A senior teacher at Spirit Rock once told a story of when he went to Burma to study meditation. This was decades ago, before meditation hit the mainstream.
He made his way to a monestary and was assigned a little hut for his practice.
His teacher gave him this instruction: "Keep your awareness in your body. We'll check in in a week."
That was it.
Not "Watch the breath at the tip of your nostrils."
Not "And this is how you do walking meditation."
Not "Here's how you do mindful eating."
"Keep your awareness in the body." From there, we apply the practice in all the different ways we sense, feel and move.
This was the basic theme for our daylong retreat on Saturday, "A Meditative Journey: Movement, Meditation and Deep Relaxation."
Here were the two other instructions:
1. Relax 2 Pay attention.
That's pretty much what we did all day while doing conscious movement, body scans and various forms of seated meditation.
Consciously shifting your attention from the story to the experience of the 'here and now' is a radical act.
Inevitably you start to relax. When you relax you begin to feel more. You notice more. You start to recognize what's between you and feeling free.
I'm always amazed at what happens when I pause even if just for one breath, relax and notice what's happening.
What's happening right now?