mindfulness and localized sensations

Focus on just the sensation in your toes right now. Wiggle them around like a child. Focus on just that feeling, the friction of your toes wiggling against each other, against your socks, against your shoes.

That should be easy, right? To focus your mind on just one simple thing, just a sensation in your body?

Of course, for many people it’s not.

I remember watching a special once about the Navy SEALs where they discussed techniques for pain tolerance. One of their biggest tips was, if your foot is hurting, pound on the other leg’s thigh and focus on that.

If localized sensation is good enough for the Navy SEALs, it’s good enough for me.

What’s the point?

The point of localized sensation, such as focusing on the space under your nose when breathing, is to connect your mind and body. Of course, they are already connected, but sometimes people abstract things so far they lose touch with their body.

The mind and body are one just like the world and yourself are one. Really they are one. We split them up, sometimes arbitrarily, sometimes based on assumptions we make arbitrarily, sometimes based on assumptions we have been taught. We split them up.

They are not split. Sometimes we perceive them as split, but when we think about it we realize that perhaps we weren’t fully perceiving and that is the problem. Localized sensation meditation brings us back to the true world.

From that localized sensation, naturally, the mind can expand outward from the body. It pulses in towards the body and out toward the world, connecting. This is a sensation I cannot describe to you without metaphors, but if you continue to meditate you will one day soon feel the sensation of your consciousness pulsing into your body and out towards the world and back again.

It is a feeling like no other.

Related posts:

  1. mindfulness basics: a beginner’s meditation
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