Body Scan Meditation
Updated: May 15
Sarah was furious at her 10 year old son for being careless and playing ball in the house. He had accidentally dropped the vase in the living room; it was broken irreparably. He stood guilty next to the broken pieces; she looked disapprovingly with an ‘I told you so’ look on her face.
Sarah angrily blurted out, “I am taking away all your TV and play time for the next 10 days. You have never done anything right. You never listen to me. One day you’ll break me too. Nothing good has happened since you were born.”
She realized instantly that she had said too much. She didn’t intend to say such hurtful things to her child. It was like losing control in the heat of the moment. She was a slave to her racing thoughts. The anger that had gripped her a moment ago transformed to guilt and regret.
This happens to many of us, overtaken by emotion that we react in ways we never intended. If given a chance to relive that moment we would do it another way.
Mindfulness helps us recognize that pause before reacting to an external stimulus. It gives you a moment to be aware of your thoughts, emotions, and body sensation and choose a response instead of reacting out of habit.
We learn to practice body scan in comfortable situations and gradually become aware of our body sensations in emotionally charged situations as well.
Body Scan Meditation
It is a formal meditation practice that helps us experientially learn about mindfulness. It involves paying attention to the parts of the body and bodily sensation in a gradual sequence from the toes to head.
The Benefits of the Body Scan Practice:
- It helps in training attention and focus and brings awareness to the present moment.
- Training our minds to be with the experience and sensation in our body without having to judge or push it away.
- Developing a skillful relationship with your body and experience the impermanence of the wandering mind.
- Accepting your body as complete and full of life. It isn’t about liking/disliking or right/wrong.
-Staying aware and breathing into all the bodily sensations, changes our relationship with physical discomfort. We are seldom aware of the fact that physical pain and uneasiness is related to our mental well being. A link is provided for body scan meditation
If you feel your discomfort is increasing during the practice or you begin to feel anxious…
- Stay with your breath until you feel better
- Open your eyes, look around
- stop meditating and do something that makes you relax.
- Dr Nahid Dave