Body Scans: Observations and Ideas

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It might be expected that it would be more difficult for disabled people to do body scans. In my experience,I am more aware of sensations in my body and I think it might be possible to use this to an advantage in meditation. When the body tries to make a movement such as a spasm or some other unwanted sensation then I  try and use this to my advantage by focusing on the sensations and breathing with it for a few seconds. In that way instead of these things becoming frustrations they can actually become really helpful and an important part of the development of practice.

The one negative I have found of being hyper aware of the sensations that I experience on a daily basis can mean that it’s harder to  sink into awareness rather than trying to analyse every sensation for some deeper health meaning.

Most body scan instructions advise you to do a body scan while lying on your back. However this is my least comfortable position and therefore, I don’t find it conducive to relaxing or meditating. I personally do a lot of my body scans in my wheelchair as part of my meditations. I have also been working on doing one before I go to sleep at which point I am on my stomach. My point is that you can do a body scan in any position as long as you are comfortable and can focus on the sensations that are occurring at that moment.

When I am doing a body scan I normally work from head to toe. However if you feel it works more naturally for you the other way then that’s the way that you should do it. I would advise going slowly at first, as long as this doesn’t mean that you are stopping to analyse what is behind every sensation. I normally do a body scan at the start of my meditation, but doing a quick body scan can also be a good way to bring yourself back to the present at any time throughout the day.

Starting from the head (Or at the feet if you prefer) simply hold each area of your body in your awareness for a few seconds and then move on. If there  is any pain or uncomfortable sensations be aware of it but  try not to resist it. The same goes for if you have any spasms or other involuntary movements, be aware of them but just let them pass.

It took me a while to not get frustrated when my body felt like it was interrupting my meditation by doing things that didn’t want it to or couldn’t control, (and I still find it difficult sometimes) but I now believe that this has added another element to my practice.

Thank you for reading, I hope this has been helpful. I haven’t been posting as much as I would like, but I’m hoping to get back to posting regularly over the next couple of weeks.

*This blog was mostly typed with speech recognition software, please forgive any mistakes or oddnesses that have slipped through my proofreading process. Thank you.

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