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Mindfulness in Daily Life

In this practice we’ll introduce a powerful way of waking up out of autopilot mode both in meditation and in life.

Today, we're going to practice a technique to help us return to the present moment, both in our meditation practice and in daily life. Specifically, we'll be using our sense perceptions as a cue to bring us back from distraction and return us to the calm, vitality and wisdom of mindfulness. By paying attention to our sense perceptions, we can redirect our focus out of autopilot mode and back into the present moment. It's one of the most simple and powerful mindfulness practices. In fact, most meditations involve some kind of awareness of our senses, from feeling the breath to noticing sounds and sensations.

So now we're going to begin to cultivate an awareness of our senses and train in using this tool, not only in meditation, but also in our lives. So just starting now by finding a comfortable position for meditation. And when you're ready, just taking three deep, slow breaths in. And out. And doing that two more times.

And at the end of the next exhale, just letting go of any control of the breath. But letting the breath settle into its own natural rhythm and pace. And settling awareness now right into your physical body, and right down into the contact points between body and the ground or the surface beneath. Feeling all of the different sensations at the contact points. Grounding your awareness right here and right now in the sensations of the contact points between body and the ground or surface beneath.

And now beginning to scan slowly around your body, just noticing the touch of clothing against skin. Noticing the different textures. Perhaps noticing the movement of the clothing against skin as it gently brushes when the body breathes. Perhaps around the chest or the back. And if the mind wanders, gently guide it back to feeling the sensation of clothing against skin.

And now noticing feeling into those parts of the body exposed to the air. Noting, perhaps if they are a little cooler than the parts covered by clothing. And feeling the breath flowing into and out of the nostrils. Noting the slight temperature difference between the in-breath and the out-breath. In-breath, a little cooler.

Out-breath, just a little warmer. And now letting go of this awareness of the breath and shifting the focus to noticing sounds in the surrounding soundscape. Seeing if you can have a sense of taking in sounds in all the different directions - in front, behind, to the sides, above, and below. See if you can listen for the softer, quieter sounds as well as the ones that are more obvious. So taking in the subtleties of the soundscape.

Noticing if there's any tendency to start thinking about the sounds or judging them to be good or bad or liking and disliking certain ones. How easily sounds can create a story. And if you notice this, just coming back to the sounds themselves and allowing them to be just as they are. Seeing if you can get that sense of hearing the sounds with fresh ears as if hearing for the very first time. And so far, we've been deliberate about choosing the various objects for our attention.

We've felt the breath and the clothing against skin and listened to sounds. So now just opening to all the various sensations of the present moment with a light touch. All that's here to be known, heard, and felt. And this is often known as open awareness or in the Zen tradition, it's spoken of as just sitting. So just sitting here fully present.

There's no need to choose any particular thing to pay attention to. Just being open to all that is arising here and now. There may be a momentary awareness of the breath or a sensation or a sound, and that's fine. Just staying present, noticing sense perceptions. If at any time you notice the mind wanders off, just notice what distracted you and then gently guide the focus back to the present moment via the senses.

So you might notice a sound that you can gently land your focus on. Perhaps the sound of a bird or a passing car. Or you could draw the focus to the contact points between your body and chair or floor beneath. Or simply feeling the flow of your breathing as an anchor into the here and the now. And then when you're ready, just coming back to this more open awareness of the present moment.

In our daily lives, there are so many ways we can use this awareness of our senses to help us become more present. For instance, you could slow down and really taste and savor your food today. You could feel your feet on the ground as you walk or take a pause to take in all the different sounds around you. So today, try and remember that you can use this awareness of your senses as a mindful reminder. And now, just bringing this meditation to a close.

Take a deep breath in. As you breathe out, begin to wriggle the fingers and toes. And when you're ready, gently opening the eyes.

Meditation

4.5

Mindfulness in Daily Life

In this practice we’ll introduce a powerful way of waking up out of autopilot mode both in meditation and in life.

Duration

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

Today, we're going to practice a technique to help us return to the present moment, both in our meditation practice and in daily life. Specifically, we'll be using our sense perceptions as a cue to bring us back from distraction and return us to the calm, vitality and wisdom of mindfulness. By paying attention to our sense perceptions, we can redirect our focus out of autopilot mode and back into the present moment. It's one of the most simple and powerful mindfulness practices. In fact, most meditations involve some kind of awareness of our senses, from feeling the breath to noticing sounds and sensations.

So now we're going to begin to cultivate an awareness of our senses and train in using this tool, not only in meditation, but also in our lives. So just starting now by finding a comfortable position for meditation. And when you're ready, just taking three deep, slow breaths in. And out. And doing that two more times.

And at the end of the next exhale, just letting go of any control of the breath. But letting the breath settle into its own natural rhythm and pace. And settling awareness now right into your physical body, and right down into the contact points between body and the ground or the surface beneath. Feeling all of the different sensations at the contact points. Grounding your awareness right here and right now in the sensations of the contact points between body and the ground or surface beneath.

And now beginning to scan slowly around your body, just noticing the touch of clothing against skin. Noticing the different textures. Perhaps noticing the movement of the clothing against skin as it gently brushes when the body breathes. Perhaps around the chest or the back. And if the mind wanders, gently guide it back to feeling the sensation of clothing against skin.

And now noticing feeling into those parts of the body exposed to the air. Noting, perhaps if they are a little cooler than the parts covered by clothing. And feeling the breath flowing into and out of the nostrils. Noting the slight temperature difference between the in-breath and the out-breath. In-breath, a little cooler.

Out-breath, just a little warmer. And now letting go of this awareness of the breath and shifting the focus to noticing sounds in the surrounding soundscape. Seeing if you can have a sense of taking in sounds in all the different directions - in front, behind, to the sides, above, and below. See if you can listen for the softer, quieter sounds as well as the ones that are more obvious. So taking in the subtleties of the soundscape.

Noticing if there's any tendency to start thinking about the sounds or judging them to be good or bad or liking and disliking certain ones. How easily sounds can create a story. And if you notice this, just coming back to the sounds themselves and allowing them to be just as they are. Seeing if you can get that sense of hearing the sounds with fresh ears as if hearing for the very first time. And so far, we've been deliberate about choosing the various objects for our attention.

We've felt the breath and the clothing against skin and listened to sounds. So now just opening to all the various sensations of the present moment with a light touch. All that's here to be known, heard, and felt. And this is often known as open awareness or in the Zen tradition, it's spoken of as just sitting. So just sitting here fully present.

There's no need to choose any particular thing to pay attention to. Just being open to all that is arising here and now. There may be a momentary awareness of the breath or a sensation or a sound, and that's fine. Just staying present, noticing sense perceptions. If at any time you notice the mind wanders off, just notice what distracted you and then gently guide the focus back to the present moment via the senses.

So you might notice a sound that you can gently land your focus on. Perhaps the sound of a bird or a passing car. Or you could draw the focus to the contact points between your body and chair or floor beneath. Or simply feeling the flow of your breathing as an anchor into the here and the now. And then when you're ready, just coming back to this more open awareness of the present moment.

In our daily lives, there are so many ways we can use this awareness of our senses to help us become more present. For instance, you could slow down and really taste and savor your food today. You could feel your feet on the ground as you walk or take a pause to take in all the different sounds around you. So today, try and remember that you can use this awareness of your senses as a mindful reminder. And now, just bringing this meditation to a close.

Take a deep breath in. As you breathe out, begin to wriggle the fingers and toes. And when you're ready, gently opening the eyes.

Meditation

4.5

Duration

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