Mindful Body Another tool for our Mindful Tool Box

Mindful Body Another tool for our Mindful Tool Box

Continuing on with building our mindfulness Tool Box, our essential third tool is Awareness of the Body, or Mindful Body for short.  Keep in mind that there are five exercises for mindfulness in everyday life as taught by  Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.  Each serves a vital part of our daily routine and will be the foundation as we build a Tool Box for life.

Stress, tension, depression and physical pain are all a part of our lives. These do not have to be the controlling influences, the driving factors in our lives. Managing and living well can be accomplished and we can have a happy, balanced life.  Meditation and relaxation techniques, when combined with other coping skills, can increase your quality of life.  Mindfulness is just one of the many different meditation techniques involving your mind, body, and spirit.

Rocks_babboo, Mindful Body

 

 

Following my usual format, in this informal and relaxed session, I will briefly go over:

  • What is Awareness of the Body/Mindful Body?
  • Guided Mediation for the Mindful Body
  • Using our tools together
  • Reward Time

 

 

 

 

What is Awareness of the Body/Mindful Body?

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment.

This is the technique to use to get in touch with your body. All it involves is a body scan where you turn your focus to each of your body parts one by one. As you’re going through your body, release any tension and simply try to relax. Thich Nhat Hanh recommends to use this mantra: “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body.”

 

 

Thay (Teacher) goes on to say “When you practice mindful breathing, the quality of your in-breath and out-breath will be improved. There is more peace and harmony in your breathing, and if you continue to practice like that, the peace and the harmony will penetrate into the body, and the body will profit.”

We should pause to take stock, to be aware of our body, several times daily. We call these moments “taking a break”  or “break time”. Utilizing these moments effectively is the key.

orange flowers, Mindful Body

Guided Mediation for the Mindful Body

A good beginning meditation for gaining awareness of the body. Give yourself additional time to Breathe and Concentrate and move slowly, at your own pace, into the body scan. Remember, this is your time and only you know when to transition from one phase to another.

As with all the videos or soundtracks I post, these are merely suggestions. I encourage you to experiment with different versions and styles to fit your lifestyle and to make the meditation more enjoyable and meaningful to you.

 

Using our tools together

With the addition of our third basic tool, your meditation sessions are progressively becoming longer and longer.  To be effective, each tool should be used to enhance the others. Take all the time you wish to “master” each tool before adding the next into your daily routine. You can review mindful breathing here, and mindful concentration here.  Using the tools properly will enhance your experience and be the most beneficial to you.

As you master each tool, as you become more proficient, the time required before you move to the next stage will decrease. The use of triggers, such as the chiming of a bell, will signal to body and mind the mind state to meditate.

I personally have used music to get into a rhythm for meditation and relaxation. Just getting comfortable and starting a soundtrack causes me to practice mindful breathing, leading me into concentration and mindful body without “me” doing more than closing my eyes. It is not that easy each time, and it did not happen overnight.

 

Reward Time

Anytime we accomplish a goal, learn a new skill, or simply decide to; we should reward ourselves.  After all, what would life be without ice cream? So, get up, stretch and go get a bowl of ice cream. Remember to come back here and spend just a few more minutes savoring ice cream and some interesting sounds.

 

 

In Conclusion

Our basic tools are almost together and in place in the Mindful Tool Box. We have gone over Breathing, Concentration and Mindful Body. Our next tool is Releasing Tension and we have already lightly touched upon it in this article. Mindful Walking will wrap up the basic tools and then we can start looking and choosing the tools we need or want to have.
Tool Box, Mindful Body

Rome was not built in a day. Our body and spirit cannot be changed in a day. Continue to seek the answers you are looking for and make informed decisions. Look both inside and outside the box.  Set realistic goals and keep some ice cream in the freezer.

 

If you have any questions or thoughts on Awareness of the Body (or on any of the other tools), please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!

 

Walking the Path of Peace,

Sanders

relaxationandmeditationmusic.com

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One thought on “Mindful Body Another tool for our Mindful Tool Box

  1. Jake Groeblinghoff

    May 9, 2018 at 5:47am

    Wow, what a relaxing site. I really like your mindfullness techniques. I’ve read up on these techniques before. If you ever watch Teal Swan on Youtube, in some of her videos she does meditation techniques, and when I read about this technique I thought of her video on breathing through your pores. She said something like “I want you to concentrate on an element and breath it in through your pores. So, I want you to imagine water coming through your pores and exiting when you exhale.” It was really an interesting experience to “feel” that and the same thing applies to your techniques here.

    I did some of the mindful exercises you have listed in your blog. It’s weird cause as soon as I started these exercises I started to feel immediate relaxation. It was like all of a sudden I started to lay on a cloud and enter into some peaceful dream. I dunno why, but there’s something soothing about certain sounds. Like the “Desk Chair Body Scan” I immediately started to enter into a dream-like state. The small bells I heard from the beginning of that audio clip was so relaxing.

    Definitely cool stuff you got going on brother. Keep up the good work!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 9, 2018 at 11:54pm

      Thanks for the most kind words. I try and enjoy the techniques I write about. Mindfulness has been in practice through many generations and I use a more relaxed version than most. In fact, I did not realize that I was practicing mindfulness until a few months ago, when I heard a similar statement as the Pores. Glad you enjoyed the exercises and got such a relaxed state so quickly. I encourage you to continue on with meditation and see where it takes you.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  2. Sumit

    May 10, 2018 at 12:54am

    I am refreshed with your thoughts on how to relieve stress, depression, physical pain. With modern world all this are common pain in our day to day life. but by meditation we can calm ourselves and live a happy life.
    Thanks for the great thoughts on meditation , I really lose all my burden after reading your post.

