Wellness

Mindfulness Body Scan for Self Compassion

Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can sit or lie down and be still
Close your eyes and place your attention on the breath
Breathe slowly yet fully in and out through your nose

With the next three slow, cycles of breath
Allow each exhale to be just as long as each breath in
Perhaps even longer

Feel the energy within and around you settle, perhaps into your seat
Or feel it settle towards the back of your body if you’re lying down

Then with open curiosity
Ask the body what’s present right here and right now
As if you’re opening yourself to listening to the body
Ask if there’s a physical sensation that needs your attention

And if there is, you’re welcome to zero in on that sensation
Or that area, that body part
And let that be the sole focus of this meditation

Otherwise, we’ll begin by bringing awareness to the head and neck
Expand attention into the face, the eyes, nose, mouth and ears
See if you notice a particular sensation in this area of the body, the head and face and neck
And if not, that’s ok too
If so, take note of any thoughts or emotions that you connect to this sensation

Notice what’s present with you now, as you contemplate the head, face and neck

And then, with this area of the body in mind, say silently to yourself…

May this part of my body be safe and well and free from pain

As you say these words, imagine energy flowing from your heart to your head
A warm, healing and loving energy. Then silently say to yourself…

May this part of my body, the head, face and neck, have everything it needs to be safe and well

Again, as you say these words, feel a kind, loving energy, move from your heart toward your head, then continue with the following wish…

May I accept this body part with deep gratitude, regardless of how it feels right now

As you say the words, feel them too. Feel a deep heartfelt gratitude for your head, your face, and all the benefits you receive from your functioning eyes, ears, nose, mouth and throat.
Then continue with this final wish…

May I extend the same loving kindness to this body part as I do to the most beloved

Who do you care for most in your life? Who is the recipient of your unconditional love? Sense this type of love, note how it feels in your body, and extend that love to your head, face and neck.

Sense that this area of your body has felt and received your wishes. Perhaps smile slightly, or otherwise sense what it feels like in the head and neck to have received that loving kindness.

Now drop awareness from your head, face and neck into your shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. And send your arms and hands these same four wishes.

May my shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists and hands be safe and well and free from pain

As you say the words, feel a loving and kind energy traveling from your heart, through your shoulders, past your elbows, and all the way down into your fingertips. Then continue with the following wish…

May this area of my body have everything it needs to be safe and well

May this part of your body have exercise, good food, clean water, and may it also receive this loving and kind energy.

May I accept this part of my body, my arms, hands and fingers, with deep gratitude, regardless of how it feels right now

And as you say those words, think of all the ways in which the fingers, thumbs, hands, wrists, lower and upper arms and shoulders benefit you daily. Reflect upon the functioning of this body part with love and awe. And then send more love with this final wish…

May I give the same loving kindness to this body part as I do to the most beloved

Understand that all the tiny molecules and parts that make up you, and your arms, and your hands, are the same as those that have built the one you love the most. So extend equally, your greatest love, to your own shoulders, arms and hands.

And then shift your awareness to your hips, thighs, lower legs and feet. Your entire low body. Sense what’s present here and now, in the low body. And notice if you’re connecting any particular thoughts or emotions to what it is that you notice. No need to change anything, just witness it all, with an open curiosity.

And then send the lower body your wishes…

May this part of my body be safe and well and healthy

And as you say those words, feel a loving, warm and healing energy moving downward from your heart, all the way to the tips of your toes.

May this part of my body have everything it needs to be safe and well

As you continue to send energy from your heart to your lower body, wish for healthy movement, healthy food, and abundant safe water.

May I accept my hips, buttocks, thighs, lower legs and feet with deep gratitude, regardless of how any part of my lower body feels right now

Recall the functioning of your low body, the benefits and opportunities your legs and feet have given you, and as you do, feel deep gratitude expanding in your heart

May I give the same loving kindness to my lower body part as I do to the most beloved

Notice the infinite source of love, kindness and warmth that’s present in your heart right now. And extend that sensation to your lower body.
Recognizing that the more you love you give away, the more love you’ll have to give.

And then bring your awareness back to your torso. Notice your rib cage, the protector of your heart and your lungs. Notice and soften your belly. Notice your spine, as you sit up a little taller.

As you send this first wish to your torso, feel it expand outward in every direction, from your heart…

May this part of my body be safe, healthy and well

Feel love and light and heat making its way from the center of your heart toward your chest, your back, and your sides. Feel this kind energy fill your entire torso with a positive, healing sensation.

May this part of my body have everything it needs to be safe and well

What does your heart, your lungs, your belly need? Imagine sending all those things. And see those things being received. Feel it too.

May I accept this body part with deep gratitude, regardless of how it feels right now

Notice the miracle of your breath, your heart beat, and all the activity of your inner organs. Notice the miracle of your spine, your ribcage, the low back and core from which you move and function. Look upon all of it with deep heartfelt awe. And finally,

May I give the same loving kindness to this body part as I do to the most beloved

In thanks, in recognition, or for no reason at all, feel your heart opening, and pouring loving kindness to every corner of your torso, and to every corner of your entire being, your entire shape, your entire form.

Remember that this loving kindness flows from an unlimited, infinite source. And as it flows outward, sense that your body receives your wishes, and receives this love.

Perhaps a slight smile again, or a softening of your shoulders, or a longer exhale breath.

Rest in awareness that your body is well loved. That all bodies are equally worthy of love. Rest in awareness that the love we extend to ourselves, is not limited, and with practice, may be extended equally, to all others.

Continue to feel the flow of loving kindness from the center of your heart.
Be present with this sensation for as long as you’d like.

When you’re ready to close the meditation, carry this kindness as far as you can, into the rest of your day.

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