Mind as Measure – 48 Minutes

Debbie Norris

Debbie Norris

Deborah Norris, Ph.D. is author of In the Flow: Bridging the Science and Practice of Mindfulness, and Editor-in-Chief of MindBodyJournal.com. Dr. Norris is Founder of The Mindfulness Center™, based in Washington, D.C. She is Psychologist-in-Residence and Director of the Psychobiology of Healing Program at American University, and past professor at Georgetown University Medical School. Renowned for her online meditation teacher programs, The Science of Mindful Awareness (SOMA), Dr. Norris is an internationally recognized speaker and educator on mindfulness, yoga, and integrative mind-body therapies. A health scientist with over 40 years of experience ranging from traditional medical and psychotherapeutic practices to integrative therapies and lifestyle practices, she teaches and conducts research in mindfulness, behavioral medicine and other holistic approaches to happiness and well-being.




'Mind as Measure – 48 Minutes' has 53 comments

  1. September 19, 2016 @ 5:44 pm David Chandler

    This was a very different kind of meditation experience for me today. I was in the field of awareness but it felt a bit more like a travelogue rather than a guided meditation. I was relaxed and doing my part but I found that I was not as deeply in to the meditative state as I usually am in these meditations. It was just a very different sort of experience than I have had from the earlier meditations. I enjoyed it, and my cat came to jump into my lap along the way as he is want to do, so the state that I was in was attractive to him.

    • July 4, 2017 @ 2:25 pm lbsipe

      This meditation will be wonderful for people who experience chronic pain. I thought it was very helpful to notice where your aches and pains were in your body,, and to measure the pain. I had some lower back pain, and I found myself consciously breathing in that area and giving it comfort and compassion. Also, I liked the definition of being open-minded: be comfortable in your curiosity.”

    • July 20, 2017 @ 10:54 pm lbsipe

      Debbie’s voice immediately takes me to a calming place. I noticed my cool inhales and exhales at the beginning of the practice. I felt twinges in my forehead and feet as well. I enjoyed the discussion about greeting and gauging your pain. I was experiencing some abdominal pain tonight. When I noticed it and breathed into for a few minutes I started to feel better. Thank you for a wonderful practice!

  2. October 23, 2016 @ 3:04 pm vstickler10

    Wow! How amazing to have a part of the body that you can use to check in with yourself. I liked how I was able to go through my body and observe, notice and feel what was happening there. I can begin to see why the modality of mindfulness is used in pain management instead of jumping into medications. The mind is power place. At times though, I felt myself drifting into sleep but awakening abruptly to find myself still listening to the podcast. I always feel I am being more open minded to awareness but today I was extra open and found other way to be more aware. Thank you.

  3. October 31, 2016 @ 1:14 pm vstickler10

    Last night was the 2nd listening session and I have to say this is one of my favorites. I was in bed when listening but I heard new things this time. It is important to measure or “check in” at different times of the day with yourself. It reminds me to be open minded and open hearted. I will listen to this again.

  4. November 13, 2016 @ 8:58 am vstickler10

    I want to comment on the discussion before the meditation this time. I fully agree with using mindfulness as standard of care for pain management. I also feel that mindfulness could be used for other medical issues. The cost and risk is low compared to prescribing meds. So many people are prescribed meds too easily. My husband for example goes to the VA for his back. The very first time he went he came home with 3 different prescriptions for pain. I was very concerned about this. I don’t believe that after an hour at the doctor’s office they had enough information to give him those prescriptions. And the meds they gave him were pretty heavy ones that carry addiction risks. I hope this information trickles down into every medical facility and not just the VA.

  5. November 28, 2016 @ 9:11 pm vstickler10

    This is my fourth time with this session. It is my favorite. I am learning to always be checking in with myself. Noticing changes and observing waves within me. Feeling so relaxed and open.

  6. December 14, 2016 @ 10:53 am vstickler10

    I am logging in from yesterday. This was a good reminder to always “check in” with myself. I work in a school and around this time every year things get very stressful with students and adults. I really like the way we use mind as measure. I am teaching this to my students in our mindfulness sessions to notice the way they feel when calm and grounded compared to how they feel when their trains get bumped off the track. I love this session each time I hear it. Thank you.

