Comfort-A Perspective – 45 Minutes

Debbie Norris

Debbie Norris

Deborah Norris, Ph.D. is author of In the Flow: Bridging the Science and Practice of Mindfulness, and Editor-in-Chief of Dr. Norris is Founder of The Mindfulness Center™, based in Washington, D.C. She is Psychologist-in-Residence and Director of the Psychobiology of Healing Program at American University, and past professor at Georgetown University Medical School. Renowned for her online meditation teacher programs, The Science of Mindful Awareness (SOMA), Dr. Norris is an internationally recognized speaker and educator on mindfulness, yoga, and integrative mind-body therapies. A health scientist with over 40 years of experience ranging from traditional medical and psychotherapeutic practices to integrative therapies and lifestyle practices, she teaches and conducts research in mindfulness, behavioral medicine and other holistic approaches to happiness and well-being.

'Comfort-A Perspective – 45 Minutes' has 44 comments

  1. October 26, 2016 @ 6:20 pm vstickler10

    It was nice to know that it’s okay to be comfortable the way YOU want to be comfortable. We all have different things to help us find the right place and position. It’s not perfection! Once I was comfortable I could really engage in the meditation and be more aware. My focus was on the flow of things. Once I was comfortable I could let go.

    • July 13, 2017 @ 11:04 pm lbsipe

      I love how The Mindfulness Center allows you to choose your comfortable position. Dr. Norris is a magical storyteller that allows you to go deep into your practice. Once my body was relaxed, I could be open to enjoy my breath and sensory awareness. I loved the quote, “It’s not what your finding but that you are noticing.”

    • July 25, 2017 @ 9:41 am lbsipe

      This is my 2nd time experiencing Comfort- A Perspective. We often forget that our emotions are signals for physical sensations in our body. As a school counselor I do this type of exercise with my students to help them identify their feelings. As adults, we neglect to do the same type of awareness with ourselves. I experienced an open heart, loose shoulders and arms, and the ability to allow my breath to flow easily in and out of my body.

    • August 8, 2017 @ 10:31 pm lbsipe

      I appreciated hearing from Dr. Norris that we need to be comfortable and not in pain. It made me think of the quote from gyms: “No Pain, No Gain.” Meditation is such a wonderful experience when we set ourselves up for comfort. I could feel my heart beating, calm, and open towards the end of the practice. I feel very centered and open after this practice, and most of all comfortable with this experience.

  2. November 7, 2016 @ 5:44 pm David Chandler

    I especially liked connecting to the heart as a muscle and allowing the muscle to relax. This somehow enabled me to feel an emanating quality to the energy of the heart more. At one point when we were doing the focused attention on the viscera I began to experience myself as a uniquely undulating spine connected to the breath, and felt like both a worm and supreme being simultaneously. Like a pebble dropped into a pond the emanating rings of energy outward were also drawing me more accurately to the center of my own self. The more comfortable I allowed myself to be the more profound the experience became. I focussed my attention on one of my legs and discovered that it was telling me it was too tight and needed to let loose. When I simply moved it a bit it was more comfortable. I first then noticed a thought that I should move the other foot, but found it was fine, so instead of just doing something in a habitual manner, I simply experienced the moment and moved on. Lovely experience.

  3. November 15, 2016 @ 1:49 pm vstickler10

    I needed to get comfortable today. I really like the way the example of like veins, the heart closes up when hurt. I find that to be true. Especially when it is hurt over and over again. I guess you can say hear attacks that will only get better if we do something about them. Also, I agree that our bodies try to get out attention and that we should give it the attention in needs (hurt, aching, etc.)

  4. December 14, 2016 @ 11:40 am vstickler10

    Soooo right with the opening comments on how we are ok with being uncomfortable. How many times I hear “that hurt my back” Well, then don’t sit that way 🙂 This session helped me to no settle for uncomfortable but to settle for what feels good, what feels right, what is going to serve my mind and body in a positive way. Thank you for getting me open up about letting go of being uncomfortable. I do see this way of thinking in those conversations I have with others that are conflict driven. I can listen to what they have to say but I don’t have to let myself get that uncomfortable place of anger or stress.

