3 of 17

more basic meditation

Here are some different ways to meditate by concentrating on sensations in the body.

contact sensations

One is to pay attention to your ability to feel, sense and have contact. Focus on the sensation of your hands touching each other, of your buttocks in contact with
the cushion or chair, of your clothes against your skin, or. of the coolness or warmth of air on your face.

strong sensations

Another method is to pay attention to strong sensations in the body. You might be bothered by an itch on your cheek, or if you are sitting cross-legged you might feel pain in your knee or ankle. Just observe the feeling of  itching or pain as it is; do not grasp or reject it. If you sit utterly still and do not scratch as you usually would but instead look deeply into the itch, it will not have the unbearable feel of ’I have to scratch this or else!’ and it will disappear quickly by itself. ·

sweeping the body

The third method is what is called 'sweeping the body’ meditation. Start at the top of the head and observe any sensations there — in the scalp, the face, the jaw. Notice how it feels to have a head. Then move to the neck, the shoulders, the torso (back and front), the arms and hands, the pelvic area, the thighs and knees, the lower parts of the legs and the feet. For a few minutes be aware of your whole body, and then slowly go back up through the different parts of the body again. At first, it might be easier to go slowly and spend five minutes on each part of the body. This method is good for people who have trouble concentrating, as the regular change of focus makes the meditation feel more lively.

When you meditate on sensations, you do not create or imagine them, you do not worry or speculate about them. You just observe your sensations, impartially but intently. You become interested in experiencing the process of sensation. We are so often lost in thoughts and distractions that we forget about our bodies. Through this meditation you become aware of your body from moment to moment and grateful for the amazing gift of the ability to sense and feel.