Script

Breathing meditation practice with video intro

Slowly begin to sync your breathing with the sound and image that you see before you…

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.

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.

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.

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)

Compassion body scan

In the silence and the stillness, let your awareness sweep through your body and just notice if there's any obvious areas of tightness, of tension. Sense what wants to let go a little right now. You might sense a little bit of a loosening or softening around the shoulders. Perhaps a melting or a dissolving sensation inside the shoulders. Perhaps a softening of the hands. Let there be an openness to the chest, maybe a softening at the belly, relaxing through the pelvic region. Aware of the places of contact where your hands touch each other, the thighs, the legs, where your bottom touches the cushion or the chair, feet touching the floor. Just aware of the sense of pressure and warmth, and if you could feel your whole body from the inside out just sensing the tingling and the vibrating, the heat or the cool. This whole play of sensation. Including sound in your awareness, close sounds in the room. ... The appearing and the disappearing of these words. And the spaces between sounds, listening to the more distant sounds. Listening not just with your ears but with your whole awareness, letting sounds wash through, noticing with listening that there's nothing to do. Sounds appear and are known spontaneously by awareness. Sense the edgeless space that all sounds are appearing in. Just relaxing into that openness that's listening. Totally receptive, there's a listening to and a feeling of the whole changing flow moment to moment. It's quite natural for the attention to contract and go inside of thoughts, so you forget the awareness it's listening. When that happens, when you notice thinking, not a problem just to recognize, "Oh, OK. Inside a virtual reality." And then pause and reopen the attention and begin listening again to the sounds you actually hear instead of the thoughts in the mind. Listening with your whole awareness. Relaxed, receptive, just letting sounds wash through. Each time the mind drifts into thoughts is an opportunity to practice arriving again in presence. And in this meditation letting sounds be a home base, this open, relaxed presence. Listening to the changing flow of sounds. If you find some strong experience arises, pleasantness or MindfulnessExercises.com unpleasantness in the body, to listen to and feel that in a very intimate way, allowing what arises to be there, offering that listening presence, accepting gentle. If some strong emotion arises, fear or sorrow, listening to and feeling that with the same receptivity as you might listen to sound. And when it no longer calls the attention, resting again in this openness and the silence that's listening to this life. You can begin fresh in any moment, just simply noticing where the attention is, and choosing to arrive again, bringing that friendliness and interest right back here, opening the attention to listen to the sounds that are appearing and disappearing moment to moment. You might relax in the body some, listening to and feeling the moment. In these last few moments, bringing that listening and receptive attention to the heart, just listening to your own heart, sensing the state of your heart in this moment. The intimacy of listening to and feeling the life that's right here, offering whatever prayer or blessing, wish of well­being to your own heart, whatever most resonates in this moment. Bringing to mind a dear one so that you're listening to and feeling that person, that being, their energy, offering whatever prayer, whatever wish or blessing resonates. And then sensing the heart space that holds all beings so that you're listening to the lives, consciousness and beings everywhere, offering your prayer.”

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.

