Script

Before we get started make sure you have found a quiet and comfortable place to sit, some people use a cushion, others a bench, chair or couch, just sit wherever is most practical and comfortable for you.  It is fine to let your avatar sink into the ground when you sit, or feel free to use the re-center tool in the menu if you want to appear standing.  And one final reminder, now that we are beginning our meditation time, please confirm you are muted and stay this way until the end of the session, and please stay still on your mat so as not to distract others, otherwise we will move you back to the campfire.

 

To begin our session today, please close your eyes, and join me in taking three deep breaths, I usually instruct to take your breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, but please do what is most comfortable for you.  Slowly….and deeply….so that we can begin to relax, good job.

 

Before we get started with our mindfulness body scan, I want you to picture that you are floating safely above the earth from about the distance of the international space station.  You can see our blue and green home floating off in the distance in front of you.  It is truly marvelous from this perspective.  You notice how fragile it looks, alone in the darkness.  You notice, as it slowly spins in front of you, that there are no borders on this globe, no artificial boundaries giving us the illusion that because we live on different parts of the earth we are different.  And now you notice a beam of light coming up from the earth from exactly where your actual body is sitting right now…can you see it?  And then you notice many more beams of light shooting up from earth, one for each of the people gathered in this room meditating with you right now.  A few over the United States and Canada, a few more beams coming up from across the U.K. and Europe.  One for our friend from……and another for…….(continuing until all are covered).  Now feel those beams connect around the earth as we all fall into sync with each other in this meditation and join me again in taking three slow and deep breaths.

 

Now slowly, as slowly as your breath, your body descends from space and into your avatar sitting right here in this virtual garden by a labyrinth, can you see us all sitting here together?  And as you enter this virtual space and join us, I invite you to….

 

Bring your attention to the top of your head and notice what you feel there.  Possibly you feel the straps of your goggles, some extra warmth, maybe an itch…whatever you notice, just focus as fully on that physical feeling as you can.

 

Slowly move down to your brows and eyes, where maybe you feel some tension from the goggles, or feel the light bleeding through even with your eyes closed…there is no right or wrong, whatever you notice here, whatever physical sensations arise, just focus fully on that and be present with it.

 

Moving down to your nose and nostrils, you may feel the movement of your breath as it slowly enters and leaves your body, whatever you find here, take a moment to fully sit with it in this silence.

 

Moving further down your face to your lips and mouth, you may notice the moisture or dryness, the movement of your breath, the feeling of your teeth against your tongue, whatever it is you discover here, just notice it, feel it fully, allow it to be everything you are aware of.

 

Finally, move to the bottom of your head, to your chin and your jaw and the back of your head.  Perhaps you notice that it is cooler here than at the top of your head, or maybe you can feel a slight breeze against your skin.  There is nothing you should find, there is only what is.  Be with what is there and not with anything else.

 

Lets move down into our chests now, while we join each other in taking three very deep and very slow breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Notice the rising and falling, the expansion and contraction, the sensations of the body as it breathes.

 

Now I invite you to move to your favorite body part, no judgments, keep it to yourself, but bring your attention to this body part and see what you notice there.  Is there tension or relaxation you find?  Whatever you encounter here, simply notice it, and feel it as fully as you can.  And before we move on, thank this body part for being such a wonderful part of you.

 

Now lets move to a trickier part of our body, our least favorite body part.  Again, no judgments, only you will know.  But whatever part of your body you are angry at, or wish you could change, or just don’t like, bring all of your attention there and see what you find.  It may be pain, or some trapped emotions, it may be nothing at all.  There is no right or wrong, we are not here to judge, but simply to notice and to feel.  And maybe, just maybe if you feel up to it, see if you can wrap this tricky body part in a little love, even if begrudgingly.  It is, after all, a part of you.

 

And we are going to complete our body scan today by imagining our entire body as we sit here, from head to toe.  And as you picture your body, join me in taking three slow and deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Picture your entire self and follow your breath energy as it moves throughout your body.

 

And now please join me in one minute of silent meditation, if thoughts come, just allow them to pass and return to your breathing.

