Mindfulness in the Time of Coronavirus: New Meditation Tracks to Help You Cope
Meditating in midst of the Coronavirus pandemic is not easy. It can be particularly difficult because many traditional meditations rely on the breath as an anchor, or focal point, for your attention. So the breath becomes the place you return to when the mind inevitably wanders.
When we meditate on the breath, we settle on a place where we feel the breath moving (such as the nostrils, the chest or the abdomen), or we follow the whole breath in and out. Many will continue to find the breath a great solace and support at this time. But for some people, the breath may be a relatively uncertain anchor: the sensations of the breath don’t feel quite strong enough to hold their attention. This is especially true if you have an asthmatic condition, or a history of panic attacks, or are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.
To help you deal with such issues, we have produced a new collection of meditations that will help you explore alternative anchors for your attention; the feet, seat or hands. There are three versions of the Finding Your Ground meditation of different lengths. If you can, try to use the ten minute version twice a day (Track 1.1) or the twenty or thirty minute version once a day (Track 1.2 or 1.3).
Once you are familiar with the instructions, there are two extra tracks you can use: a ‘minimal instructions’ (Mi) version (Track 1.4) and another with only the sound of bells (Track 1.5). In both versions, a bell sounds at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 minutes. You can sit for as long or as short a time as you choose with each bell offering you a choice to end the meditation at that point or to continue for a little longer. If you feel the need to refresh your memory about the instructions, you can go back to one of the tracks with full guidance at any time.
In time, you may also find it helpful to revisit the meditations you have found supportive in the past: for example, the body scan, sitting with sounds, thoughts and feelings, or the befriending meditation. And if you return to practicing any of your usual meditations, feel free to use your feet, seat or hands as alternatives to the breath.
All meditations are narrated by Professor Mark Williams.