You have probably heard of mindfulness in many contexts. It is a popular term for a very old concept. This old concept refers to something that people do spontaneously; we become aware of the present moment, with all the subtleties of that moment. This happens many times each day. However, we also may spend a lot of time in unawareness, or mindlessness. This can happen when we are “lost in our thoughts,” caught up in some internal story or conversation, struggling with memories or worries, or otherwise on auto-pilot and out of touch with what is happening right now.
Bioenergetic bodywork helps us to focus on the present moment by focusing on body sensation, movement, patterns of tension and relaxation, and even emotion. These experiences of the body are sometimes ignored or even pushed out of awareness. Bioenergetics allows us to locate ourselves in our bodies and, perhaps for the first time, really experience who we are, right here, right now.
A mindful state can be attained by simply paying attention. Right here and now, stop reading and pay attention to your body sensations. Feel your feet on the floor, your seat in the chair, your hands in your lap. Notice how much of your weight you can let down into the chair. Notice the breath as it enters your body. Notice where it goes, and how it leaves your body. Notice how much of your body moves with the breath. Now just let that breathing happen, giving it about 25 percent of your attention, letting the rest of your attention just float. Notice what it is like to let your attention rest lightly on your breath. Notice what it is like to allow your attention to float. Notice what it is like to be fully attentive to whatever is happening with your breath, with your body, in this moment…this moment…this moment. This is mindfulness. This is being with what is, right here and now.