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I used the guided meditation for the lying down/body scan. Making contact with the different areas of my body was challenging and anxiety provoking to varying degrees. I appreciated the guided mediation because I would have been tempted to move on quickly from the areas that had sensations that I perceived as anxiety. I was able to get a half-step of distance as an observer with these body parts. I also did notice that some body parts felt better (that is, less perceived anxiety) and I moved on from them as well and resisted the urge to stay there. Afterward I felt more connected to my body than I had all day. I would rate this meditation as very effective in terms of making contact with the sensate experience. I feel it was also very effective in developing concentration and flexibility, especially because the guided meditation spent the same amount of time on a body part whether I was tempted to avoid or cling to it.
I chose a spoon, which is an object I had nearby and that does not hold emotional weight for me. I loved exploring it visually and then through touch. I focused fully on the spoon, especially the way the light in the room reflected on it. The touch sensation that most stuck with me was temperature: the spoon was much colder than my hands and the air. I felt fully wrapped up in the exercise. I used the guided meditation and was surprised how short the five minutes felt.
I have used variations of the body scan technique with clients. One thing I learned from the guided meditation was to return to a body part in order to travel down another path from that part (i.e. after the front of the face, return to the top of the head and then go down the back of the head). It’s a little thing, but I’ve not been sure how to address that in this exercise in the past. I would use this exercise with people over the phone, and I would take the role of the person guiding the meditation (after discussing the basics with the client, including that either perceived positive or perceived negative sensations are just to be observed, and neither will last forever). The single object I would offer to clients who have an interest. It is something that could easily be done over the phone. I would try to give some detail about the skills/benefits this activity has so it has a context.