In MIDL Mindfulness Training 9/52 you change your perception from mindfulness of the breath as it draws in and out, to the expansion & deflation of your whole body as it responds to breathing. This is a necessary transition from the development of one-pointed concentration to momentary concentration in order to open to the experience of your six senses to develop Wisdom. This transition is initially made by increasing awareness of your whole body as it responds to breathing by gradually expanding your awareness of the experience breathing within it. Submit Your Question
Your Question: Why is it that some days, ie today, I just cannot settle the mind.... all over the shop?
Stephen Procter: Because this is the nature of the mind, it is a flow of changing events just like the weather. It is trying to teach you "I am a flow of nature and follow my own patterns", "you cannot control me and do not own me", "if you try to control me or think that you own me you will suffer".
Our mind is trying to tell us this all the time but we won't listen.
Your Question: Why do we move from being mindful of our breathing in one place to feeling the breathing in different places in our body?
Stephen Procter: MIDL Mindfulness Training 9/52: Deepening the Whole Breath moves from the concept of breathing moving in on the in-breath and out on the out-breath within our body to experiencing how our body 'responds to breathing'. We do this by becoming aware of all the phases of breathing from the tip of our nose, to the expansion of our ribs and deep down into our belly until this transfers to the experience of our body expanding and contracting with each breath.
This is the actual experience of breathing which is the sensations that appear in our body as it expands out-ward on the in-breath and in-ward on the out-breath. Swapping our perception of the experience of breathing at this stage from mindfully breathing in and out in MIDL Mindfulness Training 7 & 8/52, to the expansion and contraction of our whole body as it breathes, grounds awareness within the sensations of the body and dissolves all identification and boundaries. This then leads into the next stage in MIDL of opening to all experience on the expanding in-breath and Softening Into all experience on the contracting out-breath.
Your Question: As you guide us to breathe into the body, this is really interesting because my body seems to have blurred into the surroundings at this point. Should I be trying to find and stay within the edges of my body with the breath?
Stephen Procter: Allow the perceptional borders of your body to fade away, also allow the idea "I am breathing in, I am breathing out" to fade away. Stay with and develop the perception of expansion and contraction without borders. Widen the awareness beyond your body and be aware of all six senses, allowing the sense input to 'come into you'. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, mind (thoughts, memories) to arise and cease as part of the experience of expansion and contraction. Soften your relationship towards what you are experiencing. Be open to everything.