For our second meditation today we are going to do a metta meditation practice focused on the cultivation of positive emotion
In this case, loving kindness
Which is the desire for someone to be happy
Or for yourself to be happy
It’s not dependent on something, it’s not conditional
It’s just a natural opening of the heart
To someone else or to yourself
So you can check in to your body and notice how you’re feeling right now Letting whatever is here, be here
Now let yourself bring to mind
Someone whom, the moment you think of them, you feel happy
See if you can bring to mind
It could be a relative, a close friend
Some with not too complicated a relationship
Just a general sense, that when you think of them you feel happy
Can pick a child
So let them come to mind
Have them-- have a sense of them being in front of you
You can feel them, sense them, see them
And as you imagine them
Notice how you’re feeling inside
Maybe you feel some warmth
Or there’s some heat to your face
A smile, sense of expansiveness
This is a loving kindness
This is a natural feeling that’s accessible to all of us at any moment
So now having this loved one in front of you
Begin to wish them well
May you be safe and protected from danger
May you be happy and peaceful
May you be healthy and strong
May you have ease and wellbeing
And as I say these words, you can use my words or your own words
And have a sense of letting this loving kindness come from you

You might think in images
You might have a sense of colour or light
You might just have a feeling
The words may continue to bring on more of this feeling
And I encourage you to say whatever feels meaningful to you
May you be free from stress and anxiety
May you be free from all fear
And so as you’re sending out these words and these feelings of loving kindness Also check into yourself and see how you’re feeling inside
And now imagine that this loved one turns around
And begins to send it back to you
So see if you can receive the loving kindness
Take it in
And they’re wishing you well, may you be happy
Meaning you
May you be peaceful and at ease
May you be safe and protected from all danger
May you have joy, well being
Letting yourself take it in
Now if you’re not feeling anything at this point
Or before in the meditation
It’s not a problem
This is a practice that plants seeds
And if you’re feeling something else other than lovingkindness
Just check into that
What is it I’m feeling
There may be something to learn here
Now if it’s possible and it’s not always easy to do this
But see if you can send loving kindness to yourself
You can imagine it coming down your body from your heart
You can just have a sense of it
May I be safe and protected from danger
May I be healthy and strong
May I be happy and peaceful
May I accept myself just as I am
And as you ask yourself the question “what do I need to be happy?”
See what arrises
And offer that to yourself
May I have meaningful work
A joyful life
Close friends and family
And now checking into yourself
And noticing what it is you feel as you do this
And now let yourself bring to mind one person
Or a group of people that you wish to send the loving kindness to
Imagine them in front of you
Sense them, feel them
May you be happy and peaceful 

I invite you now to return to your breathing.  Taking three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. 

Now it is time to gently reawaken your body and mind.

Keeping your eyes closed, notice the sounds around you. Feel the floor beneath you. Feel your clothes against your body.

Wiggle your fingers and toes.

Shrug your shoulders.

Open your eyes, and remain sitting for a few moments longer.

Straighten out your legs, and stretch your arms and legs gently.

Sit for a few moments more, enjoying how relaxed you feel, and experiencing your body reawaken and your mind returning to its usual level of alertness.

Slowly return to a standing position, and continue with the rest of your day, feeling re-energized.

Find a comfortable position in which to sit for this period. As you allow your eyes to gently close, tune into the body and make any minor adjustments. It can be helpful to remember our intentions of both ease and awareness. Sit in a way that feels comfortable but alert.

We’ll begin this practice with a body scan, going through the body and bringing our awareness to the physical sensations we are experience.

You can start by tuning into the crown of the head. Gently bring your awareness to the top of the head, tuning into whatever you are experiencing. There’s no right or wrong; just tune into whatever is physically present.

Drop down into the forehead and into the brow, again tuning into whatever is present. You may notice how the air feels on the skin, any tension or scrunching of the brow, or perhaps some feeling of relaxation. Whatever is present, simply be with it and tune in.

Continue into the eyes, where you may notice some movement even with eyes closed.

Move into the tip of the nose, the nostrils, and the upper lip. Here you may feel the body breathing. Just be with the inhale and exhale without judgement.

