By Thomas McConkie, adapted from an episode of the Mindfulness+ podcast.
Take a moment to settle in, letting the intelligence of the body organize itself into a posture that allows you to be awake, alert, but also soft and relaxed.
And you can just breathe, letting the breath soften you, especially on the out-breath. You can just notice the way the body tends to relax and let go. The muscles tend to soften.
I'd invite you in this practice to not try and feel a certain way as you practice, not try and get somewhere with this meditation so much as just open up to what’s already here — what's actually so. Just notice the body. Notice the shape, the posture, of the physical body. Notice sensation, the feel of the floor or the pressure of the seat against your bottom or maybe your back. Notice where you make contact with the ground.
Also notice where sensation is the brightest, the most felt — maybe through the organs, the belly, the heart, the throat, or the face. Just notice. And you can notice where sensation is quieter, more dim, or difficult to detect. However the body is feeling in this moment — blissful, relaxed, happy, or maybe tense, challenged, uncomfortable, or all the above and more — notice that the body is just happening. Sensation is just flowing like a mighty river. Or a quiet river, as the case may be. And just as you can never step into the same river twice, the body never repeats the same sensation. It's a continuous flow — always new, always renewing.
Notice thoughts in the mind, thoughts floating through awareness. What does it feel like to have a thought? What images come up? What internal sound and chatter occur? Notice the shape, the contour, and the movement of the thinking mind in this moment. And again you can just allow thought to flow. Just like you wouldn't hold the breath indefinitely, you don't need to try and not think. Rather you can just allow thoughts to flow through awareness as naturally as blood flows through the veins.
If you get pulled into a thought, you can just notice that awareness collapses into a thought and allow awareness to open back up into spaciousness, into the vast field of awareness that is, that you are. And just notice awareness in this moment. Not awareness of something — awareness of the body, awareness of the mind — but awareness that you're aware. You're having an experience and if you weren't aware, there would be no experience at all. Forget what you're experiencing and notice that you're experiencing.
And as you rest as awareness, as you're aware of awareness, it makes no difference what you're experiencing. There's no longer such thing as a good meditation and a bad meditation, even a good day and a bad day, because you are awareness. You are the open and free field through which experience comes and goes, comes and goes. But you — awareness — don't come and go. You, this wakefulness, this intelligence — you have always been and always are. You don't have to think about it. You don't have to understand it. You can be it. Just aware.
And in this moment the body rises in awareness. Thoughts arise in awareness. The entire world arises in awareness, and you are all these things, all at once, simultaneously. Body, mind, spirit, integrated. Breathe in through all of you. Breathe in through all of your bodies, feel the stretch in awareness, feel your own vastness. And know that this is always available.