Awareness

Begin as you did for the reflection on focus, to the point where you are noticing the differences between one breath and the next.

When you are settled, let go of the focus on your breath, and just be aware of whatever comes into your consciousness. If nothing comes, silently ask yourself, ‘What next?’

If sensations, thoughts or feelings just meander across the stage of your mind, just say ‘Hi!’, and let them go on their way. If anything comes centre-stage, for now, just note it: ‘Thinking. Remembering’, ‘Thinking. Imagining, ‘Waiting’, and so on.

If you become aware of your emotions, just name the emotion you are experiencing. ‘Feeling. Frustration’, ‘Feeling. Sadness’, or whatever it may be.

Sometimes, it will be bodily sensations. Pain. Numbness. Hunger. Cold. Heat. Itch. The list is almost endless. Whatever it is, just name it. ‘Sensation. Sore back’, ‘Sensation. Cold feet’, or whatever. The same with anything from your external senses, mostly likely your hearing, but possibly also smell or taste. If, say, there are sounds that come to the front of your mind, try not to react to them, just name them.

When you notice that you have drifted off, or that the ‘mind monkeys’ have ‘gone off on one’, just bring your attention back to your breath for a few moments, then ask, ‘What’s next?’

When time is up, finish the exercise as you did in the focus reflection, scanning up your body, before reconnecting with the sounds and sights around you. Be aware of how you feel before getting on with the rest of your day.

Image: By John Hain on Pixabay  is licensed under CCO.

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