  5. January 3, 2017 @ 5:06 pm Tanya

    I loved hearing about how sensitive the heart and cardiovascular system are, how we can give the heart, blood vessels and digestive system permission to relax and open. It seemed my heart felt unsure at first, and then relaxed the more I realized I was safe in this moment. I saw my thoughts as bubbles with lots of space around them, also saw the bubbles flowing down a river as I let them go. The landscape image was very nice for feeling the space in the consciousness. Meditation practice has helped my consciousness to open, so I loved the phrase about the consciousness being open to all things, non-judgmentally, to give permission to what is. The awareness is open – this is happening more in post-meditation for me, and I find that exciting. Thank you.

  6. January 14, 2017 @ 2:49 pm Gunilla

    In this meditation I felt I have actually meditated for many many years, when being close to the ocean on a remote island in the Arcepelago and just letting my mind breath in the vista. It is physical comfort to let gravity relax the body and mind. And the heart – our big and powerful muscle in the body that is our battery to be kept strong and open.

  7. January 17, 2017 @ 4:16 pm Moira

    This was a wonderful experience. I feel wonderfully calm and at ease in my body, my body is very loose and comfortable – it feels like this practice allowed me to let go of some tensions that I was not totally aware I’d been holding prior to doing this. My mind is clear and peaceful and I have a sense of a high-pitched ringing in my inner ear which is comforting rather than alarming. I feel grateful and happy that I allowed myself this time today.

  8. February 10, 2017 @ 4:30 pm margya

    Ahhh. Just like that. I love the repetition of certain phrases in Debbie’s soothing voice. Love the reminder to be comfortable and to feel where holding on then letting it go. I remember a few phrases…”it is safe to relax”, “let consciousness step back” as I felt heavier and heavier. Have no idea where “nagging thoughts nagging for a reason” was (middle, end?) but came back to “hearing” actual words at “just like that, at the end of the next exhale open your eyes and begin to let light in” . Ahhh

  9. February 14, 2017 @ 10:59 pm Marselis15

    I feel relaxed, at ease. My heart is open. I was aware to notice my breath and release stomach muscles. My mind’s momentum was was busier than usual (planning). My heart is open and content. My awareness led me to be able to relax brain/mind. My emotions was that of worry and fear of not getting things done but, my body and mind said ‘it is okay; can’t do everything.’ Phrases that I remember’ check in to see if your experience has shifted or not , be aware of what is there and also the phrase’ being in community causes a shift in our awareness/energy.’
    Self discovery : thoughts were in planning mode. Too many things to do. Slow down , things will be taken care of in time. Significant experience’ a shift in my body, my mind more relaxed not worried. Things are as they are and accept that present time awareness.

  10. February 20, 2017 @ 10:51 pm Marselis15

    Comfort45- 2/19/17: My mind’s momentum is steady with a easy flow. My heart is open to the present time awareness. I did not have much focus on the sensations of my stomach; probably had some tension. My brain was relaxed and the sensations of openness became in my awareness. A profound memory was the fact that when I checked in with myself, I felt a sense of nothingness, just clarity and being in the moment. Significant phrase: ‘ a morning practice may cause more clarity throughout the rest of your day.’ Janice Jones

  11. February 27, 2017 @ 10:16 pm margya

    Easily able to get comfortable moving from the outside inwards. I did feel safe and supported and able to let go. Felt heavy and light at the same time – lifted and supported. While I remember hearing the cue to listen to and observe whatever shows up, I don’t remember anything other than a deep, warm contentment and lots of yawning throughout. Ahhhh

  12. March 1, 2017 @ 1:21 am Marselis15

    Comfort a Perspective- I feel grateful that I took this opportunity to check in with myself. Treating myself with love and kindness. As my body and thoughts relaxed due to allowing my breath and sounds in the room to be my anchor. I was able to discover what was there for me. I continue to feel a sense of loss due to complicated family issues. But, also a sense of joy in my heart because I can let that unhealthy attachment go. Wanting to take this sense of joy and lightness into my day. Janice Jones

  13. March 4, 2017 @ 9:57 pm Amy Balentine

    I relaxed to the point of drifting off for a bit. I felt challenged by the notion of actually controlling my heart rate. I appreciated the notion of letting in lots of oxygen to my heart for its well being. This was a very peaceful and relaxing meditation. It felt like a kindness to my body.

