Embodiment Transition Sequence

This sequence is meant to precede and follow any main practice, supporting a more embodied, integrative transition with life, in and out of formal practice.

This practice assumes one has a basic familiarity with the foundational embodiment meditation (essentially having done it a few times at least).

This transition sequence as described below assumes one is meditating while seated, but can easily be adapted for sitting, lying, or moving.

At first this transition sequence might itself be the sole focus of practice, particularly for beginners, until it becomes familiar. The first time at least, it is recommended that you take your time, spend 10-15 minutes. After you are familiar with the sequence, you can then do it fairly quickly in less than 5 minutes.

Notice that the sequence is slightly different at the beginning of a practice versus at the end of a practice.

Transition at the beginning of practice

1. Arriving

After taking your seat:

  • Allow yourself to move and settle into your seat. Don’t feel you need to immediately be in a specific posture, but instead allow your body to settle in organically into the seat.

  • Now take in your environment, for example a room. Notice what you notice in a light, non-involved way. Look around the room, see what you see. Notice sounds (or silence), hear what you hear. Notice any smells, smell what you smell. Notice and sense the temperature, air pressure, humidity. Feel palpably that you are right here, physically, in this environment.

2. Grounding and contact.

  • Close your eyes.

  • Feel your feet on the floor or whatever they are resting upon. Feel the contact your feet are making with the floor. Wiggle your feet or toes if it helps to consciously, physically feel that contact.

  • Inhabit your feet and feel there’s no separation between your feet and the floor.

  • Feel the contact your lower body is making with whatever you are seated on. Move your lower body a little if it helps to bring awareness here.

3. Inhabit your body.

  • Take a few slow, deep breathes, bring your inhalation to the center of your body, making deep inward contact with yourself, let the exhale release wherever it wants to go.

  • Inhabit your feet.

  • Now inhabit your whole body all at once.

4. Settling

  • If needed, allow your body to organically shift and settle even more deeply into a natural, attentive posture. Notice if you feel you are rigidly holding your body, then with curiosity and patience, allow your body to relax a little.

5. Breathing as-is

  • Now bring your attention to your breathing in your body, including any sensation of breath anywhere in the body. You don’t need to actively search for your breath, you’re simply sitting in open presence and not excluding any breathing sensation in the body. You also are not doing anything with your breath intentionally, let your breathing be as it is - shallow, deep, short, long, quick, slow.

6. Just sit

  • Open your eyes, take a moment to let go of any sense of doing or practicing and just sit as you are.

Transition to end a practice

1. Just sit

  • Now that you have finished your main practice, open your eyes, take a moment to let go of any sense of doing or practicing and just sit as you are.

2. Breathing as-is

  • Now bring your attention to your breathing in your body, including any sensation of breath anywhere in the body. You don’t need to actively search for your breath, you’re simply sitting in open presence and not excluding any breathing sensation in the body. You also are not doing anything with your breath intentionally, let your breathing be as it is - shallow, deep, short, long, quick, slow.

3. Starting to move. (settling)

  • Allow your body to start organically shifting as feels natural. Do so in a gentle, intuitive way. Notice if you feel you are rigidly holding your body in any way, then with curiosity and patience, allow your body to relax a little, and then to move if needed.

4. Grounding and contact.

  • Feel your feet on the floor or whatever they are resting upon. Feel the contact your feet are making with the floor. Wiggle your feet or toes if it helps to feel that contact.

  • Inhabit your feet and feel there’s no separation between your feet and the floor.

  • Feel the contact your lower body is making with whatever you are seated on. Move your lower body a little if it helps to bring awareness here.

5. Inhabit your body.

  • Take a few slow, deep breathes, bring your inhalation to the center of your body, making deep inward contact with yourself, let the exhale release wherever it wants to go.

  • Inhabit your feet.

  • Now inhabit your whole body all at once.

6. Integrating

  • Once again, actively take in your environment. Notice what you notice in a light, non-involved way, however in transitioning out of practice there is a sense of moving towards what is arising in your environment. Look around the room, see what you see. Notice sounds (or silence), hear what you hear. Notice any smells, smell what you smell. Notice and sense the temperature, air pressure, humidity. Feel palpably that you are right here, physically, in this environment.