Mindfulness, it has become a huge buzzword. For some it brings to mind images of granola, scents of poorly masked body odor, and the vision of a life lived with palms pressed harshly together. No one discusses it in a no nonsense or no BS way.
Mindfulness meditation according to the Buddha’s Teaching consisted of 4 foundations. The 4 being Contemplation on the Body, Contemplation on Feelings, Contemplation on Mind, and finally Contemplation on Dharmas. These are in essence 4 modes of Mindfulness. It ain’t the only way but again we’re talking foundations. Contemplation on the Body, first stop on the mindfulness train.
Simply stated Contemplation on the Body can be as simple or as advanced as you can handle. It all depends on how deep into the rabbit hole you’d like to go. My personal favorite is The Scan Method.
Starting from your toes bring your awareness to your toes, don’t just think of them, actually feel them. Scan the same way moving up your shins, and knees. Notice how they feel, what does clothing on them feel like, where exactly do your clothes contact them? Move on to the knees, thighs, pelvis, waste. If you are sitting, how does the weight of your body resting on them feel? Up to your stomach and lower back, take a deep belly breathe what sensations do you notice then? Continue this scan as intensely as you are able. Aim to go deeper, more slowly, more thoroughly each round. It’s about truly experiencing the Body and it’s modes of operation. The great thing is you can do this at the Doctor’s office, while driving, really during anything. So next time your on a long drive give it a try… just don’t close your eyes please.
Next month we’ll discuss Mindfulness of Feelings, who knows you may learn a thing