Drop into the mouth, tuning into the jaw, the lips, and the tongue. You may notice the moisture, how the tongue is resting, any tension or slack in the jaw, or whatever it is that is present.

Drop down into the neck and throat, noticing any tension or any movement of the body with the breath. Remember, there is nothing you should be experiencing; there is no right or wrong. Just tune into the direct physical experience. Let go of the judgements and thoughts, and return to the actual physical body.

You can move out the tops of the shoulders and into shoulder blades, perhaps noticing any movement with the breath or the sensation of the clothes on the body.

Dropping down into the upper arms and elbows, again just tune into whatever is directory present in your experience.

Continue down into the forearms and wrists, perhaps noticing any points of contact. Maybe your arms are resting in your lap or on the arms of the chair, and just notice how that feels.

And moving into the hands, go over the palms, the fingers, and the back of the hand. Notice any points of contact where the hands may be touching each other or resting in the lap. You may

notice that the temperature of the air feels different on the back of the hand than it does on the palm.

Come back up into the chest and rest here for a moment, tuning in to the body breathing. You can notice the rising and falling, the expansion and contraction, the natural movement of the body breathing itself.

(Allow a few moments to sit with the breath in the chest)

As you drop down into the abdomen and stomach, again you may notice the sensations of the body breathing. Rest your awareness with the body and just stick with whatever sensations arise.

Drop down into the hips, the pelvis, and the butt. You can probably feel the point of contact where your body meets the chair or cushion, and taking a moment to feel these sensations.

Move on into the thighs and knees, noticing any points of contact, any tensions, the clothes on the body, and anything else present in your direct experience.

Drop into the calves, shins, and ankles, seeing what’s present for you. Perhaps there is some ease, or some jittery or anxious feeling in the legs. Whatever is present, be with it.

Finally, move into the feet, going over the heel, the arch, the ball of the foot, the toes, and the top of the foot. Tune into the points of contact where the feet are touching the ground or tucked up underneath you.

Take a moment here at the end to tune into the whole body together, from head to toe. You may be able to feel the breath energy as it moves through the body. You can get a sense of the entire outline or posture of the body as it rests here.

(Allow for a few deep breaths like this.)

And now we will begin a musical meditation as we practice sitting with our breathing with only the music as a guide.

Let us first try one minute of this, slowly breathing in and out, and allowing your mind to focus entirely on your in breathe and your out breathe.

<Pause one min>

Good job, you did it. Now we are going to try three minutes, but instead of focusing on your breathing, I invite you to instead bring your awareness to the pause between your in breathe and out breathe. It may be easiest at first to mark each pause with a silent one count like this:

Breathing in, one, breathing out, one, breathing in, one and continuing like this to mark the pause with a one count. Ok, let’s try three minutes of that. And don’t worry, I will leave on the music so you will always have that to get lost in if the breathe work is too much.

2 min, 1 min…

Good job, three minutes can be surprisingly hard.

Now we are going to conclude with about four minutes of silent meditation, and I will leave it up to you how you want to focus your mind during this time, whether you want to concentrate on the music, or your breathing, or to just relax your body and be still.

After one minute: As thoughts intrude, just allow them to pass and return to your focus.

After two minutes: Remember, there is no right or wrong, whatever is working for you, focus on that.

After three minutes: Remember to return to your breathing…..

After four minutes or as music begins to taper:

Now it is time to gently reawaken your body and mind.

Keeping your eyes closed, notice the sounds around you. Feel the floor beneath you. Feel your clothes against your body.

Wiggle your fingers and toes.

Shrug your shoulders.

Open your eyes, and remain sitting for a few moments longer.

Straighten out your legs, and stretch your arms and legs gently.

Sit for a few moments more, enjoying how relaxed you feel, and experiencing your body reawaken and your mind returning to its usual level of alertness.

Slowly return to a standing position, and continue with the rest of your day, feeling re-energized.

Namaste

 

Join me in 1 minute of silent meditation

Imagine you are standing in a forest. You can feel your bare feet upon the soft green grass. The trees are tall and create soft shade over you as they sway gently in the breeze.

