By Thomas McConkie, adapted from an episode of the Mindfulness+ podcast.
As we get started, I'll invite you to find a place where you can get comfortable, settle in, not be interrupted, and we will begin.
Take a moment to just ground in the physical body. Really allow your awareness to totally fill the entire physical body. Like a sponge that's totally soaked through with water, your awareness soaks through the entire body.
As you do this, you can notice any hot spots, any places with tension in the body where you're tight or holding on. And you can just keep breathing. Letting yourself soften. Letting go.
Feel the support of the ground beneath you. Whether you're standing, lying, sitting, just feel your relationship to the ground and as you do that, you can trust your weight even more to the ground. Letting go, softening.
And for a moment I want you to just bring your awareness to the expansion and contraction of the torso. As you breathe in and out. And as we do this today, we're going to work with a mantra — a syllable or word that we repeat to help us pay attention, to help us concentrate.
I'll recommend you use a word that's simple and meaningful to you. You can use "peace," "love," maybe "patience." Just pick a simple word that has a positive meaning and feeling for you. Don't stress over it, any word will do.
Once you've settled on a word, I want you to say it to yourself in your mind as you breathe in and repeat it each time you breathe out.
Just stay with it. If you get distracted that's okay. Just come back to your syllable, your word, repeat it as you breathe in. Repeat it as you breathe out. You don't have to speak it out loud, you can just think it, softly as you breathe — as the breath breathes you.
For any given period of meditation, it can take a little while to settle in. So as you notice discomfort in the body and thoughts in the mind, just recognize that that's content that the body and mind are in the process of letting go of. They're not problems. You're just releasing.
Stay with the breath. On the in-breath saying this word in your mind. And on the out-breath, repeating the same word. Just allowing your attention to be rapt. Allowing yourself to become curious, fascinated by this experience.
As thoughts come up in awareness you can just let them come up in the background of awareness. Not making a problem of them, just staying with your focus. Letting the breath breathe you. Letting the syllable, letting the mantra just flow.
The longer we practice, the deeper we practice. Just give yourself time to settle in.
Good. Stay with it. Go ahead and let that go and just allow yourself to do nothing. If awareness wants to expand you can let it expand. If awareness becomes focused on this or that, you can just allow it to focus. Awareness opens and focuses is natural as the movement of the in-breath and the out-breath. You don't have to exert any control or any effort. Just do nothing for another moment. Whatever happens happens. If you catch yourself trying to do something you can just let it go.
Give yourself a moment to start to open your eyes. You can give your fingers and toes a little wiggle, opening up your awareness to the space around you and enjoying this moment of plainness, of ordinariness — immersing yourself in this awareness, the light of mind that is always available.