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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

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Falling Back to Sleep

In this meditation, we'll use breathing strategies and body relaxation to rest deeply and settle back into sleep.

Hi, if you're listening to this meditation, you're most likely awake in the middle of the night. I know this can be frustrating. So we'll use this meditation as an opportunity to help settle the mind and relax the body. It's important to first acknowledge that and trying to force ourselves to fall asleep, just ends up creating more tension. And so notice your relationship to being awake right now.

Is there frustration, tension, stress, or rumination about tomorrow? Or just about sleep, in general? Let's start by noticing those thoughts. Just giving them space to move through the sky of your mind. Recognizing that they're just thoughts. They're not necessarily true. And see if you can invite your awareness back to this breath, just the simplicity of one moment of breathing.

Not focusing on the breath for the sake of falling asleep. But just meeting the breath with curious awareness. Any sort of forcing or trying to manipulate yourself into sleep or just create more tension. So we meet this moment as we would any other moment of wakefulness. Giving it presence, and allowing that presence to be a little more relaxed.

And if we happen to fall asleep, then we can allow that to happen. Let's take a few deep breaths together as a way to lower the heart rate and relax more deeply on each exhale. So we'll start by breathing in slowly through the nose. And exhaling everything out slowly through the mouth. Breathing in again through the nose.

And out through the mouth. Letting the body relax on the exhale, releasing all the air in your lungs. And just take a few more breaths like that at your own pace. Each time you notice the mind wandering off into thoughts, try to observe it with spacious awareness, meeting it with complete ease. Just a soft acknowledgement, oh, the mind is thinking, as if you were watching the mind dreaming.

And then return that attention back to this breath. You're welcome to continue the deep breathing if you find it helpful or you can let the breath settle back into its natural rhythm. We'll do a body relaxation practice. Scanning our awareness from the head all the way down to the toes. Remember, even though we might have that desire to fall back to sleep, any sort of strong intention to fall asleep can often create more tension in the body.

And so we approach this moment with the recognition that we're awake right now, trusting that maybe there's some wisdom to the mind and the body wanting to be awake in this moment. Since we can't force ourselves to sleep, we can meet this moment with presence. Inviting the mind to relax, inviting the body, to relax. It's a win-win. Maybe we fall asleep.

And if not, we're practicing relaxation, presence, meditation. And that in itself is restorative. So see if you can bring that sort of relationship to our practice. As we start by inviting all the muscles in the face to relax. The forehead, the eyebrows.

Feeling the eyelids, like little blankets on the eyeballs. Sliding down the nose, the cheeks, the mouth. Relaxing, the jaw, the tongue, the throat region. And really letting your head get heavy as it rests on the pillow. Sliding your awareness down to the neck and into the shoulders.

Notice how the shoulders are right now. If there's some tension, inviting the shoulders to relax. If it's helpful, you can feel as though you're breathing into these different parts of the body. Even visualizing the breath, moving in and then touching any tension that might be there, enveloping with presence care, kindness and ease. And then on that exhale, imagine the tension softening just a bit.

Sliding down through the arms, the biceps, the triceps, forearms, and the hands. Notice if there's any clenching in the fingers. Invote the hands to be soft and feel any energy moving through your body. Sometimes when we're awake, it's because there's excess energy in the body. We can't always force that to relax.

Sometimes it needs to run its own course. But we can meet it with relaxed awareness. We can give it a grounded, peaceful container to move through us so that it can run its course. And so that we can feel some restoration and ease, even when that energy is in the body. Well, bring the awareness up to the chest region.

Maybe feeling your heart beating. You're precious heart, taking care of you. Sliding down to the belly. Letting each exhale soften your body deeper into the mattress beneath you. And letting each breath that you feel through the belly and through the body be an invitation for gentle gratitude that you're alive right now and that you're awake to experience that aliveness.

Sliding the awareness now to your back. Feeling the breath as it expands some of those back muscles on an inhale. And then feeling the back relax on an exhale. Scanning these regions of the body. Noticing maybe the most subtle areas of tightness.

You can bring your awareness there, invite those areas to soften. Sliding down to the pelvic region. Relaxing this area of the body. Sometimes when we're stressed, we can get a lot of tension in this area. And so we just give it the invitation to be at ease.

Feeling into the thighs, hamstrings, the quadriceps. Maybe even feeling the coziness of your likes under a blanket or in your pajamas. What's it like to feel cozy in your body? To feel the stillness of the night? As you continue to slide your awareness down through your knees. Into the calves, the shins. Each time, your awareness touches the body it's like a soft hand on our back saying, it's okay.

You can relax here. You're safe. I'm here for you. Finally coming down to the feet. Feeling the feet, maybe tucked into the covers all the way at the other side of you're bedding.

And now as you take your next breath, see if you can feel the breath moving through the entire body, enveloping it with presence, with compassion and with love. See what that would feel like. And then on that exhale, feel the body surrender just a little bit more. Each time the mind wanders off, we just bring it back into the body. Body is always present.

And so as we come to the end of this meditation, remember you can replay this or listen at any point. And if you'd like to stay in the silence, you can continue to practice being with your breathing, scanning through the body and biting it to relax. And at the very least, just taking this time to appreciate this moment of aliveness. We can't fight it, it will just create more tension. So we might as well appreciate it.

And if that leads to deeper sleep and ease, great. If not, we've restored ourself through presence. I wish you deep rest. Thank you for your practice and take care.

