© 1987 Stephen Levine
(To be read slowly to a friend or silently to oneself.)
Come to a sitting position if possible, or find a posture the body is able to
maintain for a period of time. And feel the body that rests here.
Allow the attention to come into the body.
Feel the breath as it breathes itself in soft belly.
Let the body be soft and open.
Let the awareness be gentle and allowing.
Notice any area of the body that is in discomfort. Attending to the body, notice whatever sensation distinctly draws the attention. Gently allow awareness to move toward the place that wants healing. In this gentle approach toward discomfort soften to any resistance, any tension or restlessness which wanting or fearing may have created in the body. Observe how even denial or guilt can create an unwillingness to go further.
Slowly, without the least force, allow awareness to approach the
sensations generated in this area.
And begin to soften all around the sensations.
Letting the flesh soften to allow awareness in.
Let space begin to open all about this area.
Gradually opening.
Softening all about sensation.
Softening the muscles.
Softening the tissue in which sensation arises.
Softening the tendons, softening the flesh.
Softening even the bone.
Flesh gently opening, body softening to a merciful awareness.
Allowing sensation to be as it is in soft tissue.
Feel the fibers in the muscles releasing their grasp, softening. Letting go of pain.
Tendons softening. Flesh softening. Skin softening.
Allowing sensation to float in soft flesh.
Letting go all about sensation.
In soft body, in soft mind, just letting it be there.
Meeting the moment-to-moment sensations with a moment-to-
moment softening.
Softening the bone.
Softening to the very marrow.
Any tension that momentarily asserts itself allowed to float free.
Let it come. Let it go.
Moment-to-moment sensations arising in soft awareness.
Gently, without force, gradually opening the tissue to let sensation float.
Softening to the very center of the cells.
Awareness receiving sensation in soft open space.
Sensations floating in awareness.
The skin, the tissues, the muscles, the tendons soft and pliant.
Flesh soft, allowing, willing.
Awareness receiving moment-to-moment sensation in a merciful softness.
Moment-to-moment sensation arising, floating in awareness, dissolving in the flow.
Awareness opening to even the subtlest flutter, the subtlest motion of sensation.
Softening the body all about discomfort, let awareness approach
directly these sensations with the explorer’s eye.
Awareness investigating sensation floating in space.
Do the sensations stay still or do they move?
Do sensations have an edge?
Does the area of sensation have a shape?
Does that shape stay constant or is it constantly changing?
Moment-to-moment sensation floating in a soft, merciful awareness
that simply explores the moment.
Do these sensations have density? Are they thin or thick?
Are they round? Are they flat?
Moment-to-moment sensation received in moment-to-moment awareness.
Discovering the nature of sensation.
Do these sensations have a texture?
Are they rough? Are they smooth?
Do they stay the same? Do they vary?
Sensations floating in space.
Soft flesh, muscles eased and opened, tissue allowing and merciful.
Notice whatever thoughts or feelings accompany the mind’s deeply
conditioned reaction to what it labels “pain”.
Are there feelings that harden the area? Doubt or fear? Helplessness or hopelessness?
Investigating the moment as feeling.
Does the area of sensation complain of being isolated? Is it shunned by the body?
Levels and levels of softening all about sensation.
Explore the moment as it is.
Like sensation, let thoughts and feelings too float in the vast
spaciousness of awareness.
A merciful awareness receiving sensations and their attendant feelings moment to moment.
Opening to even the least tension in the mind that closes the body.
Soften all about it.
A deeper letting go. A deeper letting be. Softening.
Are there tendrils that connect this area with other areas of sensation in the body?
Moment-to-moment awareness.
Moment-to-moment sensation.
Moment-to-moment softening, allowing, receiving.
Investigating sensation arising and dissolving in vast space.
Are the sensations soft or hard?
Are they hot or cold? Or neither?
Is there a feeling of pressure? Vibratoriness? A movement?
Soft awareness opening into a vast spaciousness which allows
sensation to unfold moment to moment in the clear light of a merciful awareness.
Exploring sensation as it arises instant to instant.
Nothing to create, just receiving what is.
Is there a sound there? Do these sensations have a voice? A tone of voice?
Is the voice familiar? What does it have to say?
Noticing softly, caringly, what these sensations which have been
gagged by denial and resistance, by fear and loathing for so long have to say.
Listen with the heart, to the pained mind, in the pained body.
Meet them with a soft, allowing awareness.
Have mercy on these orphaned voices. Listen. And listen again.
Sensations arising and dissolving in a merciful awareness.
Relating to this area, to these sensations as if they were your only
child, meet them with love, with kindness and mercy.
Sensations floating in a soft, open awareness met with caring and mercy.
Does some image arise there? Is there color there? Just noting
whatever is there, nothing to create.
Just receiving sensation in loving kindness and care.
Touching it all with mercy. Meeting it with forgiveness.
Each sensation received in the warmth and patience that is forgiveness.
Each sensation absorbed in loving kindness and mercy.
Allowing mercy to absorb each sensation.
Allowing sensations to float in the softness, in the spacious heart of being.
Floating in compassion.
Floating in mercy.
Let the spacious heart absorb sensation moment to moment.
Let this area become the heart we all share.
Let the mercy you feel for the suffering in the world touche your pain as well.
Each moment of sensation received so gently. Moment-to-moment
sensation arising and dissolving in a vast spaciousness.
Each sensation dissolving in compassion for all those in pain.
Each moment dissolving, dissolving in mercy and loving kindness.
Each moment melting into infinite compassion and kindness.
Sharing this healing with all sentient beings.
Melting the discomforts of the world in tender mercy.
Meeting these sensations with kindness, forgiveness, and compassion.
Meeting the world we all share in a healing awareness.
Each moment floating.
Sending mercy and loving kindness into the body we all share.
Each particle of sensation floating in infinite compassion and care.
Each moment dissolving into the heart of healing.
Sensation floating like tiny sparks in velvet darkness. Shimmering
and dissolving in vast space.
Dissolving into this healing shared for the benefit of all beings everywhere.
May all beings be free from suffering.
May all beings be healed into the heart.