What have we experienced thus far in our journey of mindfulness?
In this journey to bring mindfulness into our daily experience, we learnt that mindfulness is awareness and mindfulness is heartfulness. Mindfulness allows us to respond to our environment, others and ourselves with lovingkindness. Paying attention in a purposeful and intentional way moment by moment is an act of self-care and it will make us more alive and appreciative in all that we do. In the mindfulness exercises thus far we may have experienced the calming effects of paying attention to our breath or the replenishing effects of tuning in to our surroundings and listening n an intentional way to sounds far and near.
What is the Body Scan Meditation?
In this article we’ll experience the short version of the Body Scan Meditation. It is an invitation for you to pay attention, in an intentional way, to the different parts of your body that make up the whole: toes, soles of your feet, ankles and so on...
Why do we need to be deeply aware of our bodies?
In our journey to cultivate lovingkindness to ourselves, we need to cultivate a deep awareness of the solidity our bodies provide us with. Much of the time our bodies raise deep seated insecurities as we have a tendency to constantly compare ourselves to picture perfect models and standards of beauty dictated by the external world.
Purpose of the Body Scan Meditation
In Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes:
When we put energy into actually experiencing our body and we refuse
to get caught up in the overlay of judgmental thinking about it…we get
more in touch with how wonderful it is to have a body in the first place,
no matter what it looks or feels like…the way to do this is to tune in to your
body and be mindful of it without judging it.
We will feel a sense of wonder…even if some other parts of the body may be giving us trouble or not functioning at its optimum level. The body scan meditation is also an effective way of developing both concentration and flexibility of attention simultaneously as you focus on the different parts of your body before looking at your body as whole.
In this two part exercise, we will start with a short body scan introductory meditation that invites you to scan just the left and right legs, before proceeding with the act of writing itself.
By now you should be familiar with the routine to begin meditating: sit comfortably or lie on your back for this meditation and relax. When you are ready, drop your gaze and close your eyes gently.
(To zoom in, simply click the above image to open in a new tab)
Mindful journaling is an act of self-care. In many ways it helps you to explore and discover more about yourself, your relationship with others and the environment you live in.
In the next part, proceed with the journaling exercise and discover more about your attitude towards your body, your sense of body image and your relationship with your body.
Once you’ve entered this calm state of mind, the next step of Mindful Journaling is the writing itself! Read the next article to find out more about 6 tips on journaling about your body.
#JournalWithCollins is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/