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Calming the Anxious Mind

A key way to calm the mind is to ground the attention in the body. By attuning to the body, breath and the senses we can allow awareness of the present to relieve the anxiety of the mind.

In this practice, finding a posture where you can sit with ease, with relaxation. Closing your eyes, or if that's not comfortable lowering your gaze. And in this practice of calming the anxious mind, we're going to attune to the body and the breath as a way to ground, bring some ease, some relaxation. So first beginning by scanning your attention through your body and releasing any unnecessary tension. Softening your jaw.

Releasing your shoulders. Relaxing your belly. And then no matter what is happening in your mind or in your life, bring your attention into your body. Feeling that contact fullness of your body, touching the ground, the earth. Feel that sensation of contact and the sit bones, the thighs, the feet.

Feeling a sense of the earth supporting you. And attuning to the stillness and the silence and the groundedness of the earth. Imagining you're like a tree rooting down into the earth, grounded, connected. And then bringing awareness to the sensations in your body. And be aware that the body is a wonderful resource for grounding attention in the present moment.

No need to think about the body nor visualize. Just sensing your posture in the body attuning to stillness. And all the sensations that are present. Tense, relaxed, tingling, vibration. And allowing whatever's here to be here.

And each time you notice your attention pulled to thoughts, to worries to an imagined future, simply recognizing, oh, thinking is happening, planning is happening, anticipation is happening. Worry is like this. Fear thinking is like this. And then releasing those thoughts and returning attention to the physical experience of sitting, grounded on the earth. And the same way, including awareness of breathing.

Not needing to breathe in any particular way, allowing the breath to breathe itself. Feeling and sensing all the sensations of the inhale, sensations of the exhale, any pause between breaths. And allowing attention to settle or absorb into the simple sensations of breathing. Being curious how each breath is distinct from the last. And in particular, feeling the quality of the exhale.

Noticing the quality of release or ease or relaxation as we release in the exhale. And if it's helpful, you can slightly elongate the exhalation. Allowing a pause before the next in-breath. Noticing how grounding attention in the body and the breath can divert attention away from the mind and its thoughts and worries, and anxiety. And again, each time your attention is pulled into thoughts, into worries about the future, anxiety, noticing it, naming it.

Oh, thinking is like this. Planning and worry is like this. And then shifting your attention to your body and notice if you feel any particular emotion, like anxiety, worry, fear. If it's very strong, it can be helpful to place a hand where you feel that experience, that emotion. Hand on the chest or hand on the belly, bringing a quality of care, soothing, kind attention.

And as you release the thoughts, allows the feelings to subside. And then again, we resume awareness of the body. awareness of breath. We bring awareness to anything that's not the anxious mind, anything that allows us to ground in the present moment. Sounds, quality of space all around us.

Feeling the spaciousness of awareness can hold any experience. And continuing to ground awareness in the body, with breathing. And being curious if there are any sensations that are pleasant, or easeful, grounding, calming, soothing. And letting our attention rest there. In this last minute of the practice, continuing to atune to the quality of relaxation on the exhale.

To the sensations of the body, particularly those that have ease, groundedness. And aware of other experience around. Sounds, other sensations. And releasing the thoughts as they arise, unhooking attention and coming back over and over into the physical sensory present moment. And with mindfulness, each time you notice your attention being caught by a thought or worry, a plan anxiety, noticing that, naming it, releasing it.

Feeling the body, feeling any particular emotion that's present. Bringing a kind attention, soothing attention. Are there any feeling of anxiety or fear, continuing to use the breath as a support for not just being in the present moment, but also for relaxation and ease. And as we bring the practice to a close, noticing the influence of this practice. Knowing that you can continue to bring this quality of grounded attention in the body and grounded attention to the breath as a way of working with the anxious mind.

Please enjoy your practice.

Meditation

4.3

Calming the Anxious Mind

A key way to calm the mind is to ground the attention in the body. By attuning to the body, breath and the senses we can allow awareness of the present to relieve the anxiety of the mind.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

In this practice, finding a posture where you can sit with ease, with relaxation. Closing your eyes, or if that's not comfortable lowering your gaze. And in this practice of calming the anxious mind, we're going to attune to the body and the breath as a way to ground, bring some ease, some relaxation. So first beginning by scanning your attention through your body and releasing any unnecessary tension. Softening your jaw.

Releasing your shoulders. Relaxing your belly. And then no matter what is happening in your mind or in your life, bring your attention into your body. Feeling that contact fullness of your body, touching the ground, the earth. Feel that sensation of contact and the sit bones, the thighs, the feet.

Feeling a sense of the earth supporting you. And attuning to the stillness and the silence and the groundedness of the earth. Imagining you're like a tree rooting down into the earth, grounded, connected. And then bringing awareness to the sensations in your body. And be aware that the body is a wonderful resource for grounding attention in the present moment.

No need to think about the body nor visualize. Just sensing your posture in the body attuning to stillness. And all the sensations that are present. Tense, relaxed, tingling, vibration. And allowing whatever's here to be here.

And each time you notice your attention pulled to thoughts, to worries to an imagined future, simply recognizing, oh, thinking is happening, planning is happening, anticipation is happening. Worry is like this. Fear thinking is like this. And then releasing those thoughts and returning attention to the physical experience of sitting, grounded on the earth. And the same way, including awareness of breathing.

Not needing to breathe in any particular way, allowing the breath to breathe itself. Feeling and sensing all the sensations of the inhale, sensations of the exhale, any pause between breaths. And allowing attention to settle or absorb into the simple sensations of breathing. Being curious how each breath is distinct from the last. And in particular, feeling the quality of the exhale.

Noticing the quality of release or ease or relaxation as we release in the exhale. And if it's helpful, you can slightly elongate the exhalation. Allowing a pause before the next in-breath. Noticing how grounding attention in the body and the breath can divert attention away from the mind and its thoughts and worries, and anxiety. And again, each time your attention is pulled into thoughts, into worries about the future, anxiety, noticing it, naming it.

Oh, thinking is like this. Planning and worry is like this. And then shifting your attention to your body and notice if you feel any particular emotion, like anxiety, worry, fear. If it's very strong, it can be helpful to place a hand where you feel that experience, that emotion. Hand on the chest or hand on the belly, bringing a quality of care, soothing, kind attention.

And as you release the thoughts, allows the feelings to subside. And then again, we resume awareness of the body. awareness of breath. We bring awareness to anything that's not the anxious mind, anything that allows us to ground in the present moment. Sounds, quality of space all around us.

Feeling the spaciousness of awareness can hold any experience. And continuing to ground awareness in the body, with breathing. And being curious if there are any sensations that are pleasant, or easeful, grounding, calming, soothing. And letting our attention rest there. In this last minute of the practice, continuing to atune to the quality of relaxation on the exhale.

To the sensations of the body, particularly those that have ease, groundedness. And aware of other experience around. Sounds, other sensations. And releasing the thoughts as they arise, unhooking attention and coming back over and over into the physical sensory present moment. And with mindfulness, each time you notice your attention being caught by a thought or worry, a plan anxiety, noticing that, naming it, releasing it.

Feeling the body, feeling any particular emotion that's present. Bringing a kind attention, soothing attention. Are there any feeling of anxiety or fear, continuing to use the breath as a support for not just being in the present moment, but also for relaxation and ease. And as we bring the practice to a close, noticing the influence of this practice. Knowing that you can continue to bring this quality of grounded attention in the body and grounded attention to the breath as a way of working with the anxious mind.

Please enjoy your practice.

Meditation

4.3

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