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Lifestyle & Wellbeing

This meditation is themed around the idea of ‘home’ and uses the breath to anchor your awareness in the present moment.

If you’re feeling like you need to take some time out to pause and reset, Bea, Spotlight’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Manager, has recorded this 20 minute meditation for you to listen to at your own leisure.

This guided meditation was written for one of our new Powerful Pause meditation sessions, where we come together to meditate every few weeks. If you’re a Performer member you can take advantage of these free sessions (please ensure you’re opted in to receive our emails for upcoming dates and booking information).

20 minute listen. We recommend listening to this meditation with headphones.

Listen to more Powerful Pause meditations.

Meditation Transcript

Bea Grist, Health and Wellbeing Manager: In this powerful pause [session], we’ll be using the breath as an anchor. It’s a place where you can route your awareness into the present moment. Almost like an anchor that roots a ship to one place.

In this meditation we’ll be considering the breath as home because it is a place that you can always come back to. This will help you to dissolve [any] anxiety, decrease stress, and allow the body to heal in a relaxed, peaceful state. So before we begin, let’s settle into a comfortable position, which will really allow you to be present for these next 15 minutes or so. It’s often best to be sitting, but you can do this meditation in any posture, make any adjustments now so that you can feel at ease and be supported. It can be nice to take your shoes and socks off so you can really feel your feet in contact with the floor.

So, if you’re sitting, ensure that your back is upright with your spine following its natural curves. See if you can find a position that feels focused and yet relaxed to really allow your body to settle, to rest down into gravity, letting it be supported by the floor, the chair or whatever is beneath you. If you’re sitting, bring your awareness to where your feet make contact with the floor, feeling that sense of being rooted, supported by the earth, and if you haven’t already gently close your eyes now or lower your gaze if that’s more comfortable for you.

So let’s soften the shoulders down, relax your face and your jaw. Just beginning to create some space now, between the day or morning you’ve just had, and arriving into this moment. Gradually allow your awareness to gather around the sensations of the breath in your body. Where do you feel the breath most strongly? Let’s take a deep breath here and exhale. You’re about to delve into a soothing universe where all tension melts away to help us return to the present moment time after time, we place the mind on an anchor. The most simple tool we can use is the one that we were born with, the breath. The breath is a perfect anchor because each breath we take can only happen in the now, that’s the magic of breathing. It is your present moment too.

So tune into your breath now, be curious about your experience, letting go of a need for it to be a certain way. Yeah, this is an invitation to just be with your experience without judgement. This practise is simply about returning to the here and now whenever we mentally wander off. No matter what happened in the past or what may happen in the future, we can only really control the present and so this meditation allows us to do just that, as one does to cultivate calm and focused.

Now very gently rest your awareness within your chest, can you feel your belly expanding on the in breath and subsiding on the out-breath? Can you feel any movement and sensations with the breath in the sides and the back of the body as well? Your breath is your home. It is a place that you can always come back to, gradually bringing more awareness into your body now. A little more deeply with a sense of gentle curiosity towards whatever you’re experiencing as you breathe. Remember to accept whatever’s happening, and if your mind wanders, which it will, that’s normal, it’s natural, gently bring it back to my voice. See if you can cultivate a deep awareness of the sensations and movement of the breath in the body as they happen, moment by moment, without changing it, just noticing.

Allow your awareness to rest upon the natural movement of the breath in the body. Allow the breath to be filled with loving warmth and kindness as it rocks and cradles the body soothing any stress, pain, discomfort you may feel. Now become aware of any thoughts and emotions remembering that mindfulness isn’t about having a blank mind it’s normal to think. Mindfulness is simply where we cultivate awareness of what is actually happening physically, mentally, and emotionally. This allows us to gradually change perspective and feel that we have more choice in how we relate to life. Can you observe your thoughts and emotions rather than be in them? Always like watching clouds in the sky, just noticing them and then allowing them to pass by.

Can you be aware of what you’re thinking and feeling without either blocking the experience or getting overwhelmed by it. Remember thoughts are not facts, even though we often think that they are. As you develop a perspective on your thoughts and emotions, including undermining or judging ones, can you let go of being so caught up in them? Notice how they’re continually changing one moment to the next, exactly the same way that your breath is always changing. Your thoughts and emotions are not as fixed or a solid as perhaps you thought. Using awareness of the movement and sensations of the breath in your body as an anchor for the mind over and over again, following the breath all the way in and all the way out, all the way in and all the way out.

Each time your awareness wonders as it will simply notice and return to the breathing anchor time after time, moment by moment, making sure you’re very kind and patient with yourself. It’s okay, and remember that each time you’ve noticed, you’ve wandered, it’s a magic moment of awareness, a moment where you’ve worked on up from a distraction, a moment of choice. So when you catch yourself having wandered off, you’re succeeding in the practise just as you’re succeeding when you manage to stay with the breath. What’s happening now? What are you thinking? Just notice and guide your awareness back to the sensations of the breath and the body over and over again. So now we’ll gently bring this meditation to a close, taking a deep breath in just becoming aware of your physical body now, becoming aware of how you feel, noticing any sounds that might be around you, feeling your body in contact with the chair or whatever you’re sitting or lying on, feeling your whole body now, and gradually, gently begin to move, bringing life and vitality back into the body, wiggling your fingers and toes, maybe taking a nice stretch and yawn if that feels good, just moving your body in any way that feels honouring for you, making sure that you give yourself plenty of time to come back to this time and this space and this moment.

Coming back now, and when you’re ready, open your eyes and say hello to your body and maybe thank it for all that it does for you. All the things that your body does without you even realising. When we take time to be still, we can then move forward with renewed energy and vitality. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash