Body Scan Meditation

I did a body scan meditation last night. On the beach, between dinner with current colleagues and drinks with former colleagues. (I’m at a work conference). I rarely practice body scan meditation but I think I should be doing it more. It’s simple and, if you’re feeling restless or anxious, it can help to quickly calm the body and mind.

How to:

Bring your awareness to your body. In this meditation you will bring your attention to different parts of the body, moving from top to bottom and then back again.

I like to start at the top, spending some time on the head and the senses. Bring your awareness to your ears, your hearing sense. What do you hear? I heard the sound of waves 🌊 , which is especially lovely for meditation, but even if you just hear the distant sounds of cars on a highway, note it, be aware of it.

Now bring awareness to the eyes, which are better closed for this kind of meditation. What do they look like —the back of your eyelids? How do your eyes feel? Are they relaxed?

Now to the jaw. How does it feel? Relax it, loosen it. Continue working your way down, to the neck and then the shoulders and arms, one by one.

Next, the chest, spend some time here, noting the rising and falling of the chest. And lower still to the lower belly and pelvis. One leg at a time, the thighs, the shins, the ankles, and finally the feet. In some places you might not feel much bodily sensation, but that’s ok, bring your awareness to the space itself, contemplate the space this body part fills.

Now turning around and working your way back up to the head. The jaw, the nose, the eyes and the ears.

Experiment with speed. Going too slowly from one body part to the next can make the mind more likely to wander, but going too fast will not allow you to fully use the body awareness as a tool for grounding into the present.

Good luck and happy sitting!

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