How to do Mindfulness of Body Meditation

"Meditation then is bringing the mind home" - Sogyal Rinpoche

Mindfulness of body meditation simply involves directing your awareness to your body.

The best aspect of this meditation is that it can be easily practiced throughout the day.

You are not restricted by having to find a quiet place, sitting down or closing your eyes.

Mindfulness during daily chores

When walking, be aware that you are walking, pay attention to the act of walking - to your feet touching the ground, to the lift-off and landing, to the sensation in your legs, to the stretch in your calves and thighs, and to the movement of your hands.

Try noticing as many things as possible, which are occurring on or inside your body, during the act of walking.

Similarly when sitting, be fully aware of sitting, when standing of standing, when lying down of lying down, when talking, of talking, when eating, of eating, and when sleeping, of sleeping (kidding!).

Become aware of any and all sensations in the body. Pay close attention to them.

Start with any body part you like. Observe it for a while then move on to the adjacent body part. This way cover your entire body at least once. 

Don't be surprised at the difficulty in keeping the mind focused on these 'mundane' activities when you first start mindful meditation. In the beginning, staying aware for even 30 seconds at a stretch will be a big achievement.

But, rest assured that with time and practice, these periods of mindfulness will get longer and better.

Mindfulness during sitting meditation

Apart from living more mindfully during the day, you can integrate the practice with your meditation sitting.

Initiate the session with focusing on your breath for a couple of minutes.

Feel the breath moving in and out of your nostrils.

Concentrate on the exact area where the inhaled and exhaled air comes in contact with your skin.

Then, move your attention to various parts of the body sequentially.

Start with the crown of your head, roll down to the sides and back, then along your face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, stomach, back, covering the entire body until you reach the soles of your feet.

At each juncture, discern any sensation in that area. Observe it and move on.

If you are unable to discern anything, spend a minute observing that body part before shifting to the next one. Do not force yourself into feeling a sensation where there is none. Simply watch intently for a while and then take your attention to another area.

After completing a head-to-toe movement, reverse and go back up the same way to the crown of the head. Keep repeating for the entire duration of your 'sit.'

Once you get comfortable with the mindful awareness of the external sensations in your body, you can bring the same awareness to your body's internal organs - heart, liver, brain, lungs, bones and muscle.

After a few days or weeks of mindfulness of body meditation, if you feel the need to try a different type of meditation then pick one from the three listed below.

There is no set order in which one should proceed with these meditations, but you may find it easier to progressively do mindfulness of feelings, mind and phenomena meditations.

Return from Mindfulness of Body to Mindfulness Meditation

Return from Mindfulness of Body to Home

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