The ancient Buddhist teachings speak of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as a roadmap to practicing mindfulness. They are the four ways of establishing mindfulness: mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of feelings, mindfulness of thoughts, and mindfulness of different categories of experiences.
The first is developing mindfulness of the body. It’s tuning in with our body and noticing the way our experiences are constantly changing. By observing our body closely, we begin to notice our tendency to grasp on to pleasant experiences and avoid unpleasant ones. We start to become in tune with our feelings through our body. And through mindfulness, we release our attention from the burdens, tensions, and pains that we haul around. Often times, they are emotional burdens, stress, and pains we didn’t even know we were holding on to.
It’s about catching our habitual reactions to grasping and aversion; and learning to let them go. Our suffering doesn’t come from the pain of the direct experiences, it comes from the grasping and aversion and not being able to let it go.
To let go (or change), we must first sit down and observe. To drop into the experience and become familiar with. That’s meditation remember?
We can do this through a body scan meditation. Similar to how we sit and pay attention to our breath, now we shift our attention to our body. We do a scan of our entire body from bottom to top and just notice the structure, posture, and sensation at each body part.
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