This body-based meditation is a very effective way to get grounded and centered. It encourages an embodied, calm, and open awareness, and discourages disassociation. If you have a tendency to "leave your body," feel ungrounded, or disassociated, this is a good practice.
Sit with your spine straight and aligned, and the rest of your body relaxed. Keep bringing yourself back to this condition.
- Take a reposed, seated posture.
- For this meditation, it is very important that your spine is straight. Your neck and back should be in perfect alignment. Your chin should be down very slightly.
- If you are sitting in a chair, do not rest your spine against the chair. Sit forward so that your spine is supporting its own weight. Let the muscles of the spine be engaged.
- All the other muscles of your body can be completely relaxed. Allow your face muscles to let go, and your jaw to drop slightly, so that your teeth are not touching.
- Let your shoulders hang freely, and let your belly be soft and open.
- This is the posture you are aiming for, with your spine erect and your body completely relaxed.
- As you sit, keep bringing your awareness back to the fine details of your posture. Notice any time your spine slumps even slightly, your head leans to either side, or any other deviation. Correct these gently and repeatedly.
- Also notice if any other areas of your body tense up even slightly. If anything is tensing, relax it in a gently and soft manner.
- Keep checking in with the body, using your body (somatic) awareness; the feeling in your body. Mental images of your body will probably arise, which is fine, but these are not what you are concentrating upon. Instead, concentrate your awareness in the sense of your body. The sensitivity in your muscles, tissues, viscera, skin, and so forth.
- The more detailed and minute you get with this awareness, the better. Each tiny area of the body has its own sensitivity to contribute.
- Every once in a while you can zoom out to cover the entire somatosensory field — the awareness of your entire body — to bring the overall body back into alignment.
- Keep relaxing every muscle everywhere. Use just enough tension to keep your spine erect, but no more.
- Continue this meditation for at least 10 minutes, continuously contacting your body awareness.
This is a modern variation on a number of ancient body-based techniques.
If you have any spinal injuries or severe back pain, it is fine to allow your spine to rest in a pain-free position.
Make sure to do this meditation in a very
If you find yourself distracted by a lot of mental chatter, you can use verbal labeling as an aid to concentration.
For example, when checking on the spine, you can say to yourself, "spine in alignment."
When checking on the body, say, "body relaxed."