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 10, 2018 at 3:04am

      Thank you. Knowing that I have helped someone escape, just for a few moments, from this hectic world is inspiring for me. You are right, calming ourselves and living a happy life is something we all can achieve thru meditation. Add some music to your sessions and go to the next level.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  3. Kat

    May 10, 2018 at 1:50am

    Hi, what a fabulous post. I practice mindfulness techniques through meditation as well as in my everyday activities, where I am present in my actions and being. As a counsellor, I frequently talk through mindfulness meditations and breathing techniques as I find many people I speak with experience anxiety. I have also found that when a person who has experienced anxiety for a long duration, they can find mindfulness practices challenging as they haven’t practiced being in such a space for some time. So I encourage them to keep practicing it more than just the once so they can get their body and mind used to the new experience for them. I will certainly be referring them back to your site for help in this area. Thanks for such a great post and web site.

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 10, 2018 at 2:58am

      Hello Kat,
      Thank you. I am glad that you are actively using Mindfulness, and using it with the people you work with. Something I did not realize is the thought that anxiety can make meditation a challenging exercise. Learning to be in the present is a wonderful but sometimes frightening experience. I do plan on adding additional tools to my Tool Box and will remember to encourage short but daily practice exercises. I have found that the addition of music can make some people more comfortable with new experiences. Thanks for being open to sharing my site.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  4. Matiss

    May 10, 2018 at 2:45am

    “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body.” – Such a ridiculously powerful tool! I have a feeling I will be using this a lot.
    Applying this (at least for me) gives the sensation of ‘I’m breathing in, now I’m aware of everything around me and within’.

    Thank you, Sanders! You made me better! And I truly appreciate that! <3
    Cheers!
    Have a great one!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 10, 2018 at 4:15am

      “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body. Such a ridiculously powerful tool!” I like the way you phrased that. And the beauty of it is…your right.
      Mindful breathing is the most basic tool we have, it is used in all meditation, relaxation and self-coping skills, yet is a natural part of life and is so often taken for granted.
      I do wish I could have the credit for making you better but the truth is You made You feel better and You can do so whenever You wish.
      Walk in the Path of Peace.
      Sanders

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  5. Dan

    May 10, 2018 at 3:16am

    It’s so hard to find an extra hour to work on my mind and body these days. And I think I know the answer why is so. After rushing and living in tension my body and mind forgot how to relax and doesn’t even want to try it. I have to stop thinking so much and just leave everything behind for a moment. I listened your desk chair body scan, it’s weird but interesting. The thing is that I listened it but didn’t tried to enter the relaxing state of mind. I will definitelly listen it again after work leaving all the thoughts behind. Thank you for this post, Sanders, looking forward for more!

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 10, 2018 at 4:33am

      Dan,
      Thank you! You are right, this world is so filled with rushing from one task to the next, the tension builds until we are not even aware of being in a tense state. I tend to overthink just about everything and I value my “me time”, my “leave everything behind time”. The greatest thing I have found is that we don’t have to devote any set amount of time to do this. If you are beginning, I recommend a set time and guided to help develop good habits and to remain on focus, but as you grow, you will find that you can meditate even for a short period (like waiting for a red light to turn green) and enjoy the benefits. No need to try and banish thoughts, just let them drift right on out. Glad you enjoyed the desk chair body scan, it is weird. In a good way.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  6. Sammy

    May 10, 2018 at 5:01am

    This is a fabulous article, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I think mindfulness is a very fascinating and interesting topic, and learning mindfulness as a meditation technique has so many benefits. It is really important nowadays – more than ever – to find space and time to relax the body and the mind and meditation is a great way to achieve that.
    Sometimes, it can be a bit hard for me to find good place for meditation, as I think you need enough peace and quiet around you. I quite like being surrounded by nature. Do you think it’s a good idea to meditate and practise mindfulness outside?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 10, 2018 at 5:55am

      Sammy,
      Thanks for your kind words. This world has such a tight grip on us all that finding our own Space is essential. Finding a good place to meditate is really not difficult. Sometimes we allow ourselves to get caught up in the whole MEDITATE portion that we forget true relaxation comes from within. Some articles and interviews I have read say that meditation in its truest form can only be done outside, surrounded by the sounds of nature. After all, it is the way the Teachers did it.
      Nature sounds are easy to find on the Net, and so you can bring Nature into your own home. Or the break-room at work, even your car (just be careful). In an earlier article, I wrote about what are “natural” sounds. If you live in a city, is the noise of the city considered so much a part of life that we think of them as “natural”?
      I live on a small acerage and have animals. I cannot iminage having to only meditate inside. Although, I do find it nice when it is raining or snowing to be able to be inside.
      I hope I answeered your question. If not, just throw a rock at me and I will try to remain on subject.
      Walking the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  7. Jo

    May 10, 2018 at 5:38am

    I love this article, thank you! I have stopped hunching over my computer and thought about my breathing. I will certainly have a look through the rest of your website.
    Do you write music yourself?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      May 10, 2018 at 6:14am

      Hi Jo,
      Be aware of your breathing but not to the point you are dwelling on it. Try and find a balance point, don’t worry, that will happen with time.
      I am one of the people who are not allowed even close to a music shop or studio because I might destroy the vibes. My fame is just to listen and enjoy the music.
      Walk the Path of Peace.
      Sanders

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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