Sound. The vibrations of sound. Sounds in the distance and sounds closer in. The sound of your own heart beating.
Certain parts of the body have more nerve endings, greater sensitivity and therefore are a good place to start. The palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, lips, tongue, genitals.
Certain areas have a greater impact if you try to release and soften them; eyes and ears and the areas around them, the jaw, tongue, belly, pelvic bowl, hands and feet.
So, there is a noticing, observing, feeling, hearing and then, of course, you will lose all of that and the mind will drift off into some narrative, a story – maybe mundane, like what you are going to have for supper. Maybe some life challenge. Then there needs to be are turning, a re-focus on something that is happening in the present moment.
To be honest, I am not sure why meditation is shrouded in such inaccessible mystery; particularly as it is such a useful practice in our crazy modern world. Meditation and mindfulness are really just a paying attention to what is happening in the present, in this moment.
What is happening right now? We get our information through our senses, so it makes sense to check in with them. This is about paying attention. What are the sensations that you are experiencing?
Breath. The movement of the breath in the body, the flaring of the nostrils as you inhale. The expansion of the airways in your throat. The ribcage and within it, the lungs. The belly, rising with the inhale and falling with the exhale. Maybe you can feel the movement of the inhale as a stretching of the skin, or subtler still, an expanding and softening at a cellular level.
Other sensations. Temperature, tingling, vibrating, pulsating, pressure points – where your body touches the something, the sensations of feedback, the contact points.