On To the More Difficult Parts
You are going ahead so I take it you were reasonably happy with the review you did yesterday. Good.
We already looked briefly at building awareness of your body and all the sensations you may be experiencing in different parts of your body.
Touch is the important sense here, but it also goes a lot deeper than that. In a physiological sense, touch is generally taken as relating to external objects that come in contact with us.
But the awareness of body also includes how we feel within our bodies. This includes obvious sensations such as external touch and pain, less obvious sensations such as tension, and deeper sensations related to the workings of our inner bodies.
For most, becoming aware of these sensations is something quite new. It also flies in the face of much of what we normally do. Usually we try to suppress pain and to distract our attention from unpleasant sensations such as tension.
Of course, in doing so we also distract ourselves from many pleasant sensations as well as failing to recognize what our bodies may be telling us.
Reversing these habits may be more difficult than at first seems, but it’s time to make a start.
Task for Today
Today’s task is a slightly longer exercise to help you to become aware of the sensations in your body.
Unlike the meditations we had met so far, there is no audio with this one. This will be the case from now on in this introductory course.
Find a comfortable place to lie down where you won’t be disturbed. If this is not possible then find a quiet place to sit.
You might find it useful to close your eyes fully when undertaking this task, but you are not trying to sleep. So avoid becoming drowsy. Also, avoid having coffee or other stimulants before you start.
Start with the breathing exercise. You need to relax so be sure to take full deep breaths, but do not strain or rush your breathing.
Continue with this for a few moments. As ideas enter your mind, observe them and allow them exit without commentary or analysis.
Relax your toes and your feet. Concentrate on this part of your body. What sensations do you feel?
Relax your ankles and knees. Relax your leg muscles. Again place all your concentration on these parts of your body and note the sensations you feel.
Relax your fingers and hands. Loosen up your wrists and elbows. Once again, note in your mind the sensations you feel.
Relax your arms, your shoulders and your chest. Note the sensations. If you have found any tension in your body, concentrate for longer on that part.
Feel your breath sink lower and lower into your lungs. As your shoulders drop, feel your breath fill the upper part of your chest.
Move to your heck and head. Relax your face and your jaw and loosen your tongue.
Your should now find that your heartbeat and breathing are steady and your breathing is relaxed. Continue with the exercise until you achieve this.
When finished, make a note in your journal of anything you found. Also, note if you feel any different after this mediation than before.