Wellness, Home & Lifestyle

Guided Meditation: The Body Scan

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Lesson time 52:22 min

Jon leads you through a key meditation in his therapeutic mindfulness program.

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Topics include: Guided Meditation: The Body Scan


[MUSIC PLAYING] - So the body scan, of course, can be done in any posture. You could do it standing on your head. But the way we usually do it is lying down on our backs in what's classically called the Corpse Pose. It's a way of actually reclaiming your body, revisiting the body and attending to it without any kind of intermediary like your story about how old you are or how much your body doesn't work in some way or other or how much pain you're in or anything like that. We start like fresh every time. Here's the body, and it doesn't matter how it is. What matters is how we're going to be in relationship to what we find when we move through it. So every time we practice any meditation, but in particular the body scan, it's as if it's for the first time. And we say, oh, this is a big adventure. What will there be today when we embark, feeling whatever is here to be felt? And it could be intense sensation. It could be a mild sensation. It could be unpleasant sensation. It could be pleasant sensation. Or it could be dullness and no sensation. And all of that is perfectly fine. But what we're doing is we're actually befriending the body, part by part by part. And a lot of us over the decades, especially if we've suffered chronic illnesses of one kind or another, actually have a kind of unfriendly relationship with our body, like not trustable. It betrayed me then and betrayed me at another time. So part of this is actually a radical act of love and loving-kindness to reconnect in an elemental way with, say, your toes. Can you feel them? Can you feel the big toe of the left foot? You know, and this is not like a final exam or some kind of pop quiz. It's just like a challenge. If you tune like an old-fashioned radio, you just find that dial where the station comes in clear, is the left big toe broadcasting anything that you could feel? The important thing is the attending, the amount of attention that all of a sudden you're giving to this region of your body. And so we move through the body, and we appreciate what we've got. We move all the way up, attending really deep as well as on the surface. We move through the entire body that way, not so much to appreciate the anatomy, but to actually reinhabit the body. Not in some kind of narcissistic, self-glorification, or denigration, but because it's the foundation of our life. And it's the foundation of our capacity for openhearted wakefulness. So now might be a good time for you to engage in the full-length body scan that's part of this course on your own. And my advice, or suggestion, would be that you throw yourself into it as if your life depended on it, just like every other aspect of this practice, because I think we're all in agreement that it does. And you'll be doing this over and over and over again. And guess what? My voice on the guidance of the meditation is going to be the same every time. I'm going to go through this body scan exactly the same because it's recordin...

About the Instructor

A pioneer of the Western mindfulness movement, Jon Kabat-Zinn has spent more than 40 years studying, teaching, and advocating the benefits of mindfulness. In his MasterClass, he teaches you how to cultivate a mindfulness practice, reduce your stress, and soothe your thoughts with meditation and movement. Jon shares expert tips and guidance that meets you where you are. Let this class help you make the most of being alive.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn teaches you how to incorporate meditation into your everyday life to improve your health and happiness.

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