Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!
In the blog category “Mindfulness Meditation techniques”, I will list various techniques that will help practitioners of this form of meditation. Over a period of years, I have compiled a variety of such techniques and formed a virtual toolkit from which I draw upon on a regular basis. All exercises listed in this blog category can be used either as formal techniques or as informal techniques, depending on the specific situation and circumstance.
Some humorous quotations are created by cleverly transforming prosaic expressions. Most people are familiar with the exhortation: Don’t just stand there, do something. This is a call to action with the underlying assumption that if you just stand there and do not take action, then the opportunity to make a difference will pass and will never come again. However, the reverse exhortation to just not to do something but just to stand there is actually a good mindfulness meditation technique.
Let me take a brief segway and talk about “body scan meditation”. Body Scan is an important component of mindfulness meditation and is designed to help you feel and bring awareness to the myriad of constantly changing sensations that occur throughout your body. By practicing this meditation regularly, you can improve your body awareness; stay anchored in the present moment and also better work with pain and difficult emotions in the body. Unlike our minds, our bodies are always in the present moment. If you are experiencing pain in your body, then that pain is happening right in the present moment.
Coming back to the blog topic, if you just stand in a safe place where you will not be disturbed, you can start practicing body scan meditation. You can gently close your eyes from time to time or gently keep them open all the time. Many sensations will be amplified in your body. You will also find yourself gently swaying back and forth, forward and backward. Your mind will be a bit alert simply because it will have to support your standing body. This may bring about some kind of stillness to it thereby allowing you to freely focus on the myriad of sensations occurring in your body.
You can start by focusing your attention on your breath as it comes in and goes out. After you have anchored your attention on your breath for a minute or two, you can then start to perform body scan meditation by placing your awareness on the top of your head, observe any sensations that are occurring there and then gently sweep your attention down till you reach the tip of your toes. Then start from the tip of your toes and sweep your attention to the top of your head. See if you are able to complete one sweep back-and-forth in 10 minutes.
CAUTION: If you feel dizzy or if you experience pain or if you get uncomfortable in any way, then please stop this exercise immediately. This is supposed to be a very comfortable exercise.
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