A GUIDED MEDITATION ON LETTING PAIN FLOAT
© 1991 Stephen Levine
(To be read slowly to a friend or silently to oneself.)
As the first meditation opens the body and becomes your own, consider expanding the practice.
Find a comfortable place to sit and when the body is soft and
sensations are seen coming and going all by themselves, let the mind and
body settle into that flow.
As you open to the body-moment, receive the mind in that same open spaciousness.
Letting go all about sensations and feelings. Softening.
Opening. The mind encouraged not to hold anywhere. Just observing the
passing show, sensations arising and dissolving in soft tissue. Feelings and
thoughts arising and dissolving in a spacious softness.
Letting go of thoughts. Just letting them run themselves out,
watching them dissolve into their own natural impermanence.
Floating in space for a moment. Vanishing into the process.
Let thought think itself in this spaciousness.
Whatever thought arises, let it float as it will. No interference.
Whatever sensation arises, let it float too in the vastness of being.
Thoughts, sensations, feelings, floating in this boundaryless spaciousness.
Not being the pain, not being even the thoughts about pain, just being
itself, not leaning toward or away from anything.
Just an openness in which experience is unfolding as a moment of
sensation, a moment of thought, a moment of feeling, a moment of
smelling, of hearing, of tasting, of touching. Life unfolding moment to
moment in a boundaryless spaciousness beyond definition.
A particle of fear arises, dissolving into a moment of doubt,
dissolving into a new softening arising. Floating free.
Each mind-moment like a bubble floating in limitless space.
Sense the space in which this process floats.
Whatever arises in the mind or body is constantly changing. Doubt,
confusion, expectation, fear, just let them all pass through. Don’t hold anywhere.
Thoughts, like sensations, dissolve in space.
There one moment, vanished the next.
Confidence, relief, and trust arise from the heart that has room for
even our discomfort. Old mind dissolving in this soft clarity.
Observe the ever-changing flow of these thoughts and sensations.
Nothing stays for long, constantly arising, constantly disappearing into the flow of being.
Sensations float in the body, changing moment to moment.
The body softens to receive even the subtlest movement of sensation.
The mind softens too, receiving constant change as thought, as
feeling, as sensation, as experience perpetually unfolding. The whole body
soft, open, not holding, not pulling back, just allowing things to be as they
are without the least interference.
Without the least clinging or condemning.
Sensations arising, thoughts arising, no resistance, no reaching out,
no pushing away, no tightening, just soft open space.
Each moment experienced in softness.
Even the sound of my voice arising and dissolving in great spaciousness.
Hearing happening all by itself.
Nothing to do.
Just sound changing instant to instant within the vastness.
Feel this spaciousness of being which expands outward in every
It encompasses each sound, each moment of thought, of sight, of feeling.
A moment of hearing followed by a moment of seeing, by a moment of thought.
All floating in the vast space of awareness, of beingness itself.
The sound of my voice.
A car passing in the street.
An airplane crossing overhead.
All occurring within the boundaryless spaciousness of awareness.
No boundary anywhere, awareness extends to the end of the universe and beyond.
Let the mind become like this great expanse of space.
Each experience like a cloud floating through this vastness.
Each feeling, each hearing, each seeing, each smelling constantly
changing, folding in upon itself, dissolving in the vastness.
Sense how this awareness exists everywhere at once, extending out
everywhere in all directions, boundaryless, receptive, universal.
The edgeless space of being no longer held to the outline of the body.
The whole field of sensation floating in edgeless space.
Awareness not limited to the small body, to these momentary
sensations but extending outward everywhere, radiating into space.
Not contained even in the space of this room or in the atmosphere of this planet.
Awareness expanding into unlimited space.
Let this boundaryless awareness be the open mind which holds to
nothing, which creates nothing, which impedes nothing. Which allows all
things to pass without the least clinging or interference, observing sound,
sight, memory, feeling, arising and dissolving each and every one in an
Each sound arising and dissolving in the spaciousness.
Each sensation, each thought, each feeling floating in awareness.
No edges anywhere.
Limitless being unfolding in limitless awareness.
Body soft, sensations floating in vast space.
Mind open and clear, process unfolding in this endless spaciousness.
Let the edges of the body, of the mind, melt into the vastness.
Sensations, feelings, floating.
Each moment changing, floating free in pure awareness.
In this vast mind, the open heart, the body is received like a newborn
into the arms of a loving mother.
Awareness embracing everything, holding to nothing, the mind
dissolved in the vast heart.
Sensations floating free, dissolving in space.