In February, meditation teacher and author, Sharon Salzberg sponsors a 28-Day Meditation Challenge. Everybody is invited to commit to meditating every day for the month and join the mindfulness community. As part of the challenge, I’ll be blogging throughout the month (along with other meditator/bloggers) about the experience. You can find the posts on Sharon’s site and I’ll share mine on Focus Pocus.
Years ago, I attended a meditation led by Pat Coffey at Charlottesville’s Insight Meditation community. He mentioned that while on a three-month retreat he’d noticed that when he got tangled in thought, the first physical sign was around his eyes and mouth.
He casually dropped this reflection into the meditation and ~ SHAZAMM ~ if he wasn’t spot on. I have never meditated since without remembering his observation and it helps me every day.
When my mind is obsessively hooking into thoughts and I can barely follow the course of a single breath, I notice the little muscles around my eyes and mouth. Inevitably, they are tight.
Instead of concentratingconcentratingconcentrating and using my mind to meditate, I start with my body. When it’s a crazy zoo in my head, I shift my focus to those little muscles and do my best to let them go.
Using the mind to relax the body or using the body to relax the mind. Either way. They both work.