“World of Relaxation: A Guided Mindfulness Meditation Practice for Healing in the Hospital and/or at Home” by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn -- -- internationally known for his development of and trainings in mindfulness-based stress reduction and meditation -- has been used in thousands of hospitals to help patients empower themselves to promote healing. It is now available exclusively on BetterListen! We hope you'll enjoy the following excerpt.
What I suggest we do is begin by just bringing awareness to the fact that in this very moment we’re alive. As you lie back in bed seeing if you can bring your attention to your body for a moment, and just experience the fact that as you lie here you’re breathing, and the breath will move in and out of the body in a continuing cycle. As we proceed, you might like to work with allowing your eyes to gently close. Many people find that it really helps and furthers this process with the eyes closed because it allows you to go to deeper levels of concentration. I will shortly be closing my eyes and we will work together with the eyes closed, and at any time that you feel perhaps disoriented or you’d like to open your eyes just feel free to do that. My face will be here on the screen, and you can just reassure yourself that everything is okay in allowing your eyes to close once again.
So just now letting the eyes gently close and bringing your awareness to focus on the fact that the breath is moving in and out of your body. That there is an in breath and an out breath moving in a never ending cycle. You might like to take one of your hands and place your hand gently on your belly -- about over your belly button -- and just see if there is not some movement in your hand as you breathe. Perhaps you’ll notice that as you breathe in, the hand will rise slightly, will come up as the belly expands gently. And as you breathe out, the hand will come down as the belly deflates. So if you sense that in your hand, just following your breathing here at your belly with your hand, and if that does not seem to be happening for you at the moment, then just observing your breathing wherever you can feel it, and just staying with attending to the entire duration of each in breath and the entire duration of each out breath. And if you are feeling the breath now down in the belly, then just taking the hand away and seeing if you can’t perceive the sensation of the belly expanding on the in breath and falling back towards the spine on the out breath without the hand.
But wherever you are following the breath, wherever you are aware of its presence, just observing it without trying to change it in anyway. You’re breathing quite well by yourself. You don’t have to manipulate it or force it. It’s just a gentle flow and you’re here observing it. And as you become aware of this flow of your breath, see if on the out breath you can’t just allow your body to sink a little bit deeper into the bed, into the mattress, and let the mattress do the work of holding you up, and on each out breath just letting the muscles soften a little bit more, letting any pockets of tension leave your body with the out breath.