  14. March 6, 2017 @ 10:29 am pjois

    this was extremely relaxing. the focus completely on the heart and breath, i just stayed that way. Don’t have any worries, so the relaxation came with a contentment and gratefulness. the thoughts passed by in the background, i can’t even remember what they were now! just left with a quietness.

  15. March 10, 2017 @ 1:06 am madoyle

    MMTT J #9; December 26, 2016
    Trusting Debbie is becoming more tangible to me; When she invited me to “Ahhh” breathe into any place that needed comfort, I could follow her more easily than in any other meditation session prior to this. “See and Be Seen” as a witness to one’s own awareness is very powerful and I feel this sense of awareness, this sense of witnessing my own awareness even now. I am still able to experience the comfortable position I set at the start of the meditation. I could feel my awareness on my breath and on the body as we scanned the heart, the blood, nervous systems, peripheral and skeletal muscles. I am aware of my body and these parts even now, and there is no tightness. I feel very relaxed and calm. Debbie’s directive to “Witness the Flow” still feels very present. Inviting the consciousness to “Step Back and Open to Awareness Itself” is a lingering awareness that is remaining as I transition to making some notes about this session. These were so effective for me that I would like to use them in my own scripted meditations. I wonder if these are as helpful to others and I want to check the Discussion board to see if others find this phrasing effective as I do. “Notice the space where thoughts occur” (the sixth sense-consciousness)! I like that Debbie reminded me about the five (5) senses and about the 6th (Sixth) Sense, the Yi. I like the way the five senses build on the sixth (Consciousness) and then on the Subconscious and eventually on the Unconscious. My mind/body sense feels very alive with a kind of equanimity.

  16. March 10, 2017 @ 1:18 am madoyle

    MMTT J#10; January 3, 2017: Comfort/A Perspective – Second Listening
    After this second listening to this guided meditation I am feeling very open. My body feels spacious. My legs are heavy as in a deep rest. The place in my back where I tighten up a little, even as I adjust my position, opens up as I breath into the tight place. The “Ahhhhh” helps after several cycles, even now, letting go of the breath/exhaling with a voiced “Ahhhh.” My back remains erect and my shoulders remain dropped. My legs are not as heavy as they were when I was following the guided meditation but they are very relaxed. My stomach is still softened and my breaths are still being drawn down by my diaphragm. I can feel the breath fill my lungs from the bottom to the middle to the top of the lungs and the diaphragm rises as I exhale into the space around me. This is a relaxed state that feels very embodied and calm. Some of Debbie’s descriptive phrases come to mind: I feel an awareness of my own awareness. That feels very comfortable. Revisiting this meditation seems to have given me more capacity to ‘give permission to open.” There is a lingering awareness; I notice the space where the thoughts occur. I feel very connected to the closing of the session, when Debbie invites us to “Share this moment on the Earth in Consciousness.”

  17. March 13, 2017 @ 5:02 am Tammy Neighbors

    Open- That is how I would describe the way I feel at the end of this meditation. I am amazed at how fast the 45 minutes went by. Ah- That word seemed to bring a deep relaxation to my body and a letting go with the mind. Just saying “Ah” to myself right now brings a feeling of peace. I enjoyed the long periods of quiet during this meditation. It allowed time for me to truly be free and aware of my mind and body’s responses. Even now about 15 minutes after the meditation I still feel a comfortable openness within myself.

  18. March 15, 2017 @ 10:27 am knighl

    This Meditation made me feel as if I were melting like butter! So relaxed and at peace right now. I recently lost a loved one so relaxing the heart and giving it permission to be open was a needed exercise for me. It’s amazing to me that we can truly will our bodies to let go by allowing the release in the mind. Powerful meditation for me today!