Meditation

4.6

Falling Back to Sleep

In this meditation, we'll use breathing strategies and body relaxation to rest deeply and settle back into sleep.

Duration

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

Hi, if you're listening to this meditation, you're most likely awake in the middle of the night. I know this can be frustrating. So we'll use this meditation as an opportunity to help settle the mind and relax the body. It's important to first acknowledge that and trying to force ourselves to fall asleep, just ends up creating more tension. And so notice your relationship to being awake right now.

Is there frustration, tension, stress, or rumination about tomorrow? Or just about sleep, in general? Let's start by noticing those thoughts. Just giving them space to move through the sky of your mind. Recognizing that they're just thoughts. They're not necessarily true. And see if you can invite your awareness back to this breath, just the simplicity of one moment of breathing.

Not focusing on the breath for the sake of falling asleep. But just meeting the breath with curious awareness. Any sort of forcing or trying to manipulate yourself into sleep or just create more tension. So we meet this moment as we would any other moment of wakefulness. Giving it presence, and allowing that presence to be a little more relaxed.

And if we happen to fall asleep, then we can allow that to happen. Let's take a few deep breaths together as a way to lower the heart rate and relax more deeply on each exhale. So we'll start by breathing in slowly through the nose. And exhaling everything out slowly through the mouth. Breathing in again through the nose.

And out through the mouth. Letting the body relax on the exhale, releasing all the air in your lungs. And just take a few more breaths like that at your own pace. Each time you notice the mind wandering off into thoughts, try to observe it with spacious awareness, meeting it with complete ease. Just a soft acknowledgement, oh, the mind is thinking, as if you were watching the mind dreaming.

And then return that attention back to this breath. You're welcome to continue the deep breathing if you find it helpful or you can let the breath settle back into its natural rhythm. We'll do a body relaxation practice. Scanning our awareness from the head all the way down to the toes. Remember, even though we might have that desire to fall back to sleep, any sort of strong intention to fall asleep can often create more tension in the body.

And so we approach this moment with the recognition that we're awake right now, trusting that maybe there's some wisdom to the mind and the body wanting to be awake in this moment. Since we can't force ourselves to sleep, we can meet this moment with presence. Inviting the mind to relax, inviting the body, to relax. It's a win-win. Maybe we fall asleep.

And if not, we're practicing relaxation, presence, meditation. And that in itself is restorative. So see if you can bring that sort of relationship to our practice. As we start by inviting all the muscles in the face to relax. The forehead, the eyebrows.

Feeling the eyelids, like little blankets on the eyeballs. Sliding down the nose, the cheeks, the mouth. Relaxing, the jaw, the tongue, the throat region. And really letting your head get heavy as it rests on the pillow. Sliding your awareness down to the neck and into the shoulders.

Notice how the shoulders are right now. If there's some tension, inviting the shoulders to relax. If it's helpful, you can feel as though you're breathing into these different parts of the body. Even visualizing the breath, moving in and then touching any tension that might be there, enveloping with presence care, kindness and ease. And then on that exhale, imagine the tension softening just a bit.

Sliding down through the arms, the biceps, the triceps, forearms, and the hands. Notice if there's any clenching in the fingers. Invote the hands to be soft and feel any energy moving through your body. Sometimes when we're awake, it's because there's excess energy in the body. We can't always force that to relax.

Sometimes it needs to run its own course. But we can meet it with relaxed awareness. We can give it a grounded, peaceful container to move through us so that it can run its course. And so that we can feel some restoration and ease, even when that energy is in the body. Well, bring the awareness up to the chest region.

Maybe feeling your heart beating. You're precious heart, taking care of you. Sliding down to the belly. Letting each exhale soften your body deeper into the mattress beneath you. And letting each breath that you feel through the belly and through the body be an invitation for gentle gratitude that you're alive right now and that you're awake to experience that aliveness.

Sliding the awareness now to your back. Feeling the breath as it expands some of those back muscles on an inhale. And then feeling the back relax on an exhale. Scanning these regions of the body. Noticing maybe the most subtle areas of tightness.

You can bring your awareness there, invite those areas to soften. Sliding down to the pelvic region. Relaxing this area of the body. Sometimes when we're stressed, we can get a lot of tension in this area. And so we just give it the invitation to be at ease.

Feeling into the thighs, hamstrings, the quadriceps. Maybe even feeling the coziness of your likes under a blanket or in your pajamas. What's it like to feel cozy in your body? To feel the stillness of the night? As you continue to slide your awareness down through your knees. Into the calves, the shins. Each time, your awareness touches the body it's like a soft hand on our back saying, it's okay.

You can relax here. You're safe. I'm here for you. Finally coming down to the feet. Feeling the feet, maybe tucked into the covers all the way at the other side of you're bedding.

And now as you take your next breath, see if you can feel the breath moving through the entire body, enveloping it with presence, with compassion and with love. See what that would feel like. And then on that exhale, feel the body surrender just a little bit more. Each time the mind wanders off, we just bring it back into the body. Body is always present.

And so as we come to the end of this meditation, remember you can replay this or listen at any point. And if you'd like to stay in the silence, you can continue to practice being with your breathing, scanning through the body and biting it to relax. And at the very least, just taking this time to appreciate this moment of aliveness. We can't fight it, it will just create more tension. So we might as well appreciate it.

And if that leads to deeper sleep and ease, great. If not, we've restored ourself through presence. I wish you deep rest. Thank you for your practice and take care.

Meditation

4.6

Duration

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