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mindfulness of the hands

For my practice on day three, I focussed on mindfulness of the hands.

I did my daily practice just before I went to bed, having read a spread titled Using our hands and feet in the book Mindfulness Made Simple by Christopher Titmuss. I’ve been enjoying this book as it covers a range of themes, often starting with a discussion of a topic and then going on to suggest a practice that will help you to explore it.

Reading the section on the hands, I felt calm and ready to spend time in awareness of my body. I decided not to follow the suggested practice but to spend some time exploring the sensations in my hands that came from both stillness and movement.

I began by sitting up with my legs crossed and bringing my focus to my breath, sitting still with it for a while. I then slowly raised and lowered my arms, paying attention to what I could feel as I did so. My arms felt heavy, but it felt good to take the time to focus on these movements that I so often make without thinking throughout the day.

I then changed my movements to turning my hands at the wrist and noticing the sensations around that.

At the beginning of my practice I felt plagued by thoughts, which kept popping up and distracting me. I did find that when I changed to incorporate movement into the practice, the thoughts became less present as I was focussed on paying attention to changes in what I felt.

Looking back at the practice now I remember one session of a mindfulness course I was on where we talked about how to manage recurring thoughts during a practice. We discussed the value of paying a moment’s attention to these thoughts, thanking them for trying to remind you of things, and telling them that you will come back to them after the practice. My aim now is to use this technique next time my thoughts become distracting.

I ended the practice feeling calm and ready to have a restful night of sleep. I found it hard to wake up this morning and I don’t know if that’s because of the practice I did right before bed, but I’ll be paying attention to see if there is a link.

Have you ever focussed in on the hands like this? What did you notice?

Photo by Viktor Hanacek on Picjumbo

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