You hear birds above you tweeting softly. You feel calm and happy. The leaves on the trees are deep green and fresh. Your fingers touch them as you walk through the forest. They are smooth and cool. You move slowly, deeper into the forest where it is still and calm. 

Now you hear the soft burbling noise of a small river. You stop to listen. You fully hear its babbling language and know what it means. As you move to the edge of the river you see the water is brilliant and clear. It shines and sparkles like diamonds as it moves softly and smoothly. The water is so clear you can see the bottom of the river. You see smooth pebbles and tiny rocks swaying in the clear water.

You sit on the edge of the bank. You drop your feet into the water. It is cool and refreshing. You feel the sensation of it trickling over your skin. It is soothing and cool. You settle here and breathe. Breathe in (demonstrate). And out (demonstrate) x3. Enjoy it here, sitting on the edge of your river. 

You look up and the sun shines on your skin and you close your eyes. It’s rays warm your skin and you feel safe. You open your eyes and look down into the clear blue water. It is beautiful. 

You look at the pebbles at the bottom of the river. You feel a sense that something special to you is safe at the bottom of the river. The water is shallow. You walk steadily through the water to the middle of the river. The water flows calmly around your legs and gently caresses your skin. In the middle of the river you see your object resting at the bottom. It is an object that is meaningful to you. It is small. You watch the water gently flow around it. 

As you watch your object you feel happiness spread through your chest and into your whole body. This small object makes you feel love and contentment. It brings wonderful memories to your mind. It is safe as the clear water smooths over it in the river. You reach your hand into the cool flowing water and retrieve the object, holding it safely in the palm of your hand. Move slowly, back to the bank of the river. You lie down in the soft green grass, happily holding your object. It feels nice in your hand. Lay here on the side of the river. Feel the happiness in your body. Enjoy this gift. Close your eyes and relax on the soft luscious grass. 

Carefully put the object deep in your pocket. It feels nice and heavy in there. Deep down in your pocket. You feel it radiating warmth and happiness as it remains close to you. It is special and it is yours. No one can touch it as it is safe in your pocket. It is there whenever you want it . You lay on the grass. You are feeling happy and relaxed. Here on the cool grass you are still. Stay here and just breathe. Breathe in (demonstrate). And out (demonstrate). 

Just feel the relaxation in your body. Release your muscles, relax and feel content. 

Take a long, deep breath in. Fill your lungs. Breathe all your air out nice… and….slowly. 

Again, breathe in deeply. And out slowly. In. And out. 

-Longer pause-

Now it is time to gently reawaken your body and mind.

Keeping your eyes closed, notice the sounds around you. Feel the floor beneath you. Feel your clothes against your body.

Wiggle your fingers and toes.

Shrug your shoulders.

Open your eyes, and remain sitting for a few moments longer.

Straighten out your legs, and stretch your arms and legs gently.

Sit for a few moments more, enjoying how relaxed you feel, and experiencing your body reawaken and your mind returning to its usual level of alertness.

Slowly return to a standing position, and continue with the rest of your day, feeling re-energized.

Namaste

During this breathing meditation, you will focus on your breath. This will calm your mind and relax your body.

There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Whatever you experience during this breathing meditation is right for you. Don’t try to make anything happen, just observe.

Begin by finding a comfortable position, but one in which you will not fall asleep. Sitting on the floor with your legs crossed is a good position to try.

Close your eyes or focus on one spot in the room.

Roll your shoulders slowly forward and then slowly back.

Lean your head from side to side, lowering your left ear toward your left shoulder, and then your right ear toward your right shoulder.

Relax your muscles.

Your body will continue to relax as you meditate.

Observe your breathing. Notice how your breath flows in and out. Make no effort to change your breathing in any way, simply notice how your body breathes. Your body knows how much air it needs.

Sit quietly, seeing in your mind’s eye your breath flowing gently in and out of your body.

When your attention wanders, as it will, just focus back again on your breathing.

Notice any stray thoughts, but don’t dwell on them. Simply let the thoughts pass.

See how your breath continues to flow...deeply... calmly.

