrong or hurt. There is nothing that you need to do, just simply have awareness. There is no action item, there is nothing you need to do in this moment to fix or fade these sensations. Just simply have awareness and breathe. (Pause)
Now I’m going to lead you through something called a progressive meditation. This generally begins with your feet and at work up to the body or with your head working down. For today we are going to start at your toes. While one part of your consciousness is maintaining the breath of stillness and the awareness, another part of your consciousness will be focusing on your toes. Put all your awareness all your thoughts all your sensations and your ability to receive into the tips of your toes. Feel like the toenails, feel where each toe presses against the toe beside it, feel where they meet at the ball of your foot. If you like give them a little wiggle if you think it will help you feel them. If that’s not necessary and you can continue to remain still as you breathe.
Move up your body now to the ball of your foot notice any sensations, to the arch of your foot, to the top of your foot. Feel free to arch or point if it becomes helpful to feel this part of your body. Feel the heel of your foot, feel where it’s resting against the ground feel the ankles just above them. Feel free to rotate stretch clench or elongate your foot if it helps you to feel.
Now moving up from your ankles I want you to focus your attention on your calves feel their strength, their purpose, their power. Feel your shins. Fill your entire leg and foot from the knee down. Clench and release if it helps you feel. How do you continue to notice each part of the body, make a mental note on the side if you get any awareness or sensation of injury or illness or any part of your body that needs mental or medical attention after we are done with the meditation. Trust you will remember when you are done and you’ll write it down, for now just let it remain in the back of your awareness as we move upward in your body.
Feel your knees, your knee caps the muscles beneath your knees clench and release them if it helps you feel them. Have awareness of their perfection and the gentleness they sometimes require. And Breathe (pause)
Now move your attention up your thighs the front and the back the inside and the outside. Notice your flashes contact against the ground, against your clothes, against other parts of your body. Are your thighs touching? Notice where. Are they not touching? Notice where. Are you wearing fabric are you not are they touching something is it soft, is it hard, is it smooth, is it rough? Just notice and breathe
Now move your attention to the joining of your thighs your pubic bone your hip bones and your gluteal muscles. Notice the sensation of your lower abdomen, of your genitals, of your buttocks and where they press against your chair whatever you’re laying against. Clench and unclench your buttocks if it feels helpful. This lower part of our body is very powerful and important as it is concerned with reproduction elimination and pleasure. Release any judgments about shape or size that may arise.Take some breaths deeply and fully and try to breathe down all the way to your pubic bone, expanding the lower part of your abdomen which we call the Hara. In Daoist terms it is known as the seat of our internal fire. And many meditations and exercises with the energy we call Chi begin by stoking the flames of the space between our bellybutton and our pubic bone. Breathe into this space. (pause).
Now move your energy above your belly button to your upper abdomen, your stomach, the base of your rib cage. Feel your abdomen expand and contract like a balloon filling with air and then releasing. This part of our body is often sent a lot of judgment sometimes even resentment if you feel it doesn’t match yours or societies expectations of body type or size. So I want you to send it a tremendous amount of love, as you breathe and open your awareness to any sensations that feel unwell or ill at ease.Now just breathe.
Move your awareness up further into your rib cage into your lungs your chest your breasts. Feel your back expand with your breaths stretching out and up as you breathe and allow this pure clean air to expand your torso and fill your chest with a light of your awareness. Feel how your rib cage encompasses and protects so many powerful yet delicate organs and notice if you feel any dis-ease, or lack of ease in any part of your chest. Try to focus your breath to rise just your chest while keeping your abdomen still, and if you can’t that’s OK just give it your awareness.
Now we’re going to move up to our shoulders or arms or wrists and our hands. Allow your awareness to pour down like water from the top of your shoulder blades rounding the muscles of the deltoids, dripping down the biceps and triceps your forearms, and your wrists. Focus your attention and awareness on everything from the base of your neck to the base of your wrist. Notice sensation of the air in the room against the hairs in your arms and the pressure as they meet what you’re laying on or rest in your lap. Now just breathe.
Focus your awareness now on your hands your thumbs, your index finger, your middle finger, your ring finger, and your pinky finger give each one a slight wiggle as you think of it, if it helps you to place your attention more deeply into it. Now I feel your palms are they resting against something? Are they touching each other? What about the backs of your hands one of those feel like? Your hands do a lot. How do they feel? Are they strong? Are they dry? Are they supple? Do they ache? Just focus on the sensations of your hands and breathe.
Now move your energy and your awareness, your insight and your thoughts to your neck the base of your skull and your jaw. Allow your jaw to gently open , parting your teeth, allow your tongue to rest. If you are breathing in or out from your mouth the sensation of that breath as it passes your lips. Notice any tightness in your jaw that you need to intentionally release. Let a soft sigh, or deep groan past your lips with your next exhale releasing any tension in your neck or jaw.
Noticed the sensation of your lips and your nose and your cheekbones. Are you breathing easily, are you congested? Is it in more than one nostril? Just notice and breathe. Pause
Raise your awareness even higher, to the bridge of your nose, to your ears, to the sockets of your eyes. Rest your brow, release any tension, let your eyes be gently set. Notice any sensations, but do not try to control, just allow your breathe to lead your awareness and acceptance, of whatever yo notice and feel. Pause
Lastly bring your awareness to your skull. Your hair, your skin, the top of your head, the back of your head, wherever it rests. And breathe.
But, instead of focusing your attention only here, you are going to allow it to fall back with a breathe, like rain. Falling your head, then dripping down your body ending slowly, ever so slowly, back with your toes.
Feel your whole body. Your whole breathe. Your bones. Your organs. Your blood, your very pulse. Ask this wholeness of you to give you a health 1-10. Listen for the number.
To tell you if there is any action you need to take.. Listen for the response.
To help you know how you are truly doing. Without any scan by any doctor in any office, you are checking in a way that is profoundly different and yet powerful.
Remain in this beautiful of awareness, presence and rest, until you choose to arise. Then make any notes about your experience, and awareness for yourself or share them in this private group, for others.