I would invite you to close your eyes or look ahead a few feet away from you at a particular point on the floor. Breathe in and out…in and out in the most relaxed fashion you can.
As there may be some stressful moments ahead for you in this project I am going to lead a mindful practice called “Being as One”. My goal is that at the end of this practice you will feel your body as a whole.
First of all I am inviting you to join me in this practice which I call “Being as One”. Those of us who practice mindfulness call this pause a mindfulness meditation. Now if that sounds complicated just imagine yourself taking off in an airplane to Naples. If you don’t wish to participate you can simply not participate! Some of you may think mindfulness is very complicated and very spiritual and it can be or it can be simple. I will make today’s practice simple. If you find it does nothing for you that’s fine as sometimes I may not be saying the right things. Or it could be you will need some practice.
The goal of the practice is to take a trip with your mind to a peaceful place far away from stress and worry where you can pause and observe your mind. If you want to take this trip with me. But before that take a little stretch and a few deep breaths. With each breath let go of worries and thoughts about what you are doing next. If there is any tenseness let it go. Remember this practice is for you. No one will be judging you.
So settle down in whatever position feels comfortable that leaves you feeling alert.
We are all here in this room together as a group so we are in a safe place and considering what is ahead of us perhaps in a brave space. If at anytime you feel uncomfortable you no longer have to follow my instructions.
As you sit what are you noticing about the sounds of this room. Observe them with curiosity. Get to know that they are here and part of your present moment. There is no need to judge them, just listen with curiosity.
(ideally a 30 second pause)
Continue focusing on your breath as you inhale and exhale. When you focus on your breath remember it as an anchor. You may notice you are worried or preoccupied with something. That’s OK but can you take a moment and think of nothing but your breath as it goes in and out, in and out. But I can guess all of you in this practice can focus on your breathing but have you noticed that your mind is wandering. Just watch it or listen to it wander and there may be even chatter occurring in your head. That’s perfectly normal as this is what minds do. If you find that your mind is wandering then go back to focusing on your breath: in and out in and out. Try to quiet your wandering mind by going back to the breath.
(Ideally a 30 second pause)
Now focus on your feet and relax letting the tightness escape from your body wherever it may be. Now notice your legs, your pelvic area, your stomach, your eyes and scalp, Let everything go. Relax. You are surrounded by softness as your body relaxes. Perhaps you feel so relaxed you might even want to fall asleep and that’s OK too. You are flying at 47,000 feet above and away from the ground. You are so far from your worries and cares all that is there is YOUR body and YOUR mind. Nothing else and it is all held together by your breath.
Keep breathing in and out at a speed you feel most comfortable with and if your mind wanders go back to the breath to anchor yourself in the present. Your body and breath are connecting so that your body and breath are in this room and you are so relaxed do you feel your body as one whole complete body in this room, in this building or on this planet. Yes it is you. It is simply your whole body that you are feeling and that is so liberating and thrilling if you feel it. Let’s enjoy that oneness for a moment as you are a speck in the universe so terribly far from all your thoughts of worry, fear and even anxiety.
Your trip to the oneness of your body has now ended as we touch down.
Open your eyes slowly and gently, Stretch, yawn and scratch if you need to do so. Just get your eyes and mind focused so you feel comfortable.
Thank you all. I express my gratitude to all of you and look forward to doing this practice to start our weekly meetings.
(Robert K. Stephen)