The Body Scan Meditation
In the Week 2 Mindfulness class, the participants get to lie down on the floor and I guide them through a 30 minute Body scan. The aim of the Body Scan is for participants to train their minds by focusing their attention on body sensations. The normal pattern of their mind is jumping from one thing to the next (butterfly mind). The body is always here and in the present moment. It means we can come back to the sensations in our body when our mind wanders away from the present moment.
Why is the Body scan beneficial and how can it help with pain?
This formal Mindfulness Mediation provides an opportunity for us to experience our body as it is without trying to change it. It also allows us to notice tension we weren’t aware of such as a tight muscle in our shoulder or tension in our jaws. It is best to do this it in a place in which we feel comfortable, secure and without interruptions.
The Body Scan was developed by Jon Kabbit-Zinn (https://www.mindfulnesscds.com/) to help participants deal with pain and tension in their bodies. By using our breath, we can soften and soothe areas of tension we are experiencing in the body. The aim of systematically scanning our bodies is to stay with the experience of our body in the present moment. By resisting and being annoyed by the pain can increase the pain. This can also increase the distress associated with it. According to research, by simply noticing the pain we’re experiencing without trying to change it, we may actually feel some relief.
Body scan Meditation: Feedback from a group participant.
Learning the Body scan Meditation was a relaxing and peaceful experience. It felt wonderful to have a moment where I was able to disconnect from thinking and focus only on the sensations of my body. The 30-minute Mindfulness Meditation really helped to alleviate the tension and stress that I had been feeling throughout the day.
Mindfulness in Daily Life
Mindfulness in Daily life helps us to break out of the pattern of being in the automatic pilot by becoming aware of what we are doing in the present moment. It might be paying attention when doing the dishes rather than letting our mind wander off fretting about the day ahead.
When we notice that we have drifted away from the present moment, we can:
- bring our attention to our posture, whether sitting, standing, lying down or walking
- Feel our feet on the ground
- Being aware of physical sensations within the body
- Bring our awareness back to breathing In and Out of the body
- Bring our attention back to the task that you are presently doing e.g having a shower, cooking
Mindfulness in Daily Life: Feedback from a group participant.
Mindfulness in Daily Life: Geraldine taught us how to implement the practice of Mindfulness into our everyday lives. This included being Mindful when doing simple tasks and also slowing down to notice nature. For example, she explained that simple things such as brushing our teeth in the morning or washing up dishes are ideal times where we can practice Mindfulness. I saw this rainbow on walking home from the Mindfulness class in Musselburgh.