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Learning to Be Non-Reactive

Melli O'Brien






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Learning to Be Non-Reactive

Learn to be non-reactive and at peace with what is happening inside and around you through the practice of developing equanimity.

Welcome to this meditation

on developing equanimity.

Equanimity means to be non-reactive

and at peace with what's happening

inside and all around you in your life.

When we are reactive to every

thought, sensation and event that

comes our way, it's a little bit

like being a dinghy in high seas.

We are tossed around at

the mercy of every wave.

But with equanimity, we become like

a beautiful, streamlined yacht that

glides gracefully through the waves.

Our awareness, keeping us grounded and at

ease through the ups and downs of life.

For today's meditation practice,

we'll start to learn more

equanimity with body sensations.

So now just finding a comfortable

position on a cushion or a chair.

And lightly closing the eyes.

And take a few moments to fine tune

the way that you've chosen to sit here.

So can you allow this posture you've

chosen to embody a sense of wakefulness.

Perhaps lengthening the spine up tall.

The crown of the head extends a

little bit up towards the ceiling.

And placing the hands

in a comfortable way.

And as a way of gathering your awareness

more fully to the here and now, just

taking three deep, slow, full breaths.

Seeing if you can follow the flow

of the breath all the way in.

And all the way out.

And then at the end of the next exhale,

allowing the breath to return to its

own natural rhythm and pace and letting

go of any control of the breath.

And now shifting your attention from

the breath into the physical body

and place your focus all the way

down into the soles of the feet.

And just observing any

sensations that are there.

Exploring this part of the

body for a few moments.

And taking in the whole feet

now, the right and the left.

And just observing any

sensations for a few moments.

And then continuing to scan

the focus upwards, observing

sensations now in the ankles.

And the lower legs.

The thighs.

And scanning the pelvic

area and the sit bones.

And the whole torso and the back.

And then scanning the shoulders.

The arms and hands.

And moving up to the neck.

And to the face.

And the whole head.

And once you've completed a length of

your body, begin scanning down once

again slowly, from top to bottom.

And as you scan, if you don't feel

any sensation in a specific area,

just wait a few more moments to tune

into the sensations before moving on.

You might only feel a very subtle

sensation like gentle tingling or pulsing.

You might find very pleasant

sensations like warmth or the

soft touch of fabric against skin.

And you might also experience

uncomfortable sensations,

such as pain or itching.

See if you can meet whatever sensations

you find with a kindly curiosity.

As best you can, just noticing

what's here without trying to

change or control anything.

Just letting it all be exactly as it is.

As you continue scanning the

body, just noticing how sensations

are changing moment by moment.

Perhaps they're not quite as fixed or

static as you might've thought they were.

And don't be discouraged if you feel

no sensation, that's not uncommon.

If that's the case, just notice what that

blankness or absence of sensation is like.

Or if they are quite strong or

uncomfortable sensations, see if you

can soften any sense of struggle or

frustration with them and just making room

for it in your experience as best you can.

And if you finished scanning down

the length of the body, feeling

free to scan upwards again.

It's not important what

kind of sensations are here.

We're not trying to get all

pleasant sensations and make

the unpleasant ones go away.

Instead we're learning to observe

sensations as they are moment by moment

without automatically reacting to them.

Learning equanimity like that

streamlined yacht, we learn to stay

steady and grounded in awareness, simply

letting what is here to be as it is.

So if there's a pleasant

sensation, simply notice it.

If there's an ache or

pain, simply notice it.

If there's a cold breeze on

the skin, just notice that.

If there's a warm touch of

a blanket, just notice that.

See if you can be with whatever is

happening with a kind and curious

awareness, without trying to

fix, change or control anything.

Just letting it be.

Now in this way, we are training ourselves

to be with sensations with ease and

awareness, rather than reactivity.

And seeing if you can notice

these sensations without any

mental commentary about them.

Just feeling what's here to be

felt moment by moment by moment.

As you continue to develop equanimity

through mindfulness practice, you'll

find yourself becoming less reactive

to the ups and downs of life too.

When difficulty comes your way,

you'll be more able to handle the

challenges without stress or grief.

You'll be more able to take intelligent

action without anxiety, and you'll

be better equipped to maintain

peace of mind in all circumstances.

You'll gradually develop

a fulfillment that is not

dependent on external conditions.

So as this practice now comes to

a close, just gently wriggling

the fingers and the toes.

And then when you're ready,

gently blinking open the eyes.

And take a moment to notice how

are you feeling after practicing

mindfulness, meditation.

And congratulations on taking this

time out to look after your wellbeing.

And wishing you a wonderful day.

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