About the Sitting Meditation Recording
This recording guides you in the sitting meditation sequence taught in the MBSR program. This guided meditation is described in Chapter 4 of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living.
Format of the Sitting Meditation Recording
Tracks 1 & 2 are optional. Track 1 is a brief posture scan.
Track 2 is an introduction that helps you prepare to meditate.
Track 3 begins the meditation, guiding 14 minutes of breath awareness.
Track 4 expands your focus to the experience of the entire body. This includes the overall feeling of sitting and the various physical sensations happening, moment by moment.
Track 5 guides you first in mindfulness of sounds, and then mindfulness of thoughts & feelings. The track concludes with the practice of “choiceless awareness”.
Commonly Asked Questions
As you meditate, periodically pay attention to your feeling of breathing — especially when you start thinking about your experience or trying to change it.
SITTING IN STILLNESS
Throughout the recording, sit in stillness to the extent that you can, experiencing sensations without needing to react or think about them.
But if you do decide you need to move, first be aware of the sensations that prompted your decision to move, recognize your intention to move, and then continue to experience the sensations of your body repositioning and returning to stillness.
You can practice with eyes open or closed.
To practise with eyes open, direct your gaze to a neutral spot – maybe by looking toward a blank spot on the floor or to a wall facing you. Choose a spot that has no visual appeal, so that your attention can be within yourself, even as light enters your eyes. And just blink naturally from time to time. Your eyes may partially close and even feel a little unfocused.
A COMMON MISUNDERSTANDING
You never need to ‘get good at meditation’. You don’t have to ‘improve’ your meditation. You’re not meditating to make a particular experience happen. You have no goal.
Instead, you’re simply witnessing your experience as it happens, moment by moment. You’re being aware of each moment just as it is.
Your mindfulness practice might include being aware of the many thoughts telling you things should be different!
Hint: Many of us, without realizing it, are limited by a chronically goal-oriented attitude. Check out “The Attitudinal Foundation of Mindfulness Practice” described in Chapter 2 of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living.
The Tracks of the Sitting Meditation Recording
Preparing to Meditate
- Intro Posture Review 1:46 minute
- Brief Preparing to Meditate 0:39 minutes
Meditation Instructions (to be followed in sequence)
- Guided Breath Awareness 10:22 minutes
- Guided Breath & Body Awareness 8:22 minutes
- Guided Choiceless Awareness 18:39 minutes
- Final Bells & Nature Sounds 16:58 minutes