Before Bedtime Meditations
“Our minds are not separate from our bodies. When our mind is tense and stressed out, our bodies become tense and stressed out. But when we let our bodies relax, that sends a message to our minds to relax as well.”
“Lie down on your back, with your legs flat, your arms by your side, your palms facing up, your head centered. If you want, you can bend your knees. Close your eyes and mouth. If you would rather keep your eyes open, that’s OK too.
Bring your attention to your body. Feel the contact of your body with the bed. The softness of the bed. The firmness of the bed. The coldness or warmth. Whatever you feel is OK.
“Bring your attention to your left leg. How does your left leg feel right now in this moment? Does it feel hot? Cold? Itchy? Tense? Do you have trouble feeling anything at all? However it is feeling right now, just bring your awareness to it. If it is feeling tight or tense, see if you can soften it just a little. If that doesn’t happen, that’s OK too. Just let the sensations be, and just bring your awareness to it. Whether you are experiencing a pleasant sensation, like relaxation or strength, or an unpleasant sensation, like stress or pain, whatever is happening for you right now is OK; you don’t have to change anything, you can just fully accept it in this moment.”
“With mindfulness, we practice embracing each part of our body with our love and attention. We can do this by reminding ourselves to smile to each part of our body or each sensation. As you breathe in and out, you can say to yourself silently, ‘Breathing in, I am aware of my leg (or pain in my leg). Breathing out, I smile to my leg. Aware of leg. Smiling….’ ”
“If you have a sensation in your body, notice it. Watch it. How does it change when you bring your awareness to it? What happens? Does it get more intense? Less intense? What thoughts arise as you become aware of the sensation? What emotions arise as you become aware of the sensation? See if your mind has a habit of creating any stories about your pain or any emotional resistance like anger, frustration, or denial. See if these habits might be pulling you away from the present moment, from a pure awareness of the sensation in your body just as it really is right here and now. Whatever is happening for you is OK. There is no need to change or judge anything. You can simply observe what is happening in your mind and emotions and then bring your awareness back to the present moment, back to your body, with kindness and compassion for yourself.” * Vary and repeat for all body parts: right leg, left arm, right arm, belly and chest, face.
“Now let your awareness spread throughout your entire body, allowing every part to be relaxed, feel heavy, soft, sinking into the bed.”
Meditation Complete. Selah.