Using Body Awareness For Deeper Meditation

hand-energy.jpgI would like to share with you a very powerful meditation technique I use called ‘body awarenes

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Even though this practice is primarily used during meditation, I have found great use in utilizing body awareness in my every day life as well. For those of you who already have a meditation practice, I highly recommend trying the following steps.

For those of you who do not currently meditate, the practice brings a great sense of peace, joy, perspective and fulfillment into your life. I highly recommend you giving it a whirl and have written two excellent pieces on ‘meditation for beginners’. I encourage you to check them out:

How To Meditate For Beginners
20 Steps for Quieting The Mind

Body awareness is extremely healthy and initiates the flow of fresh oxygenated blood to body areas that usually fall below the radar of your consciousness:

Using the Body

The big question for beginners is: where do I focus my attention during meditation? There are myriad schools of thought which answer this question. Many teachers suggest using the breath as a focal point to deeper awareness.

I have used the breath to some degree of success, but have always found deeper experiences through focusing on my body parts. Here is how:

First, it is always helpful to make your practice of meditation ‘formal’. Meaning, set aside at least 15 minutes every day to practice meditation. Make sure you will not be disturbed and commit yourself to sitting in stillness with your body, breath and even your thoughts for the allotted time.

After taking a few deep breaths, begin noticing the air as it travels in and out of your nostrils. Notice how the air feels colder during the inhale and warmer during the exhale. Focus your attention on where you feel the air most prominently.

Next, follow the breath inwards and notice it in the belly. Begin feeling the sensation of your stomach expanding with each inhale and deflating on each exhale. Really be there with your stomach as it goes in and out. Try and feel the air enter your domain and sense the space it is taking up.

body.jpgLower Body Awareness

After a few minutes of conscious breathing, you will have greater control on your attention span. That is the goal, and the next place I suggest bringing your attention is to the feet.

Start feeling your toes, heals, and arches in whatever position they are currently in. Notice a tingling sensation that seems to follow your attention, and bring your full awareness to it.

Next, lead your attention up the leg, through the ankle and on the calves. Stay there for a moment and breathe into the calves. Feel the blood flowing in your lower legs, and then bring your attention upward to the knees.

I love focusing awareness on the knees. They are a mystical and sensitive part to the body and bringing awareness here also brings health!

Follow the path upwards through the thighs and focus astutely in your pelvis area. Allow the tingling sensation to emanate throughout the pelvis and massage the internal organs that work so hard to keep you healthy.

The tingling sensation I describe is SO important in body awareness. It represents your life flow, your vibrational force, and the

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very essence of your being alive. Bring your attention to it over and over again.

As you continue to move upwards combine your attention with love and appreciation of the body parts you are feeling. When you begin this process, it might be as if you are feeling your body for the first time. Awareness is love, and love is wellness.

Upper Body Awareness

As you work your way upwards, feel your stomach and internal organs hard at work. Just sit with them, notice them, and appreciate them for what they do.

Sense the beating of the heart and bring your full attention to this beautiful masterpiece. Really feel the beating and begin to understand that this is your life, and not all the stresses of your every day ‘life situation’. Right here, right now, you and your heart.

Be still, and be at peace. No where to go, no where to be…

As you follow your awareness up your chest and shoulders, and down your arms into your hands notice how gentle and light your fingers feel. They are delicate and beautiful, and allow your awareness to wash freely over them.

As your attention creeps up the neck, bring it to your lips and mouth. Sit in pure silence and stillness as you feel the sensation of having a mouth. Next, follow the tingling to the nose and again feel the sensation of the breath as it travels in and out of the

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nostrils.

You may feel much more alert to your breath then when you first began this process. That is great, and appreciate how easily you have become an observer to your body.

