By Casey Johnston,
Welcome to your Buddha Buddy five-minute guided meditation. During this practice, we will focus on your body and breathing awareness, in an attempt to soothe the mind. Find a comfortable seated position somewhere in nature. Now close your eyes and take a deep breath. Picture your front door. Did you lock it when you left? Even if you did . . . well, we can’t guarantee anything.
As you let your breathing settle into a steady pattern—eyes closed, arms at rest, palms face up—ask yourself, is that a pain in your forearm? You haven’t even done anything yet today. How can your forearm hurt, when there are hardly any muscles in there? Resist the urge to poke it. If you poke it, the pain won’t go away, and it might even get a little worse. Yes, it does feel worse. Do blood clots cause pain?
Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let it out—slowly, very slowly—through your mouth. Draw another breath in, and feel your belly fill with air. Your pants are awfully tight. You haven’t been to the gym in several days. Has it been two weeks already? It seems like you’ve been extra bloated after your last three Seamless orders from the Thai place downstairs. Food poisoning can cause bloat, can’t it? On your next inhale, fill your belly just a little bit less. Stop at, like, eighty per cent full. Maybe not just when you’re breathing, but when you’re eating, too. Just a thought. Now let it go.
Breathe in, to the count of five, and slowly exhale. Again, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Feel the air on your skin—it’s a little cold, actually. You probably shouldn’t sit here for too long. Winter is coming and you never got that hole in the sole of your boot fixed. You could buy new boots, but there are, like, a million pairs to sort through online. You could go to a store, but if you go to a store you’ll feel pressured to buy something—it’s how you ended up with these cheap boots in the first place. It shouldn’t be this cold yet. Extreme weather. Global warming. The Earth is dying, but you woke up this morning at 11 a.m. and ate a bowl of cereal.
Clear your mind—sometimes it helps to focus on a peaceful image from your past. You loved the beach as a child. You’d play and play until your face was sunburned lobster red. Your mother always tried to put sunscreen on you, and you wouldn’t let her. Hence all the wrinkles you’ve been noticing lately. It doesn’t help that you always make that face when you’re reading something on your computer—or that you’re always reading something on your computer. You’ve never been checked for skin cancer. Why? You have a lot of freckles, and surely a worrying mole somewhere. Are doctors supposed to just notice, or are you supposed to notice and point them out?
As you continue to breathe in and out—not that fast; that’s hyperventilation—draw your focus away from the outside world and into yourself. Now sense that someone just sat down next to you. Does this person think that you’re weird, sitting on this bench with your legs crossed and eyes closed? Do not peek. It’s a man. He wasn’t looking at you before, but he is now.
As we hastily reach the end of the meditation, start to bring life back into your limbs. Move your fingers—but not too much; don’t attract the man’s attention—and wiggle your toes. Your foot is asleep. Now that you’ve centered your being and calmed your breath, you’re ready to begin your day. Actually, your whole leg is asleep. You really can’t get up. You can’t even do nothing right.
Source of study: newyorker.com