Just this past week I taught mindfulness meditation to a large group of scientists in the pharmaceutical industry, a senior legal team from a major international company, a population of adults with moderate-to-severe mental health challenges and a group of medical professionals at a local hospice center.
Today I'll teach very high-functioning professionals in the service industry.
Stress, difficulty and overwhelm affect all of us. We can find spaciousness and a reassurance of calm in just a few minutes by prioritizing self-care and resting in the truth of the present moment, which is always right here.
This is a short practice on how you can find this space of calm inside, right now.
I hope it helps some of you today.
Beginner’s Mindfulness Meditation: Establishing An Anchor
1. Find a comfortable seat on the floor or in the support of a sturdy chair.
2. Sit tall with a long spine; if you are in a chair, uncross your legs and ground your feet.
3. Relax your hands and fingers on your legs, palms down.
4. Close your eyes or rest your gaze gently forward and down.
5. Bring your attention to your feet and feel them heavy against the floor. You can visualize the building beneath the floor and even the Earth beneath the building. Imagine your feet growing roots deep into the Earth.
6. Now take your attention to your seat. Notice your “sit bones” resting against the chair or cushion. See if you can really land and notice the heaviness there. Remind yourself that you are sitting and fully supported.
7. Now gently turn your attention to your natural breath. Try not to change or deepen the breath; no need to change anything.
8. Notice the qualities of vividness and alertness in the inhale and notice the relaxing and spacious qualities in the exhale. Lean into the qualities of the breath as needed.
(Remember that 20% of you may have trouble landing your attention in the breath. If that is the case for you, try anchoring into the sensation of your hands resting on your legs or the feet landing on the ground. Feel the aliveness in the body, or simply notice the rise and fall of the chest as the breath moves in and out).
9. Try to relax your attention in one of the suggestions above, but also notice when you are lost in thought or pulled away in distraction (e.g. sound, light, bodily sensation/discomfort or thoughts). Acknowledge when you have been pulled away and gently return to the anchor you established.
10. Do this again and again with kindness.
If you notice your inner critic bubbling up, simply place your hand on your chest over your heart space to call upon self-compassion, and gently begin again.
Guest post by studio BE founder and CEO, Jennifer Ciarimboli
Feature photo thanks to nappy.co