Go to the eyes and allow your awareness to spread appreciation to your vision. Go behind the eyes and feel the brain working and sense its vibrational frequencies. This is a very powerful part to the practice, and I love feeling the sensation of my entire head hard at work as I sit here, in silence, observing it.

chakras.jpgFull Body Awareness

Once your attention has traveled from toes to head, get a sense of the entire body. Feel everything all at once and spread the tingling of awareness throughout the wonderful organism in which you live. Feel your life force beating, breathing and flowing within you.

Appreciate with loving kindness all your body does for you. Say thank you. Say it again.

What a transcending way to start a day, and I hope you cultivate the thirst to feel your body. I have found higher levels of consciousness by learning how to focus on my physical body during my meditation practice, and I hope this experience is useful for you.

As always, I look forward to your comments!

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25 Responses to “Using Body Awareness For Deeper Meditation”

  1. Gamy Racehl says:

    Hello Todd,

    I love the step by step tips you gave.

    Excellent post. I gave it a stumble.

    Blessings
    Gamy

  2. Peter says:

    Todd,

    I have just started meditating regularly in the past 6-12 months. I tend to focus on the breath, but I am certainly curious about the potential to gain a deeper awareness. I’ll give it a shot and get back to you :)

    Peter

  3. Tim Brownson says:

    Great post Todd! The fact is if we can focus on two things at once all thoughts automtaically cease and that leads to a deeper experience. The problem is too many people get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results. I’m sure your method will help avoid that.

  4. I also gave it a Stumble, Todd. Offhand, this seems like it might work well (probably with some modification) with yoga or tai chi..

  5. Todd says:

    Thanks for the wonderful comments…its encouraging that so many of you meditate, and I hope you can try this body awareness technique!
    Todd

  6. Alik says:

    Todd. What a timely post!
    I am in search for the technique of “switching gears”. It is way too hard for me to switch from one thoughts to another – example, work thoughts to home worries.
    I was trying the technique you describe while reading the post itself and recognized how it affects me in positive way, i felt I am getting disconnect from outer noise and tune in into myself.

    i was never meditating and this one seem to make to.

    Big “thank you” goes to you, I am on it.
    alik

  7. niceguy says:

    I like starting the meditation by concentrating on the breath. As I concentrate on the breath my mind wanders off to the body, which gives me a deeper experience. I am looking forward to using your technique on the next meditation! Thanks!
    that guy

  8. Kim says:

    Hi Todd,

    I loved this Body Awareness meditation. I use this type of meditation more for full relaxation but what I really liked was the idea of using it consciously to feel each part consciously and hold love and gratitude for our bodies as we work up through each part of our body. This is wonderful and so simple and just imagine the healing that will take place in our bodies as we lift our vibrations in joy and gratitude. Thanks Todd.I’ll start doing this and let you know how I get on. As always – Great stuff.

    Kim

  9. Suzann says:

    Great article. This added a new layer to the meditations I’ve been doing. Thank you!

  10. Todd says:

    Alik, nice guy, Kim and Suzann– THANK you for the wonderful responses. I am glad this piece has been so helpful…more on this subject to come…
    Todd

  11. Chris Cade says:

    I enjoyed this article and it reminds me of some of my own meditation practice. For anybody who wants to experience more joy and peace in their lives, this is a sure-fire way to get there.

    There is one thing I would place less emphasis on though, especially for those who are new to meditation or do not have a regular practice.

    In my experience, the “tingling” element is not actually very important. This is because sometimes during this exercise, I may not feel tingling.

    Each person experiences the focus of attention on body parts in different ways, and it changes depending on what we are experiencing in the moment.

    For example, if our foot fell asleep we might notice extra tingling. On the other hand, we may notice nothing at all — even with our attention on a body part.

    We may notice hot or cold, or depth or emptiness… we may notice feeling density or pressure deep within our foot, or we may notice some sense of energy moving that does not feel like our normal idea of what “tingling” feels like.

    All of those experiences are completely valid indicators that the body meditation is being done correctly… because the importance is not about “what” we feel (such as tingling), the importance of this exercise is that we pay attention and just notice what we do or do not feel throughout.

