5-Step Mindfulness Meditation Practice To Develop Awareness, Acceptance And Compassion[Excerpt from The Art of Untangling: Mindfulness Journal For Healing And Transformation]
Find a quiet and peaceful space for your meditation practice. Get comfortable, close your eyes gently, relax your body, consciously softening any obvious tension. Let go of any habitual thoughts or plans. Set an intention to be kind and loving to yourself. Decide to be gentle with yourself, offer compassion if anything difficult comes up.
Take a deep breath in, then release it slowly and completely. Then again, and again, stretching the first few in and out breaths. Slowly allow the breath to settle at your natural pace. Observe it as it flows in and out of your body. Feel the sensations of your breath carefully, relaxing into each breath. After a few breaths your mind will probably wander. When you notice this, gently guide your awareness back to your breath. Bring yourself back as many times as you wander off – this returning to your breath is the how you build your mindfulness muscle.
Move your awareness into your physical body. Scan it slowly and notice any sensations: pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral. Is there tension, pain, heaviness, or restlessness? See if you can allow yourself to feel those sensations without trying to change them. Observe your sensations and allow them to pass.
Notice any thoughts and feelings as they come up. Observe them and let them pass, like clouds in the sky. Try not to judge them, make them right or wrong, or allow them to take over this moment – just observe them as they come and go. Try to be present to any pain or discomfort that comes up – physical or emotional – not resist or fight it, but accept it is happening knowing that it will pass. If you start feeling overwhelmed, come back to the sensation of your breath. Feel it fully, moving in and out. Be gentle with yourself – this is hard work.
Take a deep breath, scan your body again and release any tension you’re still holding onto. Breathe in peace, breathe out tension (it’s helpful to make some noise). Breathe in love and compassion, breathe out fear and pain. Let it all go. You are here now. Focus on something good in your life right now. Realize that good and bad are both present in every day but you can choose to focus on joy and gratitude. Breathe deeply, and thank yourself for being here.
You’re worthy of putting yourself first!
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