Mindfulness Exercises

Classic Five Hindrances – Guided Meditation Script

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Sit comfortably, yet tall, in a safe and quiet place
Close your eyes, or lower your gaze towards the earth
Turn your attention inwards

Breathe patiently in and out through your nose
And focus your attention on breath

Set the intention, to watch the breath
Breath as your anchor for practice
Breath, as what you return to
Each time you notice you’ve been distracted

(pause 3 breaths)

With breath awareness as intention, consider the following…
Are you being pulled towards a pleasant or attractive thought?

Each time you notice the mind wandering towards an object of desire
Gently apply the antidote
Focus more tightly on the breath

If the draw of this pleasant thought or sensation is far too strong
Bring repulsion to mind
If it’s a person that you’re craving,
Bring to mind all their very human, yet repulsive, bodily functions
If it’s a place that you’re craving,
Bring to mind its negative qualities
If it’s an object that you’re craving,
Bring to mind its lack of intrinsic value

Find balance when it comes to pleasant thoughts
Stay with the breath

(pause 3 breaths)

And then notice if you’re spending too much time
Fighting against negative thoughts
Or negatively thinking, applying self-criticism

Come back to the breath, the simplicity of staying present with the breath
And if the draw of negativity is just too strong,
Spend some time noticing the positive

Notice the positive in where you are right now
You made it to your cushion today
You’re right here, applying effort
Notice the positive qualities of the breath
The positive sensations in your body
Cultivate awareness of positive sensations in the mind

And then return to the breath
The beautiful, awe-inspiring, magical breath

(pause 3 breaths)

And as you sit here, watching breath
Notice if you’re feeling anxious, restless, impatient
And if you are, recognize the ways in which you’re already calm

Here you are, seated, meditating
Invite in a feeling of spaciousness and ease
Focus a little more, on a patient, longer exhale breath

But come back to the breath
Stay present with this glorious breath

(pause 3 breaths)

And then notice if you’re feeling dull, heavy, or sleepy
If you are, sit up taller
Spend more time breathing in
And you might even open your eyes

Try at first keeping your gaze low,
And then lift your gaze if you need to

Stay neutral in your spine
And aware of the breath

As always, keep coming back to the breath
Stay curious, and interested in breath.

(pause 3 breaths)

As you stay here, present with breath
Recognize if there are any feelings of doubt

Do you doubt the necessity of staying?
Do you doubt the necessity of paying attention?

In what ways do you think you might be better off, doing something else?

Come back to the breath,
And recognize all the benefits you’ve already received

As you watch your breath
Notice its qualities

Gentle, patient, full and steady

Recognize these positive qualities of breath
As the same positive qualities you experience in your mind

Gentleness, patience, a sensation of wholeness and steadiness
These are the benefits of meditation

The longer you stay, the more you will notice
The more you will notice that this is exactly where you need to be

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