Notice the stages of a complete breath... from the in breath... to the pause that follows... the exhale... and the pause before taking another breath...

See the slight breaks between each breath.

Feel the air entering through your nose...picture the breath flowing through the cavities in your sinuses and then down to your lungs...

As thoughts intrude, allow them to pass, and return your attention to your breathing.

(Pause)

See the air inside your body after you inhale, filling your body gently.

Notice how the space inside your lungs becomes smaller after you exhale and the air leaves your body.

Feel your chest and stomach gently rise and fall with each breath.

Now as you inhale, count silently... one

As you exhale, count...one

Wait for the next breath, and count again... one

Exhale...one

Inhale...one

Exhale...one

Continue to count each inhalation and exhalation as "one."

(Pause)

Notice now how your body feels.

See how calm and gentle your breathing is, and how relaxed your body feels.

Now it is time to gently reawaken your body and mind.

Keeping your eyes closed, notice the sounds around you. Feel the floor beneath you. Feel your clothes against your body.

Wiggle your fingers and toes.

Shrug your shoulders.

Open your eyes, and remain sitting for a few moments longer.

Straighten out your legs, and stretch your arms and legs gently.

Sit for a few moments more, enjoying how relaxed you feel, and experiencing your body reawaken and your mind returning to its usual level of alertness.

Slowly return to a standing position, and continue with the rest of your day, feeling re-energized.

 

 

Loving Kindness meditation with music

To begin this practice
Let yourself be in a relaxed and comfortable position

I will welcome us back to the room with the ringing of a special bell, called a tingsha, three times. To conclude this meditation practice, allow yourself to be fully absorbed in the sound of the ringing until it is completely gone.

Namaste.  

 

 

 

 

We’ll begin opening up our awareness beginning with the body. As you rest here in this present-time experience, see what sensations come to your attention. You can note in your head where in your body the experience is happening. As something comes up, tune into it for a moment and open the awareness back up to the body to see what else arises.

Continue like this, investigating each experience for a moment and then returning to this open awareness of what’s arising

(Allow for some silence here for as long as you see fit)

You can continue to open up your awareness to include any sounds that are arising in your experience. Maybe they’re sounds within the room or sounds outside. Whatever comes up, just notice that it’s there and what it’s like to be hearing it. You can note inside your head that you’re hearing, and open the awareness back up.

When the mind wanders, you can always return to the body breathing for a few moments before opening the awareness back up. Continue to receive whatever arises in the body and in the field of hearing

(Allow for some silence here for as long as you see fit)

You can continue opening up your awareness, adding in the sense-doors of smell, by opening up to all of the scents that are drifting by you.  Some lingering perfume or aftershave, a meal being prepared down the hall or sitting on your desk in front of you. There’s no right or wrong here. Tune into whatever arises with an attitude of receiving.

And now you can continue to open up your awareness by focusing on your sense of taste.  Notice the moisture in your mouth or any lingering flavors within.  What can you identify? Your job is simply to observe your experience and know what is happening.

And now you can continue to open up your awareness to your sense of sight. Even with eyes closed, you may notice some visuals, especially if the light from your goggles is coming through your closed lids. 

There’s no right or wrong here. Tune into whatever arises with an attitude of receiving. Your job is simply to observe your experience and know what is happening. Be with your present-time experience as it is.

(Allow for some silence here for as long as you see fit)

Finally, you can add in the final sense-door of thought. When the mind begins thinking, simply notice that it’s thinking. Whether a single thought arises or you find yourself lost, note that the mind is thinking and open your awareness back up.

Continue with this mindfulness practice of resting in an open awareness, noticing whatever comes up for you. You can ask yourself, “What is going on in my experience in this moment?”

Now I invite you to take three deep breaths, I prefer to take them in through my nose and out through my mouth.  Take them as slowly and deliberately as you can, following the breath on its journey in to your nose, down the back of your throat, into your lungs and back up and out of your body. (Allow for some silence here for as long as you see fit)

Finally, I will invite you back to awareness through the ringing of a bell three times.  Try to stay with the ringing until it fully dissipates.

 

(Ring bell).