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The Space Between Stimulus and Response

Cory Muscara






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The Space Between Stimulus and Response

In this meditation, we'll practice resting in stillness, learning to see that in each moment we have a choice for how we can respond.

Let's begin by finding

a comfortable posture.

This could be sitting down,

lying down or standing.

If it feels okay to do so,

you can close your eyes.

And we'll take one deep

breath together to settle in.

Breathing in through the nose.

And slowly out through the mouth.

Inviting the jaw to soften and relax.

Letting the shoulders be at ease.

And inviting the belly

and hands to soften.

With your next exhale, feel any

lingering tension just melting away.

As your breath comes back

to its natural rhythm.

And we'll spend a few moments collecting

our attention at our breathing.

As the mind wanders, just gently

bringing it back to this breath,

this moment, over and over again.

In this meditation, we're are

practicing, finding that space

between stimulus and response.

The beautiful thing about meditation

though, is that we're training that

capacity in every single moment.

We're slowing down enough and stilling

ourselves enough that we can see

our usual reactivity and practice

not reacting in our normal way.

I think one of the best ways

to practice this is to increase

the level of stillness.

So for the next couple of minutes,

the invitation is going to be, to

be completely still, not moving your

fingers, not even moving your tongue.

And when you feel that urge

to move, that urge to react,

just practice taking a breath.

And relaxing into it.

That's the space between

stimulus and response.

So I'll give you some time

in silence to practice.

Just noticing all the impulses to

move, to scratch an itch, to adjust

your posture ever so slightly.

You'll be able to make it through

a minute and a half and still

be okay on the other side.

So really practice relaxing into

the discomfort and not immediately

reacting to the stimulus.

Before we close, let's take

one more deep breath together.

In through the nose.

And slowly out through the mouth.

And when you're ready, you can

start to move your body again

and allow your eyes to open.

Great job.

You know this can be tough, even if only

for a minute or two, but by training

that capacity to be still, you're

developing the internal infrastructure

to be with difficult experiences

without immediately reacting to them.

That's the space between

stimulus and response.

So practice this throughout your day.

Thank you for your practice.

Until we talk again, take care.

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