    Anyway, I just wanted to add that bit for others who may be like me and don’t always experience “tingling” during the exercise, but whom do feel the flow of life energy in and through us regardless.

    All in all, a wonderful post that I know will help many people if they take it to heart and actually give it a try.

  12. [...] second post is by Todd on his blog we the change. It’s called “Using Body Awareness For Deeper Meditation“, and talks about meditation, relaxation of mind, and also contains links on how to start [...]

  13. Craig says:

    Some nights I use body awareness to help me fall asleep. One night I got a got a sensation that I never had before, it started like a slight tingling sensation in my chest, so I concentrated more on the feeling. The feeling got more intense, I could describe this feeling as an up-welling or heavey rush, I kind of got me a bit startled so I stopped concentrating on it…Anyone know what happened ?

  14. Krista says:

    I have also experienced that tingling sensation in my chest while meditating before going to bed…more than once. It gets me scared so I usually stop meditating. I was trying to find an answer to this on the Internet when I came across this page. Anyway, great article!

  15. [...] Using Body Awareness For Deeper Meditation [...]

  16. debbie blocker says:

    So beautifully written… I have been doing this type of meditation for sometime and have tried to share it with others. You have explained it so well I have forwarded it to inpire others.
    Thank you so much,
    Debbie

  17. Brian says:

    thank you very much todd for this post. i have just recently (very recently) started to do a body awareness meditation. it was mentioned in a book i was reading, and i gave it a try. i felt the tingling you referred to, and i focused on spreading it throughout my body, when i felt it throughout my entire body at the same time i focused on pulling myself into it so to speak, and when i had done that i focused on letting go of my image of my physical form all together. at each step the tingling grew more intense until it was like continuous waves constantly washing over, and through me. i wanted to find more information on this type of meditation as i had only really read it mentioned in passing, and i am very happy, and grateful to have come across this post and i am excited to try this meditation more formally, and with more structure. again, thank you very much. brian.

  18. dustin says:

    for those of you above this is the start of your out of body exit,you get tingling,then aquire paralysis because your body falls asleep so you can go out of body. some of you might feel a falling sensation,then you’re out of body. i.e. popping noises,screaming,plane noises.

    • swapnil says:

      hi dustin..i think the body paralysis thing as well as those popping loud noises are related to something called as the sleep paralysis syndrome….iv had a lot of them…just not sure if its due to meditation….would love to hear more if you know about it, thnks.

  19. Brian says:

    what are the steps to take for an out of body experience once you feel the tingling? what happens? thank you very much for your consideration. and again thank you todd for an amazing and informative article. brian.

  20. Buddha's Son says:

    Meditating on the body is about going deeper within yourself. Thinking about out of body experiences while doing this practice will get in the way. Out of body experiences come and go, but body awareness can become a part of your conciousness throughout the day.

  21. AstralProjectee says:

    Wow, I love this meditation. I think I will try it tomorrow. Thanks. You know I find it really helps me when I meditate just to know that as I’m meditating that my brain is rewiring and I’m making progress second by second. Thanks again.

    Peace!

  22. Well written post! I also like the feeling of my head at work just observing my body in silence. I have a question though. How is a simple body meditation different from chakra meditation? Or are the two of the same kind?

    For me, I feel chakra meditation is a bit more deeper and harder to concentrate than merely observing sensations.

    Thanks,
    Navyatha.

  23. andres mandaue says:

    i am not consistent doing meditation. I have noticed during meditation that my mouth is producing saliva during inhaling and exhaling, as i listen to sound of the air in my nostril. since the amount of saliva is just enough to take in, i just continue taking in…one during inhalation and another during exhalation. I would like to know what is the significance or effect of this saliva to me physically or spiritually.

    love to hear comments on this.

    God bless

  24. Jane says:

    I have been practicing body awareness for five years, yet I found your writing very inspiring. As I read through it, I feel wave sensation in my body. Thank you!

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