  7. December 18, 2016 @ 8:08 pm amypearl

    This was a amazing meditation and I must say I will revisit it. As I mentioned in an other post I am battling a cold so I surrendered to this meditation. My body felt heavy but totally relaxed. My mind was listening to the information that was provided prior to the meditation session and I focused on thinking how the practice of meditation can change structures in the body system. As Dr. Norris guided us by asking us to open our palms and let go and receive, I began to think of how I wanted my body to let go of this cold and receive healing energy. I envisioned my cold leaving my body and healthy energy entering. During the time of silence I was able to focus on the areas of my body that had pain and surrender to that feeling and breath threw it. I imagined each organ in my body receiving oxygen and with each exhale letting go of by products. By the end I was not thinking about how stressed I was to be sick but how my body was telling me to slow down and that I needed to rest. By the end of the meditation I realized that I did not need to complete work but go to bed. Thank You for this amazing session

  8. January 14, 2017 @ 2:21 pm Gunilla

    Counting my own breathing is a tool I have now discovered as getting deeper into my meditation stage. Particular when Iam noticing the breathing get slower and slower.

  9. January 17, 2017 @ 3:28 pm Tanya

    Such a relaxing meditation. I loved the part at the beginning where Deborah revisited all the benefits of meditation, how it benefits every function of the body. After not having (taking) the time to meditate in three days, it felt good to get back to it for all those reasons. Then in the middle when we were invited to turn toward something within that might need attention, I turned toward a part of me that’s been locked down for a long time, even though I’ve been trying to open it back up. It felt wonderful to give it attention, to let it have it’s say, but I think it will take several more sessions to ease it open. It’s wonderful to have a tool to do this, something that feels so kind and safe with a part of me that’s afraid. When I opened my eyes at the end, I felt a completeness, that I wasn’t alone because I was with myself. It might sound corny, but it was a wonderful, comforting feeling. Thank you.

  10. January 23, 2017 @ 5:18 pm Tanya

    I enjoyed this meditation again today. I think I dozed off a few times, but Deborah’s voice always brought me back to the moment. I was especially inspired by the thought of playing around the edges of my boundaries, of becoming more open-minded. This would be such a better state of being than to only see the world through the fog of my perceptions. I want to see, hear and experience clearly. I need to be reminded that we only experience within, that if our minds are closed, the experience can’t come in. I don’t want to stop experiences or limit them. I’m going to try to check in with my breath and also check if there are walls in my mind. Thank you.

  11. January 23, 2017 @ 5:46 pm Moira

    This was a very relaxing and informative meditation for me. I liked the information Deborah shared the benefits (and necessity) of mindfulness practice. I did drift off to sleep a couple of times with this deeply relaxing process but this practice allowed me to open up to guidance from my own body – I became aware of some areas of restriction while in this practice – this awareness has allowed me to just be with what is here for me in this moment there is a sense of great peace for me in this. Thanks very much!

  12. February 11, 2017 @ 7:06 pm Marselis15

    I feel gratitude that I’m doing something good for myself. Research shows that mind body practices really help to relieve chronic pain. I was able to tap into my nagging shoulder pain. I was aware of the pain shifting and decreasing as well as my slight headache. I was able to focus on my body sensations and breathing. I was able to allow myself to let things be as they are in the moment. Aware of what my body is telling me; which was to relax. Breathing in the areas that needed attention really was calming. By the end of the session my body and mind were completely relaxed. I felt rejuvenated and ready to start my day in a positive manner. My mood shifted to more positive state. I have the power to regulate my mood, pain and thoughts. The ultimate measure is equanimity. Afterwards I actually began dancing around my house , went to the gym and a movie;just because I wanted to. No longer stuck in negative banter. Meaningful phrase’ open palm is a symbol of letting go; same gesture for receiving. My mind was still.

