Beginner’s Body Scan Meditation

Try this meditation practice to relax your body from head to toe.

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Before I taught scores of body scan meditations, I too had to learn it for the first time. And my first reaction was: no, thank you! This is what happened: The woman at the front of the room is saying that over the next eight weeks we would be “learning to reconnect to our bodies by doing a number of body scan meditations.” Huh? Reconnect with my own body? Nuts to that, lady! Not that it’s any of your business, but my disconnected body and I like it that way. As far as I can tell, I mean, we haven’t spoken in years.

Then she tells us to lay down, saying we might want to put a pillow under our knees and maybe even cover ourselves with the nursery school blankets she handed us. The lights are dimmed and my inner child begins snoring. But the rest of me feels like a feral cat trapped in a dark alley looking for any way out.

The suspiciously calm-voiced lady relentlessly offers us something she calls, “silence” (it burns, it burns!). We are asked to notice any sensations we might be able to experience. A…