  19. March 20, 2017 @ 9:13 pm hmast1

    I chose to have a second practice today and I wanted to focus mainly on allowing my body time to relax with pain I am still experiencing. This practice was a very helpful in allowing me to attempt that. My muscles around my lower back (where I am experiencing my pain) feel less tense and I am able to move a little more freely than I was at the start of the practice. I also had similar results with a practice yesterday. One thing I noticed just after reopening my eyes was the feeling of my pulse in my head. Not a headache but the very noticeable sensation of feeling my pulse there. I connected with the words of taking a broader perspective of what you’re noticing so that perhaps the perspective can focus on the experience and sensations on a larger level. This speaks to me of not getting wrapped up in a single emotion or sensation but allowing all that is there in that moment in.

  20. March 22, 2017 @ 11:44 am

     I feel quiet and reflective. My mind is quiet and at rest. I feel slight sadness but also light hopefulness. My body feels quiet with mild tightness.
    At moments during this meditation I felt a sense of fear which is not uncommon for me when I experience real quiet during meditation. I believe this stems from a need to control situations that worry me and the false idea that I exert control when I worry or think about these situations.
    I felt a sense of sadness around the idea of my daughter as I became aware of the fact that my worrying about her makes her smaller than she can be.
    The phrase “Visualizing a horizon and opening to the vastness” made me feel open to the universe and possibilities. Brought thoughts of the ocean and peace.
    “Imagining thoughts as leaves passing on a flowing river” became a recurring visual as thoughts came and went throughout the mediation.
    “Becoming aware of and breathing relaxation into the fascia around the organs” was especially timely because I have been experiencing stress related muscle tension.
    Thanks so much for this lovely meditation!

  21. March 24, 2017 @ 4:07 pm Toni Needel

    Wonderful session. I feel very calm & relaxed. I had just gotten home from a long stressful day at work & I needed something just like this. First off I appreciated the time to make myself comfortable. Today I needed some extra “settling in”. I liked how she focused on body parts.
    (Hands Toni!!! I am a chef & I clench my fists all of the time).She talked about being safe, breathing. By then I was nice & calm. She gave us nice long breaks reminding us to return to focus when she started to talk again. Very gentle. OK so this is when my mind got blown a little,
    she said no right or wrong way to do it, (fine we have heard that) but then when she said to experience what shows up & HOW does it make you FEEL when it shows up? OK! I have been pretty good at examining how I “feel” but at the moment that a thought occurs to match it right away with sensation. To me this is key. I just have to chew on this. I know that thinking a certain way makes me feel a certain way, but “point of impact” if you will…..

    Then she asked us to give ourselves permission to feel WHATEVER arises.
    Very powerful meditation. However I was very calm after. I just loved it

  22. March 25, 2017 @ 10:57 pm Aliciaj80

    I really enjoyed this meditation. I felt calm and expanded afterward. The momentum in my mind was slow and peaceful. I liked the pauses in between speaking and silence. Right when my mind started to drift she started to guide the meditation again and seemingly just the needed moment. The phrase that stood out to me was “greater connectedness to nature”.

  23. March 27, 2017 @ 8:11 pm pjois

    this was soothing! the heart felt like it was filled with love and compassion that flowed through in all directions into the vastness and the mind seemed to smile with it. it was a feeling of bliss, feeling warm, safe and cuddled. the thoughts seemed to be at a distance, the awareness of the breath grounded me. i am still calm and relaxed, but my mind is very alert. there is an awareness of every little feeling, thought and sensation.

  24. March 29, 2017 @ 12:24 pm shannonstutz

    M3 — I felt an odd mix of calm and anxiety and I found that I was really distracted by unannounced periods of silence. I love the silence to reflect, but I found that in previous meditations the silence was announced. This created a sense in me that I needed to consult my tablet to be sure I was still connected. I think this not knowing made me tense and less able to open. With encouragement my heart opened, but then my stomach felt uneasy. This really helped me tune in to my anxious self and created some questions for me to reflect on – one being, why am I so anxious when I don’t know something? Can I breath into that? Can I relax there? I am really looking forward to trying this one again.

