How often do you take the time to just stop, breathe and take note of where you are and who you are in a given moment? How mindful are you of your thoughts, emotions, breath, body and surroundings?
Rebecca Beren, GYV 2015 TLC Staff and Health Care Manager, shares an exercise in mindfulness that was helpful to participants from many different cultures and countries. “In our mindfulness TLC we discussed the many forms of meditation around the world, exploring some of its roots and functions in different religions, cultures, and practices. We then did a series of secular mindful movement and sitting practices together,” states Rebecca. The participants found these moments to be both relaxing and reflective as they engaged the topic of meditation in a safe and nurturing environment.Whether you do this exercise in complete silence or to peaceful music, the goal is to become more mindful of yourself and how you interact with your surroundings.
Allow your spine to lengthen, and your heart to gently lift. Now, allow your skin to soften. Perhaps imagine your skin is made of warm honey, and is slowly moving downward. Sitting as tall as is comfortable for you and also with ease or tenderness, feel your body making contact with the ground. Perhaps even imagine the ground is holding you.
Now, bring your attention to what you hear.
What are the sounds that make up your experience, in this moment?
What are the layers in the sounds you hear?
Where does a sounds begin and end?
Can you hear silence? Where does silence begin and end?
Now, bring your attention to what you see, behind either closed or open eyes.
What colors do you see?
When you allow your eyes to be soft, what are they drawn to?
Now, bring your attention to what you feel.
Notice, is there movement in the air?
Where are the pressure points of your body making contact with the ground?
Where do your clothes touch your skin?
Is it itchy? Soft? Warm? Breathable?
In this moment, there is nothing to do. In this moment, there is nothing to fix. In this moment, there is nothing to change. Instead we simply cultivate curiosity and attentive exploration for what is already here. Whenever our minds wonder, gently and kindly bring your attention back. Back to the questions, to this room, to this experience.
What is true for you here, now?