I am writing from the tranquility of The Practice Rooms in Salisbury. This week’s mindfulness post is about letting things be as they are. Just observing without trying to change. It isn’t about passively resigning yourself to things that you are not happy about or getting stuck in a rut. It is about taking everything in without jumping to conclusions or overthinking. It is about switching off your autopilot so that you can hear the wisdom of your subconscious. I know now that when my head is spinning and I just don’t understand a situation or can’t solve a problem, it is time to stop thinking and just be. It is amazing what treasures your subconscious can present you with if you give it a chance.
The first week, I suggested meditating on your breath and last week doing a body scan. This week, try meditating on your breath and on your body. The key here is to observe, not analyse; to be, not to do.
This meditation is best done sitting upright with your feet on the floor and hands in your lap.
- Start by observing your breath – don’t try to change it, just observe it
- After a few breaths scan your body for any sensations (an itch, tingling, discomfort, pain, etc.)
- Focus in on that sensation and observe it – don’t try to analyse it, just observe it
- Does it intensify? Or lessen? Or does it go away completely with sustained attention?
- After a while, move onto any other sensation and observe that in the same way
- If your mind wanders, come back to observing your breath for a while before scanning your body for sensations again and observing them one at a time
- Allow at least 10 minutes for this meditation, but take longer over it if you can.
I also find that walking mindfully in the countryside helps clear my mind. Walk anywhere and really observe the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings that you encounter. If you find yourself thinking, notice something around you and focus on that instead. Keep drawing your attention away from your thoughts and back to what is around you.
Walking is being
It is freedom from doing
Being not doing.