  13. February 15, 2017 @ 8:26 pm Marselis15

    Once again gratitude. As I listen to this audio for the second time; I had a different experience. My mind was relaxed but at the same time I was able to feel and hear things that did not draw my attention the first time. I feel relaxed , at ease and have a sense of curiosity. I really took to heart the notion of; to dance at the edges of my beliefs and find out where it takes me. My heart was full. My brain aware of the moment with curiosity. I now realize that I paid more attention to my mind than body sensations. Not really sure if stomach was relaxed. I ‘m worried about a lot of things in my day to day life; fear of not being in control. I allowed myself to breathe into that belief and felt as if I could expand that belief and actually be aware of what it felt like to not be in the “box of worry.” My awareness/curiosity suggested that I’m no longer in the “box of worry”” and my energy can shifted to a greater awareness. A greater awareness of self, a new measure.
    Significant memory : the shift from being worried to having a new belief of “no worries”.
    A phrase: ‘we already have systems in our bodies to help us regulate but we have not been taught how to use them. Janice Jones

  14. February 20, 2017 @ 11:08 pm Marselis15

    Mind as a Measure: My mind is open with curiosity. My brain/ mind senses the flow of my breath . I feel very relaxed ,as well as my stomach. My heart is warm and open. I had a realization that mindfulness is a simple practice, and it is there for everyone. A significant phrase: ‘ being comfortable outside our beliefs; try acknowledging other beliefs and/or experiences. The world is big, live life and really experience it in the moment.

  15. February 25, 2017 @ 9:12 am Amy Balentine

    I found it helpful to think of checking in with the body as the gate that opens us to self regulation. I liked the imagery of open hands which both let go and receive. It was also helpful to think in terms of opening and closing our minds based on our beliefs. There was so much content to take in during the meditation. I will be listening again.

  16. March 3, 2017 @ 4:48 pm pjois

    I agree about listening to our body, it guides us, it speaks to us – both when there is an issue or when something is working well for it. During this, my awareness was on my mind and the thoughts that permeated. It helps make the thoughts impersonal and easy to address.

  17. March 10, 2017 @ 12:29 am madoyle

    MTT J #3 Mind as measure; NAME: Mary Ann Doyle; DATE: November 15, 2016
    The description of how we ‘check-in and witness how we are at that particular moment’ was very meaningful to me. When I checked in I was aware immediately that I was checking in to a different moment of my life than the last time I checked in. The range of my physical sensations was different each time, even if for the most part I felt the waves move within a range of general well-being. There really was an ebb and flow, and the open palm, resting in a way to ‘let go’ of control experiences was, as well, a flow of receiving. There was no blast of calm; the calm opens as the breaths deepen; what was received touched on contentedness and then went again to the breath, to the ebb and flow of breathing. The receiving ‘receives’ awareness and its own witness. My chest was tight; I breathed deeply and my chest opened; My heart felt tight; I breathed deeply again and again, and my heart opened.

    Emotional pain related to loss, to the death of my dear friend, to missing my grandchildren and my daughters, is there for me to feel and witness. It too expands as I breathe, losing weight and heaviness as I breathe deeply. I know it is both there in my body and there in my expanding spaciousness, but breathing takes me into it and through it and then I move my awareness to my eyes, my shoulders, my back, my legs, my feet. In each moment, the awareness is balanced with breathing, and I feel the expansion. I found that my mind was sometimes busy and sometimes clear and quiet; My mind was busy as I leaned into Debbie’s teaching, then quiet in the quiet intervals.

    Paying attention to my inbreath and my outbreath, Debbie’s question about whether there is a moment of calm focuses my mind on that point. Is there a crash of inbreath into outbreath into the next inbreath? No, there’s a pause, and a relaxation moment. It’s not quite a breath that is held back as much as it is a breath that deepens and fills my lungs, my body, the space in which I am expanding and witnessing.

    Debbie’s use of the active term ‘measure’ returns to me over and over. It’s not how good or how bad, it’s that I ‘measure’ (pay attention, notice, breathe into whatever it is my body is feeling), and that by paying attention to it, it is soothed. This relationship between: a)paying attention to what the body and mind have to tell me; and b) finding that my body is comforted by my paying attention, is an important relationship.