  25. March 30, 2017 @ 12:28 pm shannonstutz

    M10 — I felt wonderful! Very peaceful. I was able to acknowledge some emotional struggles with neutrality, no tears. My heart felt soft and open, but my stomach was hungry. I was able to drop a thought on a leaf in a river and allowed it to float away. Sent the thought into the river’s flow, and out of my flow. I love the concept of giving permission, not selective permission, but real permission for anything that comes up.

  26. April 3, 2017 @ 12:44 pm sindyyogini1010

    I LOVED this meditation and will listen to it again soon. One of the things I liked was how many pauses there were between the words. The silence makes it easier for me to tap into myself and really feel like I having a meditative, present experience. I liked when Dr. Norris explained “it’s not what you’re finding, it’s that you’re noticing.” That helped me stay in a place of neutral, compassionate witnessing.

  27. April 4, 2017 @ 10:59 am

    I’m grateful for this idea of comfort as a choice and find myself reflecting on how often I am unconsciously in discomfort b/c I am disconnected from my body. I like the practice of exhaling and saying “ahhh”… Great!

  28. April 5, 2017 @ 8:05 am Stephlewis

    I learned a lot from this meditation. My mind was quiet until something said in the meditation reminded me of something else. I was perhaps too intellectually engaged in what was being said. At the same time, I found it peaceful, especially the steady slow pace and the nice slices of silence throughout. I appreciated the discussion about how to hold the upper part of the body so that the breath can flow through without inhibition and the encouragement to let go of things we are holding onto. I loved the line about giving the body permission to be at peace. That concept is what I will most carry away from this meditation session – giving the body permission to let go.

  29. April 7, 2017 @ 6:35 pm Toni Needel

    second time for this meditation for me.. It was a very long day at work and I had a lot of tension. I needed the extra time in this meditation to come into my body and relax. I especially tuned into “let the heart relax” My heart has been feeling a lot of grief lately. April 13 would have been my sons birthday. I really loved this heart centered meditation. It was a good chance for me to find center and relax.

  30. April 9, 2017 @ 7:48 pm sindyyogini1010

    I just listened to this for a second time. I felt very peaceful and calm, even though I came to my cushion with some level of anxiety. “We give permission to the heart to open, to the breath to flow.” That spoke to me and helped me settle in. I also liked the discussion about the awareness stepping back.

  31. April 9, 2017 @ 11:11 pm Amy Balentine

    I liked the idea of being able to bring stillness and comfort. I felt more open and expansive afterwards. I realize I hold on tightly to parts of myself. I kept encouraging myself to relax and let go.

  32. April 10, 2017 @ 9:31 am Aliciaj80

    The more that I do the guided meditations the less I notice what is being said. I don’t feel my mind wandering to other thoughts as much I just am able to stay clear and feel very calm and grounded afterward. I still have some thoughts especially in the beginning but I enjoy the time a lot. Thanks!

  33. April 22, 2017 @ 10:07 pm Aliciaj80

    I like that it is made clear to do what we need to do to get comfortable for our meditations. I think allowing ourselves to shift during the time takes away the mind chatter or discomfort we often feel in our bodies. It lets me drop into a meditative state more easily. I felt good going into this meditation and felt even better afterwards. My mind feels clear and decluttered and I’m just in an overall state of well-being. Thanks!

  34. April 23, 2017 @ 4:03 pm shannonstutz

    M21 – I enjoyed thinking of wanting more comfort in my life requiring me to practice finding comfort more. Whatever I want, I need to practice. I was able to let go of those places where I was holding on and allow thoughts to float away of leaves in a gentle stream. I observed the sensations in my body as I visualized these peaceful images, and I can remind myself of that feeling right now. It is something I took with me, that I can always access.

