When it comes to meditation or life in general, when we are focused and concentrated we encounter much lower levels of stress and overall better wellbeing. Usually we practice in order to unlearn many unmindful habits we have picked up throughout our days. This in turn leads to a clearer vision, more peaceful exists, and most importantly the realization that NOW is all there truly is. The present moment is our good friend, perhaps the only friend that will always be there.
This realization, or experiencing the now, can be impeded upon by many forces, all of which usually reside in connection to your ego. I want to shed light on something that has helped me tremendously when dealing with the problem of being unmindful, minimizing the ego, and has brought me much more into the present moment. It’s the body.
There is a good form of meditation that usually goes by the name of body scanning. This involves putting all of your focus and conscious effort into specific parts of your body. Perhaps starting with the head and working your way down. But when you start, you want to completely relax, and drop any visual image you may have regarding your body.
You must start to really feel each part of your body. Let’s say you’re scanning your head, you want to feel all of the ins and outs of your head, including your nose, eyes, chin, maybe how the air feels going in your nostrils, or simply how the warmth of the left cheek is slightly more noticeable than the right.
As you start to practice this and get good at it, you will be able to feel a sort of energy or feeling within each body part. And sooner or later, the whole body will become capable of radiating this energy if you practice enough. This is the inner being of the body, and it’s always there.
Bringing Body Scanning Into Daily Life
I’ve given you a very short introduction into what body scanning is. Most of the people within the meditation community i’ve met only use the body scan during meditation. This is what i really want to bring focus to. Not that it’s not a great way to start off your meditative routine, because it is!
But it can be so much more than that. You CAN essentially use your body as a portal into the present moment whenever you want! I can’t emphasize enough how much this has helped me over the past year. Possessing this ability not only helps you diminish your unnecessary emotions but also liberates you from a big portion of the ego. This can be applied to any activity or task even within a simple conversation.
Usually when people conversate they are so caught up in thinking about what they want to say that they don’t really listen. Simply feeling your body once or twice brings you to the heart of the present moment and allows you to really listen to what the person is saying. The body is always present, it’s the mind that gets lost in the future and present. Another great example of how this can help you deals with emotion. When you react off emotion you become unconscious and stuck in your ego.
If you have been practicing body scans and are familiar with feeling your inner energy, it’s very easy to just feel your body and let it bring you back to the moment while the emotions quickly dissipate. The energy can almost feel like a pulse sometimes. Even when you don’t notice it, it’s still there. There are plenty of different things that help you with mindfulness and bring you into the present, but using the body has been the most impactful for myself. It has certainly changed my life.
The good news? Its always there, you just have to practice finding it and removing whatever may stand in the way of it. Focusing on the body and getting in tune with it has no doubt brought about the most helpful meditative state I’ve felt. And I’m always doing it. Always feeling my body and using it as a tool to be more mindful. So can YOU. It can and IS extremely liberating.
- Try to make body scanning a habit. Once you start practicing you can easily scan the entire body in a very focused manner in under a minute.
- After you have practiced body scanning for a while, the sensation of the energy within you will be easily felt. Use this during activities and daily routines to become more mindful and present.
- Accept all of the sensations your body feels, without judgement.
- Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable, life is impermanent!
- Enjoy each moment cause that’s all we have.
Written by William Acker
William Acker is a student in Minnesota. He is constantly trying to be more in tune with reality and loves to ponder the nature of humans. He pretty much lives out of his backpack, is having the time of his life, and loves to help people. He runs a blog called The Unmanifested and is currently giving away a few free meditation benches.