    There was a lot in this meditation that I would like to experience again. This notion of ‘measure’ seems both subtle and significant, and I’m not sure it is something I can learn to do quickly. I look forward to following this meditation again.

  18. March 10, 2017 @ 12:31 am madoyle

    MTT J #4 Mind as measure; NAME: Mary Ann Doyle; DATE: November 22, 2017; Mind as Measure
    I am more aware of shifts across ranges of measures this time. The use of the images of ebbing and flowing, of witnessing the waves of letting go and receiving is more familiar to me with this second meditation. I heard the references to waves the first time but I don’t think I ‘felt’ the waves moving through me until this session. I had more and different measures with this session, and even though Debbie had explained that we don’t always want to experience same effect each time, I suspect I was still controlling a lot more the first session. When I was able to let go of effort, I could sense that ‘comfort’ had a greater range when I really let go of control. My mind was more trying to regain control and I had to bring it back over and over again to letting go of control
    My body feels more open now and I can tell I am not accustomed to asking my body whether it ‘feels good’ now. Finding a range of comfort and measuring where the body is along a continuum is going to take some practice.

    I could really feel the sense of the reference to the ‘feederline on tv news’ as the way the mind wants to keep up a running commentary. My mind kept wanting to monitor and comment on whether or not I was witnessing the ebb and flow or trying to control the ebb and flow. There is a balance involved in becoming one’s own measure, in witnessing the slightest movement on the gauge. I had to search for my diaphragm in order to measure how tight or open it was. I wasn’t sure I was really aware of my diaphragm, so I had trouble measuring whether it was tight or relaxed. The boundary of my diaphragm ran into the boundary of my belling. I do believe I experienced my diaphragm comforted by my intention to pay attention to it.

    The use of the terms ‘witness’ and ‘ebb and flow’ and ‘your body is comforted by your attention’ are powerful phrases for me. It’s clear to me that such language is not habitual for me; If I am to employ this language it will be necessary for me to explore what it means to my mind and my body as these relate to mediation practice. ‘Witnessing the slightest movement along the gauge’ suggests that awareness may become habituated if I practice with intention and with confidence in the way my body can teach my mind what it is experiencing, particularly along a range of comfort. ‘Breathing into the places in my body that are not well within the comfort zone’ can become a way of living with loving-kindness toward my own body and life. This feels important to working with others too, who also need to learn to listen and respond to their own bodies with loving kindness.

    This is another meditation to which I could listen again and again. I believe I have only grasped the surface of what it has to teach me.

  19. March 10, 2017 @ 12:33 am madoyle

    MTT #5 DN Mind as Measure; Mary Ann Doyle; November 26, 2016;

    This session helped me feel very grounded in a relationship with myself. The direction to ‘Send gratitude to any part of the body that has communicated with you’ was really powerful. Understanding how the brain is the master of coordination for self-regulation is so helpful. I am so much more aware of the notion of “flow” as working with the gates of consciousness. I have a sense of the afferent and efferent neural pathways working through my own Vegas nerve. This opens my understanding of my body as if it reveals a kind of architecture of self. I can sense the flow through the neural pathways to the Vegas nerve, then to the Thalamus and self-regulation. I went back after the session and listened again to the directives Debbie was giving. My body feels more responsive, relaxed, more open after this session than the previous sessions with the same guided meditation. I was aware of my own awareness of regulating my breath and turning on parts of my brain that regulate satisfaction, joy, and relaxation. I was able to relax my busy mind.

    Phrases that I remember that had a significant impact on my practice: “What do you want your consciousness to know; to self-regulate; and to explore?” I remember too, “Could there be something beyond the belief system you hold?” Belief systems create boundaries in our brains. What we believe may open us in very specific ways but our beliefs also create boundaries or walls. Notice those boundaries without judgment. Breathe there and expand beyond those boundaries. This may feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I very much want to explore what may be beyond the boundaries of certain long-help beliefs and habits of mind.

