Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience.
In week two of Sharon Salzberg’s meditation plan the emphasis lies on mindfulness with regard to our own bodies.
Now that we’ve practised to concentrate in the first week, we’re going to try to use that concentration to be mindful and just live in this moment.
Doing the exercises that focus on being aware of your body will also make you more aware of it when you’re not meditating.
In this week the aim is to meditate four times for 20 minutes. The focus isn’t just on breathing any more, but also on sounds that surround us and on our own physical feelings (the emotional feelings will be dealt with in next week’s program).
The different exercises go from a total body scan to a meditation on walking (I haven’t tried that one yet, but it sounds like fun). I really liked the body scan exercise, it made me feel focused and aware of my body.
It made me feel at home in my own body.
Trying to be more aware of small, everyday things can really make a difference. One of the ‘mini-meditations’ mentioned in the book focuses on drinking tea in mindful way.
In my opinion, this kind of meditation is very useful for runners (or people who do other sports for that matter). I’ve noticed some minor soreness in my shin during meditation, because I was so in sync with and focused on my body.
On my next run I remembered feeling that soreness and indeed it was present, hidden behind all the endorphins, but there was certainly a bit of tightness in my shin. I wouldn’t have noticed it if I hadn’t practised meditation but now I was able to deal with it before it could become a real problem (I took it easy, put some ice on the tight spot after running) and a couple of days later the tightness was gone.
Mindfulness for Breakfast, anyone?
I’m trying to be more mindful in everyday life, and I’m particularly trying to eat more mindful: not just wolfing down whatever’s in front of me, but trying to really taste and enjoy it. It’s really hard though, I’ve only succeeded in this a couple of times, most of the time I only think about trying to be mindful after I’ve finished my plate, whoops 😉
Mindfulness isn’t difficult,
we just need to remember to do it.
Next post on this subject will be about the third week of this program, mindfulness and emotions.
Other posts on this subject:
Real Happiness: the Power of Meditation
Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation – Introductory Post
Week One: Concentration