Developing Presence through Awareness of the Body

Spiritual leaders and famous writers old and new have taught the importance of being present and how worry, over stress and fear can be overcome by focusing our attention on the “here and now”. Our minds have old habits of predicting what will happen next, and worrying about what we’ve already done. One way to retrain our mind to become more present, and to live with more peace and joy is to bring more awareness to sensations in your body. When we completely feel sensations in our body without judging them, we can release tension that doesn’t serve us and quiet our mind. Some practices to cultivate this presence and awareness include: *Mindful/meditative movement (Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Dance, Walking, light exercise) *Mindful Sitting meditation (Attention to breath, listening, sensations of wind on skin) *Mindful eating (Smelling, taking small bites, noticing all the varying tastes) *Receiving Massage (Awareness of touch, breathing and releasing tension and stress) I feel a deep contrast from busy thoughts and unconscious shallow breaths, to a sense of relaxation and inner peace when I practice these techniques. It is like I’ve stopped throwing stones into a pond and the waves turn into small ripples, and soon the ripples are gone, and awareness of more subtle feelings arise. I’ve found that receiving massage has helped with all of these techniques. You close out the sense of sight and have your whole awareness on your body and the sensation of touch. You cultivate concentration of pleasant sensations in the body through light flowing strokes, and with the deeper work you learn to stay present in discomfort and to release tension in muscles that are tight. With this awareness you are able to breath, release, and enjoy the moment. Regularly tuning into this relaxation and pleasant experience in the body helps to let your mind accept being present in your body. I love to give massages that include a slow meditative introduction, followed by deeper work that releases tight muscles through combined awareness and breathe of the recipient and the practitioner. I am present with the work, intuitively feeling when an area has been massaged enough, and what areas to work on. I check in with you on pressure, temperature, and other factors that could distract from being fully present. I communicate before and after the session to understand what experience you are looking for, and what areas you enjoy having massaged. May we all be present and joyful. You can find more information on my Massage Practice at Massage.TravisDharma.com
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