  20. March 10, 2017 @ 8:47 am knighl

    This was a much needed meditation for me since I was dealing with a bit of pain and discomfort in the past few days. Dr. Norris has such a soothing voice, she makes getting into the flow effortless. I really liked the way she describes the meditator as the “meter”. So true, we must take more time out to become into with our own bodies and learn how to turn inward rather than turning outward to other stimuli. Pay attention to self. One of the phrases that caught my attention most was when Dr. Norris stated “As you enhance self awareness through mindfulness practices, you have an enhanced capacity for self regulation and self control.” Also the understanding that information flow both ways. Our bodies “speak” to us and we can learn through mindfulness to “speak” back to it. Do not continue to ignore ourselves, give the self the attention that it deserves.

  21. March 13, 2017 @ 3:36 pm LauriRandall@yahoo.com

    Following this meditation,  I feel a lightness where there was weight. I released some pain and anxiety during this meditation through tears. It felt like a release of held tension. My heart , stomach and mind feel calm. I feel hopeful that I can be accepting of the issues that are causing stress in my life right now so that, instead of fighting against them, I can work through them.

    I enjoyed the guided portions of the meditation being followed by long periods of silence where I could go deeper into the silence.

    About midway through, I recall feeling a strange sensation in my left thumb – almost as though someone was holding it and gently squeezing my thumbnail.

    The suggestion to “Breathe there” brought tears to my eyes as I brought the breath to the areas of tension in my body and held them with compassion.
    The mention of CNN brought an instant feeling of stress which suggests that I am carrying stress about current world events.
    The question “Where do you want your consciousness to go?” brought me outside of my current situation and helped me to see not only the larger earthly world but even beyond.

    Thank you for this lovely experience!

     

  22. March 19, 2017 @ 7:10 pm hmast1

    With this practice I was able to assist my body with the pain relief it needed today. My pain has lessened greatly and I feel more aware of smaller adjustments that I can make both in my mind and physically to continue bringing relief to those areas. My mind also seems to be a little clearer. At the start of the practice I did have a somewhat difficult time getting comfortable but I was able to focus on my breathing and that allowed me to quiet down and truly focus on what my body needed. When I’m having a not so good day physically I am always grateful for a practice like this that helps me focus my attention and bring relief

  23. March 23, 2017 @ 2:55 pm Toni Needel

    Posting from my journal notes. First listening 2/20/17.
    I was a bit anxious when I sat down to meditate, however I was able to settle in rather quickly.
    The first thing that I wrote about was that she spoke about breath. I believe that because I had been anxious I had needed to breath therefor I remembered it very clearly.
    The next group of notes was in reference to “not a bad back!”. this really struck home with me. I know a lot of folks who have these issues. Next group of notes was about child begging for attention. I actually had to pause the meditation at this point because my dog was barking & needed to go outside! (ironic right?). so I had some extra time to chew on that one. My notes say
    that she took a vacation. I wrote “vistas of color”. Again there was a lot that I wanted to remember in this meditation, but I just didn’t. I most certainly will have to hear it a few more times to get everything out of it.
    Again I felt tired after, but inspired at the same time

  24. March 25, 2017 @ 11:05 pm Aliciaj80

    I find during the guided meditations that I love what is being said but I am used to different types of meditation with less words. I love guided meditation but find myself thinking about other things when they are long. I have done more pranayama based meditation and mantra meditation in the past. So sometimes when my mind starts to wonder I will repeat a mantra to myself and just notice which words from the guided meditation pop out at me. Today I repeated to myself “I surrender” and breathed into my heart space. It felt good. The phrase that spoke to me tonight from the meditation is “our beliefs can create boundaries”. That was a good thing for me to meditate on. Thanks!

  25. March 27, 2017 @ 10:54 am stephl

    I had a mixed response to this meditation. I notice that my mind and body feel more grounded, very solid, at the end of the session. I also notice that this meditation stimulated me and so though my mind was relatively quiet at the beginning, it became, not necessarily distracted, but busier as it progressed. I was engaged in what was being said. That was actually what I noticed most during the session – that my analyzer was focused on what was being said. There were a lot of phrases that I absolutely loved in this guided meditation – the discussion about the posture of letting go, trying brings resistance, and exploring the horizons of your experience. Look forward to experiencing this meditation again.

  26. March 29, 2017 @ 12:12 pm shannonstutz

    M1 — This was my first meditation in the program. I felt an immense vastness inside of me. My mind felt more open and spacious. The momentum of my mind felt active, a sense of forward motion, but also in a calm, collected way, not a frantic active feeling. My entire body felt calm yet activated by this meditation.
    I had an experience, a profound and unique experience for me, I felt as if at one point that the top of my head literally opened, like a football stadium opening the dome to expose the sky. It felt amazing!
    The imagery of the drive from Estes mirrored the curiosity I felt about each new thought around the corner in my mind. A beautiful experience for me.

  27. April 2, 2017 @ 5:49 pm sindyyogini1010

    I loved a lot of what Dr. Norris said – about the AMA Journal article on mindfulness meditation for chronic pain, about being the witness, about seeing how it feels and then moving on. I especially liked when she asked us to see our thoughts almost like the ticker on the CNN. I found it distracting when she said “just like that, ahhhh.” But I tried to see that as the moving ticker too and just come back into myself.

  28. April 3, 2017 @ 5:33 pm Toni Needel

    Second time listening to this meditation. I enjoyed this time much more than the first. I was much more relaxed and able to let go. I liked being able to focus on my body/mind. I liked the moments of silence. I am now much more aware of “being a witness”. This was a good experience for me.
    I feel centered.

  29. April 4, 2017 @ 10:41 am early.katherine@gmail.com

    I loved, loved, loved the idea of the breath “massaging” internal organs, particularly in the gut where so much tension resides. I started off the meditation in a shivassana position but it didn’t feel quite right so I switched to child’s pose which was just what my body-mind needed. I am a practitioner of Internal Family Systems theory / technique as a therapist and I noticed a connection between IFS and this meditation’s emphasis on witnessing pain and parts of one’s self.

  30. April 9, 2017 @ 6:07 pm sindyyogini1010

    I listened to this meditation for the second time and felt more deeply relaxed than I did the first time I listened to it. The discourse about being the witness and checking in with oneself resonated deeply.

  31. April 9, 2017 @ 11:05 pm Amy Balentine

    I liked the idea of the meditator using the mind as a measure of how things are. I appreciated the talk about the walls and boundaries we put up in our minds. There was alot to explore. I liked the sense of curiosity about oneself.

  32. April 14, 2017 @ 8:47 pm hmast1

    I don’t recall if I heard this before using this practice but tonight I was struck by Debbie saying that what we believe creates boundaries. In my opinion it was definitely meant to be that I heard that tonight and used it as my main focus during my practice. Immediately after coming back to the present moment, I feel a sense of relief as if I’ve given myself the permission to believe I can accomplish what I set out to do.

  33. April 15, 2017 @ 11:47 am sindyyogini1010

    I loved the discussion on being completely full of ease and dropping any effort. I also liked the statements to the effect that it doesn’t matter what we’re noticing but that we’re observing. I feel open in my body as much as in my mind after listening to this.

  34. April 17, 2017 @ 7:39 pm Aliciaj80

    I am learning to check in more and I feel like the meditations and the messages they give are carrying over into my daily life. I frequently have been on auto-pilot and not fully present if really aware at all of the present moment…usually thinking about the past or what I am going to do next. Checking in reminds me to breathe and appreciate the beauty of what is happening right now and also allows me to adjust if I’m not really good in the present and figuring out why.

  35. April 19, 2017 @ 3:23 pm early.katherine@gmail.com

    I found myself focusing on how my body (arms, legs, skin, fingers, stomach, etc) moved with every inhale and exhale. I found it fascinating and enjoyable to attenuate to this information which is otherwise happening every moment without my awareness. It helps me to check-in with my body as the measure of how I am doing.

