Day 10 • Body Scan Meditation

Lesson Progress:

Day 10 Meditation

Today’s body scan meditation is a wonderful way to relax and experience our bodies as ever-changing, dynamic, and more fully alive. It will open the door for new insights about how our bodies are always changing, as solid as they may seem on the surface.

Today’s meditation is one of the longer guided meditations this month (15 minutes) so you’ll need to set aside a longer practice period for it.


Daily Inspiration


Daily Tip

Often people think, I don’t have the right kind of mindfulness or the right level of concentration. Progress is not about levels; it’s about frequency. If we can remember to be mindful, if we can add more moments of mindfulness, that makes all the difference. Countless times a day we lose mindfulness and become lost in reaction or disconnected from what is happening. But the moment we recognize that we’ve lost mindfulness, we have already regained it; that recognition is its essence. We can begin again.


Question & Answer

Q: Sometimes when I meditate after work, my body feels tense and twitchy, and I’m distracted. Would I have a better meditation if I did some yoga or other stretches first?

A: Knowing this about yourself is a good start. First I’d suggest doing a walking meditation before you sit if you tend to feel restless at the outset. Or you could replace the seated session altogether with a walking meditation if you’re in a place where that’s possible. Another option is right before doing a seated meditation, take five or ten minutes to stretch your body, or do a couple of yoga postures that you know get rid of kinks. Stretch in any way that your body is telling you it needs. Then settle in to your seated posture and begin your meditation session. See if your body has quieted down enough to free you to pay attention to the breath. Of course, if you feel agitation or discomfort while seated, try to be with these feelings in a balanced way to see what you can learn from them.


Today's Blog

  • Your Body Is Talking To YOU – Are you Listening?   Posted by MysticHeart333 on Feb 10, 2020

    BodyScan is one of my favorite practices. It’s also one of the best ones I teach at my Elementary school. Bringing awareness to my body, as I slowly scan and notice the sensations, softly focusing my attention to the lingering, Read More

  • Feeling into Your Body   Posted by Angela Stubbs on Feb 10, 2020

    Hello, Real Happiness community! Today’s meditation felt good for me. How did it feel for you? It made me wonder, though how many of us struggled with this short body scan meditation? It’s funny how impatient you can feel even Read More

  • Day 10!   Posted by DNTurner on Feb 10, 2020

    I love that committing to this meditation 30 day challenge is not only teaching me how to meditate, it is also teaching me there are different ways to meditate. Today’s body scanning meditation was something that I never knew existed Read More

  • Day 10-Can’t feel my body   Posted by jivani on Feb 10, 2020

    I just left a long class from 7-9:30. I usually like to do body scans. But today I could barely feel anything. I have been so busy, all I could think of was the next thing I had to do. Read More

  • Day 10 body scan – just like a vacation!   Posted by Drea Douglas on Feb 10, 2020

    Oh, I love the body scan. Granted, any time a meditation starts off horizontal, I’m good. 😉 I did not have time to do this in the morning, so it became something to look forward to at the end of Read More

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Meditation Transcript

Today I’ll be taking you through a body scan meditation that helps us relax and also helps us experience our bodies as ever-changing, dynamic, and more fully alive. Start by lying down on a comfortable spot with your arms by your sides and your eyes closed. Breathe naturally. You’re going to do a scan of the entire body, from top to bottom, as a way of getting centered, a reminder that you can be at home in your body.

To begin, feel the floor, or the bed, or the couch supporting you. Relax and allow yourself to be supported. Bring your attention to your back. When you feel a spot that’s tense or resisting, take a deep breath and relax. If during your body scan you detect a sensation that’s pleasant, you may feel an urge to hang onto it. If so, relax, open up, and see if you can be with the sensation of pleasure without clinging to it.

If you detect a sensation that’s painful, you may reflexively try to push it away. You may feel angry about it or afraid of it. If you spot any of these reactions, see if you can release them. Come back to the direct experience of the moment. What is the actual sensation of the pain or pleasure? Feel it directly, without interpretation or judgment.

Bring your attention to the top of your head, and simply feel whatever sensations are there, tingling or itching, pulsing. Perhaps you notice an absence of sensation. Very slowly, let your attention move down the front of your face. Be aware of whatever you encounter, tightness, relaxation, pressure, whether pleasant, painful, or neutral. In your forehead, nose, mouth, cheeks. Is your jaw clenched or loose? Turn your attention to your eyes and feel the weight of your eyelids, the movement of your eyeballs in their sockets, the brush of the lashes. Feel your lips. The light pressure of skin on skin, softness, moisture, coolness.

You needn’t name these things, just feel them. If you can, try to step out of the world of concepts, like eyelids or lips, and into the world of direct sensation, intimate, immediate, alive, ever-changing. Return your attention to the top of your head. Then, move down the back of the head, over the curve of your skull. Notice your neck, any knots or sore spots. Once again, return to the top of the head. Then, move your attention down the sides, feeling your ears, the sides of your neck, the tops of your shoulders.

You don’t have to judge the sensations or trade them in for different ones. Just feel them. Slowly move your awareness down the upper arms, feeling the elbows, the forearms. Let your attention rest for a moment on your hands, the palms, the backs. See if you can feel each separate finger, each fingertip.

Bring your attention back to the neck and throat, and slowly move it down through the chest, noticing any sensations you find there. Keep moving your attention downward to the rib cage, the abdomen. Your awareness is gentle, receptive. You’re not looking for anything special, but rather staying open to whatever feelings you might find. You don’t have to do anything about them. You’re just noticing them.

Return your attention to your neck, and now let your awareness move down the back of your body. Shoulder blades, the mid back, the lower back. You may feel stiffness, tension, creakiness, quivering. Whatever you encounter, simply notice it. Now, bring your attention into the pelvic area and see what sensations you feel there. Slowly move your awareness down your thighs, your knees, your calves, and all the way down your legs. Feel your ankles. Settle your attention into your feet.

When you feel ready, open your eyes. As you end the meditation, see if you can continue to feel the world of sensation and all of its changes moment by moment, as you move into the activities of your daily life.

The 2020 Real Happiness Challenge is sponsored by Happify. Happify offers Science-based activities and games to reduce stress and worry.

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