Loving kindess - self compassion

So first, make sure you are in a comfortable position, sitting either on a meditation cushion or on a chair, something very comfortable where you can sit upright and yet relaxed. And settle into your posture. Notice how your body feels, the sensation of your feet touching the floor, your bottom touching the cushion, the weight of the arms and your head. Be in your body, right here, right now, fully inhabiting your lived experience. Then allow your attention to move outward to sounds. What sounds are arising right now? Are there noises outside your window? A fan blowing? Leaves rustling? What sounds do you hear? Try not to reach out to the sounds, but just let the sounds arrive, the sound waves entering your mind and body. Now focus on your breathing, the sense of inhaling and exhaling, MindfulnessExercises.com whether you feel the breath most strongly at your nostrils or perhaps that your chest rises and falls. We’ll take a few moments just to rest with our breath, simple and easy. Notice the peacefulness of being quiet, of resting, as you just gently breathe. And now I’d like you to bring to mind some aspect of your personality, or perhaps some mistake you made, a failure, that has been bothering you lately. Something that perhaps you’ve been criticizing yourself for or that has made you feel inadequate in some way. Whatever this trait or action is, try to get in touch with your feelings about it. What does it make you feel? Sad? Frightened? Isolated? Inadequate? How have you felt when you’ve thought about this inadequacy? See if you can locate the sensations of the emotions in your body. Perhaps it’s a tightness in your throat, a heaviness in your heart, tension in the shoulders. What emotions do you feel when you think about this MindfulnessExercises.com mistake or inadequacy, and where are those emotions felt in the body? Just actually allow them to be there instead of resisting feeling these natural feelings that arise when we judge ourselves. Just notice them. What am I feeling? Where are the emotions in my body? Get in touch with how much suffering is caused by our self-judgement, our fears of not being good enough. Some of our greatest suffering is caused at our own hands, by the belief that somehow, we should be perfect. Take your hand, or both hands if you prefer, and place it gently over your heart in a calm, soft, comforting manner. You might even want to rub a little soothing, reassuring circle. See if you can sense your heart right now. See if you can let your heart be moved by how difficult your emotional experience is when you think about this thing that makes you feel bad about yourself. And so what we’ll do now is repeat some phrases, lovingkindness phrases, designed to help you feel compassion for the fact that you are an imperfect being. You try your best, but no one, no one on this planet is perfect. We’re all inadequate in some way. We all make mistakes. We all fail. This is the human experience. It’s okay. MindfulnessExercises.com So, repeat the phrases silently. I’ll say a few sets of phrases aloud and then you can repeat them silently. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be kind to myself. May I accept myself as I am. Feeling the warmth of your hand on your heart. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be kind to myself. May I accept myself as I am. So, repeat these phrases silently, really trying to get in touch with the intention behind the words, the intention to offer yourself kindness, compassion, acceptance. As your mind wanders, which it will inevitably do, just refresh the phrases in your mind. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be kind to myself. May I accept myself as I am. Giving yourself the same kindness and support and acceptance you would give to a good friend who was feeling bad about themselves. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be kind to myself. May I accept myself as I am. MindfulnessExercises.com Remembering that everyone is in the same boat. Everyone feels inadequate in some way. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone fails. This is the human condition. This is normal. This is something we all share. It’s okay. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be kind to myself. May I accept myself as I am. And remembering all your fellow humans who struggle with self-judgement the way you do, let’s change the phrases slightly so that we include everyone in our intention for self-compassion. May we all feel safe. May we all be peaceful. May we be kind to ourselves. May we accept ourselves as we are. May we be safe. May we be peaceful. May we be kind to ourselves. May we accept ourselves as we are. Just gently repeating the phrases silently. Now I’d like you to think of something that’s been causing you suffering that you don’t necessarily blame yourself for. Maybe you have a loved one who is sick, or something’s going wrong in your life just due to external circumstances. Something that’s very hard to bear, hard to deal with. MindfulnessExercises.com And also, give yourself compassion for this source of suffering. Your suffering comes from two main sources, from ourselves not being as we want, or from our lives not being as we want. So, thinking of this aspect of your life that’s causing you pain, repeat the following phrases. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be kind to myself. May I accept my life as it is. This is the way things are. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be kind to myself. May I accept my life as it is. Repeating the phrases silently to yourself, soothing and comforting yourself with the difficulties of living the human life. Really feel your caring concern, tenderness for yourself, struggling like so many others. May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be kind to myself. May I accept my life as it is. Again, put your hand on your heart, or if it’s been there the whole time, really feel your hand on your heart. And while we’ve been focusing on comforting ourselves for painful feelings, for suffering, MindfulnessExercises.com now see if you can feel what the compassionate self feels like. Maybe your heart is tingling or feels warm, feels vibrant in some way. Notice the good qualities of an open heart that’s filled with compassion, the beautiful feelings of tenderness, care, concern, kindness. Noticing the joy of compassion, of connectedness, of open-heartedness. This also is part of the human experience. And thank yourself for being a good, supportive friend. May we all be well and safe, happy and free.

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.

Over view effect into 

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….

 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.

Classic Body scan

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.)

Body scan non specific

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.

Meta Meditation on Loving Kindness

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.

Silent meditation practice

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.

 

Forest guided meditation with object

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.