  36. April 20, 2017 @ 10:05 pm rbrudyk

    This meditation was full of great dialogue and as the previous meditation, I had to listen twice to get all the information. I longed for a bit more pause between each narration to practice the items being presented. I really enjoyed the idea of “becoming the witness” and the process of “gauging, metering and measuring” the body. However, as before I hoped there was a bit more time to practice each of the ideas being presented rather than the rapid fire dialogue. Maybe this is just a personal preference, but I felt like I was trying to constantly catch up. With that being said, still great information!

    Brandon R.

  37. April 23, 2017 @ 4:11 pm shannonstutz

    M23 – I practiced this meditation about a week after experiencing a big, emotional loss in my life. For the first time ever in my meditation practice, I feel asleep! A groggy, sleepy state took over and I absolutely flowed in and out of consciousness. At first, I wasn’t sure how to judge what had occurred since I had intended to meditate, not sleep, however, my body, mind, and soul felt absolutely rested after and I know that was exactly what I needed in that moment. It was a very unique meditation for me.

  38. April 24, 2017 @ 1:44 pm Stephlewis

    As with the first time I listened to this meditation, my mind was active but not in a distracting way. I was very interested in what was being said and my analyzer was more on than it is with other meditations on the discussion board. So I didn’t get into my body so much. I will probably try it again to see if I can do that with this one. But I found it helpful and reinforcing. I love the discussion on the use of the mind to control our bodies and being non-judgmentally mindful of what we don’t notice in our bodies because it’s such an ongoing presence in our lives. This time I really found most intriguing the discussion about how our belief systems literally create boundaries in our mind. And since all of our experiences are within by putting up those boundaries we block out experiences. Exploring where we have set boundaries and what is just beyond them can be a life-altering exercise.

  39. April 24, 2017 @ 10:42 pm Aliciaj80

    I always like to do a body scan and relax and release in that way. Focusing on my breath and catching bits and pieces of the words is always nice for me guided meditation. I feel the process working to quiet and calm my mind and release tension from my body. Thanks!

  40. April 26, 2017 @ 10:20 am LauriRandall@yahoo.com

    I feel quiet yet alert. My heart is slow and steady.

    I especially enjoyed the time during this session when we were asked to visit with different parts of our body. I moved my consciousness to a shoulder that generally holds tension in some scar tissue that formed as the result of an accident. However, my body seemed to want me to listen to another part of itself. Strange as it sounds, I could hear the muscles in my legs and arms telling me that they wanted to work. That they were here to perform a function for the body and they needed me to help them fulfill their function. I have been off of my normal exercise routine for a couple of weeks and it would seem my body had something to say about it today. What felt different was that, instead of the need to exercise coming from a place of guilt in the mind, it came from a sense that my muscles need exercise so that each part of the body can fulfill its purpose thus allowing the body to be in balance.

    The phrases ” Ebb and flow within the range of comfort and contentment” and
    “Allow the brain to be as it is..it’s not about what it’s doing it’s about being the witness to it. ” felt supportive without weight or pressure behind them.

    As always, thank you Debbie!

  41. April 30, 2017 @ 5:57 pm shannonstutz

    M28 – If you gaze upon a vista, but your mind is not open, the experience doesn’t come in to our consciousness. I feel myself with new questions. The mind knows what to do with the information, we just need to let it in. Expand consciousness. Be aware. Be present. Breathe. I loved the concept of the mind as a gauge to feel an experience.

  42. May 4, 2017 @ 8:57 am Brad Reed

    I’m not used to guided meditations so again it was a struggle. As Deborah spoke in scientific parlance I found myself trying to absorb what she was saying instead of meditation. I was very tired during this sit so it was difficult to stay awake, focus on the words and relax and breathe at the same time. This is very different from my Vipassana body/breathe centred meditations or the Zen I practice. Regardless always nice to experience more.

  43. May 7, 2017 @ 8:17 pm Luvabull81

    This meditation was extremely helpful to me because I am on vacation to let my body relax and recover from teaching lots of fitness classes. The prompts to check in with specific areas of my body deepened my ability to focus on the over trained areas and feel a sense of release in my legs, glutes and low back. I drifted in and out of sleep. Very useful to me.

