The Practice of PAUSING and GROUNDING: Feet, Seat, Spine

Listening to your “thinking mind” alone takes you out of the present moment and dissociates you from the emotional, relational, and spiritual intelligence available with embodied attention. The practice of Pausing and Grounding escorts your attention back to the present moment and calms the anxious mind. To do this practice, it is necessay to slow down your thoughts and movements. It can be done anytime, anywhere.

* PAUSE

*FEET:

With eyes open or closed, slowly bring your attention INSIDE your FEET. Sense their connection with the earth below. Sense the aliveness in your feet.

*SEAT:

Moving your attention from you feet slowly up you legs, sense the WEIGHT of your SEAT and the sitting bones there. Sense the contact of your seat with what you are sitting on. Let this weight anchor you in the earth below.

*SPINE:

Bring your attention to your SPINE AND BACK, sensing how it feels to be supported or BACKED UP by your spine. Sense the aliveness in your spine, from both the inside and the outside.

Now go to the front of your body.

The Practice of Receptivity: SOFT EYES, SOFT HEART, BREATH

When you are receptive to life, you can take in what is happening NOW, where everything feels fresh and new. You can practice RECEPTIVITY anytime, anywhere.

* SOFT EYES:

Slowly bring your attention to the front of the body and sense your EYES. Take your time, softening them and sensing the space behind them. Keep softening your eyes until you sense a calm and light energy there.

*SOFT HEART:

Now come to the solar plexus/diaphragm area. Soften the chest. Sense the aliveness in the softness and receptivity of your chest. Ask yourself: “Can I meet life with this softness here in my chest?”

*BALLOON BREATHING:

Now sense the in and out of your BREATH. Gently begin inhaling, imagining a balloon filling your belly and ribs — front, back and both sides — all at the same time. When you get to the top of the inhale, do not pause.

Now gently exhale, again not pausing at the bottom of the breathing cycle. See if you can create a steady flow of breath, in the shape of a flower bud opening and closing in slow motion.

Contemplative Practices | The Pause | Embodied Presence Focusing
Embodied Meditation | Labyrinth Walking