Impermanence - the fact of life that everything is constantly changing and nothing stays the same for long - can be best observed and experienced within our own body.
I took this picture in November 2017 on the last day of my 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat in Northern California.
It was at this retreat that I truly observed the impermanence of life, not on an intellectual level but on an experiential level. At this retreat we practiced body scan meditation, being aware of each part of the body from head to toe, for 10 hours per day starting at 4:30 am. Paying close attention to the body it becomes clear that even something that seems fixed, say a pain in my shoulder, is actually changing and moving continuously. Nothing is staying the same. If you've ever scratched an itch to find that you suddenly have another new itchy area in another part of your body, you've experienced this.
Impermanence is all around us. At the 10 day retreat each day I walked past this mountain scene many times and each time it was different. Some mornings it was covered in frost, others fog and others bathed in sun. It was an outward lesson on impermanence mirroring what I was learning inwardly through body scan meditation.
I invite you to have a small taste of the ever changing nature of our bodies and of our lives, with this guided body scan meditation.
I hope you enjoy and would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
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[00:00:00] Adam Coelho: Okay. So let's begin by finding a position that allows you to be both alert and relaxed at the same time, sitting with a long spine, but not rigid.
[00:00:38] And you can close your eyes or keep them slightly open, gazing down two feet in front of you. And let's begin with three deep breaths in.
[00:01:19] Now to our current reality in this moment, tuning into your body
[00:01:35] and just noticing whatever is there to be noticed. Any sensations, any tension, any tightness pain. Or any feelings of ease and relaxation, just open times and curious towards yourself and whatever arises in the field of the body,
[00:02:13] bringing your attention now to the feet. Let us scan through the body, noticing whatever is there to be noticed you knowing the bottom of your feet
[00:02:30] or bang up into the ankles, tops of the feet, noticing any tension or tightness or tingling itching. Any and all sensations moving up into the lower leg,
[00:02:58] noticing the shins, the calves,
[00:03:05] noticing any temperature, air touching the skin or the clothing. As it touches the skin,
[00:03:19] continuing up into the maze
[00:03:28] noticing the front sides and back of the means these needs that carry us around. Make many of our movement possible, which we often forget or take for granted noticing what's there to be noticed in the knees,
[00:03:58] moving up into the upper legs, the hamstrings, the quads.
[00:04:10] See feeling your body resting on your seat,
[00:04:21] feeling the groin, the hips, lower abdomen. Moving up into the abdomen area,
[00:04:41] feeling into the interior of the body, noticing whatever's there to be noticed among the organs that support in your life.
[00:05:01] Moving up now into the chest,
[00:05:09] perhaps feeling the expansion and contraction and super, even than now.
[00:05:23] Perhaps noticing if you can feel your heart beating in your chest.
[00:05:33] Noticing any sensations, any emotions that are alive in your heart right now.
[00:05:44] And listening to see if there's anything that it is trying to tell you.
[00:06:08] Bringing your attention to your lower back; scanning slowly and gently up your back. The lower back to the mid, back to the upper back.
[00:06:23] Just noticing open time, curious towards, any and all sensations. Manifesting right now in this moment in your back.
[00:06:52] Then up into your shoulders, stay sweet often hold tension. A lot of emotions, just noticing how they feel right now
[00:07:16] and bringing your attention down into your upper arms, scanning through your elbow, to the lower arm, into the hands. What does it feel like in your hands?
[00:07:40] How do you know that your hands are there when you're not looking at them?
[00:07:47] What do they feel like?
[00:08:02] Moving your attention back up the arms, up into the shoulders again, and meeting the neck.
[00:08:16] This neck that holds up your head, noticing any sensations in the front act and sides of the neck and throat.
[00:08:43] Bringing your attention into your face. First to the jaw, another area we often hold tension.
[00:08:54] Inquiring. What do I feel in my job right now? Sit tight at none of this is good or bad, right. Or wrong justice.
[00:09:12] Sure. Right now it's like this.
[00:09:19] Can I simply meet what is with openness, kindness, and curiosity.
[00:09:35] Cheeks eye sockets, eyeballs, eyelids ears,
[00:09:53] and the forehead. Noticing if there's any muscles activated in your forehead.
[00:10:08] Finally, including the scalp.
[00:10:17] Feeling the top of your head.
[00:10:27] Now, let us expand this awareness to the entire body sitting and breathing. Okay.
[00:10:37] Noticing wherever your attention is drawn to in your body by sensations.
[00:10:49] Resting in awareness of the body as it sustains your life, as it is your life; moment by moment by moment, breath by breath, by breath.
[00:11:09] Open and curious to the unfolding of your life. Right here right now.
[00:11:16] If your mind gets pulled away by thought or sound or anything else just include whatever's pulled you away in awareness. Because it is also part of this experience of life right now. Not judging it to be good or bad, right or wrong. Just observing it as you observe sensations coming and going in the body.
[00:12:39] And whenever you like, just returning to the breath and the body, as you sit and breathe.
[00:13:23] Let us finish with three deep breaths together.
[00:13:46] Brething in. And Out
[00:13:55] Once more.
[00:14:20] Thank you very much for your attention.
[00:14:23] Thank you so much for joining me for today's guided meditation practice. As a reminder, each week, as part of the mindful fire podcast, I release a guided meditation or an inspiring interview focusing on mindfulness and financial independence. If you get value from these meditations and episodes, I invite you to please share this with your friends.
[00:14:43] So more people can find out about the message and please subscribe on the platform on which you're listening to. This just lets the providers know you're getting value from the episodes and guided meditations. And you'd like to be here when I produce additional content