  44. June 13, 2017 @ 1:33 pm AngieMack

    Right now I feel calm and a little sleepy after this practice. My head is very clear, however, I did this practice this morning after not sleeping very well last night, so it definitely put me in a more drowsy state afterwards. After an hour after the practice, I felt more alert and awake. The emotional state I am feeling is just very centered and ready for the day. A significant memory of the experience today was when I stated feeling a little drowsy, I was able to refocus on my breath and bring back my attention to the sensations in my body other than feeling sleepy. The phrase I remember most was the bringing back my focus to my breath.

  45. June 23, 2017 @ 10:55 am Kathleen

    It was very apt that I should try this meditation the other day when I did, as I was experiencing some stomach pain. I felt this meditation helped my body converse with that discomfort rather than try to dwell on it or unhealthily shut it out. My breathing really took over during this experience to massage the areas of discomfort. It grew deeper and fuller towards to beginning to find the place of discomfort and allow them room to shift and find ease. Then, as the pain began to subside, my breath return to a normal pace to allow the comfort to set in.

  46. July 11, 2017 @ 7:52 am knighl

    This body scan is always very helpful. I have been experiencing alot of discomfort lately and I was able to focus and acknowledge the discomfort which in turn brought a bit more ease to the pain. Helpful as always.

  47. July 13, 2017 @ 1:35 pm Kathleen

    I continue to find a little resistance in staying in a meditative state for longer than 20 or 30 minutes, so I came back to this meditation to stretch my muscles and try again. I did find myself growing a bit restless about 20 minutes in, but, after a period of readjustment, I was able to slip back into the flow for another 10 minutes or so.

  48. July 21, 2017 @ 10:54 am Kathleen

    I listened t this meditation while on a train, which created an interesting experience. I am used to meditating in a stable seated or reclined position, but the train gently rocked and shook my body throughout the meditation. It added a new meaning to finding yourself in the flow and using your mind as a measure. Once I found peace with the jostling, I was able to comfortably settle into the meditation.

  49. July 25, 2017 @ 4:50 pm sarah a

    I was able to get to the baseline regularly (through the breath). I was able to navigate between the external and internal flow of consciousness fairly easily. Externally I focused on sounds near and far, as well as anchored by my sitting bones. Inside I investigated the physical feelings within, and found that my heart and sternum both held tension that I sat with. I realized that I felt sad and that I was afraid to be sad because this highlights my lack of skillfulness in certain situations and that I continue to crave people and things that are bad for me.
    I then turned towards the discomfort of physical pain within my body – and paid attention to what it was trying to tell me. I was especially moved by the way you suggested that our physical pain is like a nagging child trying to tell us something. This alone changed the way I approach somatic meditation! Interestingly, I had a pain in my shoulder and as I let that pain know that I “see and hear” it, my mind opened up and expressed the fear that I am afraid of failure – particularly as it relates to my personal recovery from addiction. I reassured myself with compassion and kindness, and this soothed the pain almost immediately.

  50. August 11, 2017 @ 9:28 am katrink

    Unfortunately I fell asleep 2x during the exercise and therefore missed parts of it. I did enjoy the breath massaging my body. I have back pain and do check in with my sled as I tend to hold up my shoulders and have a stiff jaw. I will definitely listen again when I am less tired

  51. August 13, 2017 @ 3:26 pm clepley

    So many good points in this reflective discussion; I even came up with an idea for my community service as a class focusing on :understanding your breath. I liked the points re endogenous opiates and they impact how we act; I remember the point of our own awareness and it is the best meter of how things feels, and finding out what feels good;

    The beginners mind is always three. start where we are; become your own measure of experience.
    Let go of any struggle with your mind and observe; breathe and notice the mind’s activity. see the breath’s ins and outs as waves coming in and going out in the ocean/at the beach; become friends with your breath; get to know it; breath the self; we are in control of the breath, now we breathe; whether we hold it, inhale or exhale

    Our experiences are in our minds; I will check my Self as I go through the day; trying to see what my breath and self are like.


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