  35. April 24, 2017 @ 10:22 pm Stephlewis

    My mind and body were pretty serene during this meditation. Even when I got distracted the distraction was relaxed and easy going. There were quite a few concepts that caught my attention this time around. Letting the breath soothe the heart of course. But also the discussion about how physical sensations are labels for our emotions; short hand descriptions of what we’re experiencing. I really love the long blocks of silence to just be. The sentence “Stillness is in the consciousness itself” was really eye opening to me. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of it that way. I don’t remember picking up on that the first time I did this meditation.

  36. May 8, 2017 @ 3:05 pm Brad Reed

    I enjoyed this meditation a lot. The pauses ere nice and my body was very relaxed. I am able to get very in tune with my body whether my eyes are opened or closed. I like the idea that our thoughts are just manifestations of energy. I am all too aware physical sensations are our emotions so it’s interesting t explore this further. Soothing the heart with he breath was a very nice experience.

  37. June 13, 2017 @ 2:24 pm AngieMack

    Right now I feel very relaxed after todays practice. It was very nice outside today so I created a space outside for me and I really enjoyed it. I also really liked the guided parts of relaxing each part of my body and letting go of some things just through releasing parts of my body that were holding tension. Physically, after I started recognizing parts of my body that were holding tension and giving my body permission to let go, I found myself feeling very light, like I was floating. Being outside I was also able to feel sensations on my body even more clearly than before. There was a small breeze, birds chirping and the sound of leaves in the breeze. It was very easy to let go and clear my mind. I found that my mind was very clear and peaceful today.

    The most significant memory was letting the tension go in various parts of my body that I did not realize I was holding tension in. The most significant phrases was throughout the practice when it was stated to give permission to allow your body and mind to be clear.

  38. June 23, 2017 @ 11:09 am

     Feeling quiet and rested after falling asleep several times.

     Noticing where thoughts originate – I became aware that certain thoughts seem to come from the lower inside part of my brain and flow out toward my forehead. Others seem to come from the upper portion of the brain and move outward. Wondering if this is actually a sensing of the different parts of the brain at work.

    I connected with the idea of noticing the difference between the expansive feeling of focusing on the horizon versus the narrow focus that occurs when there is movement through thought. Returning to the broader focus as the thoughts moves out of sight.

  39. July 11, 2017 @ 3:23 pm Kathleen

    This meditation really brought my awareness to areas of my body that weren’t comfortable. I felt the need readjust my position several times throughout the meditation to find greater ease, but this wasn’t distressing or upsetting. Rather, it led me to consider why I wasn’t comfortable in certain positions and if there were any thoughts or emotions connected to these physical feelings of discomfort.

  40. July 27, 2017 @ 7:09 pm sarah a

    As the meditation wrapped up I was interested to find that my senses seemed sharpened. Or maybe a better way of stating it is that I feel more aware of my senses. It is somewhat difficult to describe, but in some ways I feel like I can understand everything I see and feel just as it is. Sounds as sounds, smells as smells, sight as focused – Each individual in their function, yet interconnected.

    My heart feels as it usually does, pumping with purpose! I feel a great deal of gratitude for the way my body is showing me something new every day. Emotionally I feel calm, yet tired. A good tired, I think, yet that also sends me a message that perhaps I need to investigate what that is all about, as I have had excellent sleep.

    You mentioned that the body is like a landscape in its vastness. When you look out at a landscape and you notice the small changes over time, we should also pay attention to the changes in our body. This prompted me to do just that. This was very good to hear exactly at this time because I lost my focus on the breath and this brought me back to baseline.

    You likened our “thoughts” to that of a leaf on a river – Beautiful!

  41. July 30, 2017 @ 9:21 am Kathleen

    I often find my mood is greatly affected by the weather, so yesterday morning’s gloomy weather had my feeling lethargic, groggy, and a little anxious. I didn’t want to carry these feelings throughout the day, however, so I came to this meditation to reset and clear my mind of any negative thoughts and emotions. It worked beautifully and I came out of the meditation far more inspired to greet the day.

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