Opening to Yourself-46 Minutes

Recorded during a group meditation class at The Mindfulness Center, Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Aurora Hutchinson

Aurora Hutchinson

Aurora Hutchinson, M.A. is passionate about sharing the transformative power of mindfulness and meditation. As a certified Science of Mindful Awareness (SOMA) meditation teacher and wellness educator, she teaches group classes, workshops, conducts corporate seminars and works with private clients seeking to learn meditation for stress management, improved health, career and family support. As a PhD candidate in Psychology with training in neuroscience and pharmacology, Aurora has an understanding of the biological and psychological mechanisms underlying mind-body practices. This information provides students and clients a meaningful way to connect with the practice of meditation. Aurora is a certified Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher and Jikiden Reiki Shoden practitioner. She is trained in Clinical Hypnosis through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and is an iRest Yoga Nidra Level 1 Teacher-in-Training. Aurora is a faculty member of the SOMA Meditation Teacher Training Program, and has served as the Mindfulness Programs Director at The Mindfulness Center in Bethesda, MD. She is committed to promoting and practicing evidence-based, best practices of self-care in hospitals, wellness centers, educational and corporate settings to empower and serve others.

'Opening to Yourself-46 Minutes' has 42 comments

  1. January 24, 2016 @ 10:23 am MarkJohnson

    I loved this meditation – especially the patience, focus, and acceptance involved in sitting through the sirens!

  2. January 26, 2016 @ 5:48 pm elizabethlazor

    This was a wonderful meditation experience for me. I felt an opening in my heart and a spaciousness in my mind. I enjoyed focusing on my spine and ribs and breathing into my shoulders. There were many phrases from this meditation that had a significant impact on me. Specifically, “shoulder blades melting down my back” and ” mind open and spacious like the sky” were beautiful images that enhanced my experience. This is a lovely meditation that creates spaciousness, and a sense of calm with feelings of openness, compassion and loving kindness.

  3. January 28, 2016 @ 8:15 pm DrEAm

    With the meditation I was in a state of alignment and inner peace. Namaste.

  4. January 30, 2016 @ 4:20 pm David Chandler

    I enjoyed this meditation very much. I found a deep sense of release and a peacefulness that was joyous. I feel calm and quiet. I tended to nod off a bit but I was never asleep. I just found my body releasing into emptiness. Early on in the meditation I found my mind bringing thoughts forward that were ways of saying things in my own voice and way. Then I let go of that and just fell into the experience. Still now I feel an open space in my head, shoulders and my heart.

  5. February 4, 2016 @ 12:10 pm commander2016

    As different parts of the body were mentioned in words, I found it at first challenging to “feel” the sensations or actions being invoked. I then “let go” with any negative feelings and allowed my self-compassion to sweep away doubts and impatience. From that time on, I let the images and physical prompts do their bidding, with very calming effects.

  6. February 17, 2016 @ 9:48 pm lcverdi

    So many wonderful things about this meditation, Aurora. I loved the way your voice trailed off and took me with it. I also loved the way you visited several approaches to meditation and revisited them throughout the experience. The idea of extended my heart space to include others, all, love that! The gentleness, dropping, all of that rang true for me. I had also been struggling to find pa useful ending and your example was so nice. Thank you. Namaste.

  7. February 24, 2016 @ 5:55 pm RichCella

    I ve enjoyed this one while lying down for some reason! I actually love the sirens that enter in at one point, showing us that we can remain mindful in our modern world.

  8. November 28, 2016 @ 12:39 pm vstickler10

    I listened to this yesterday evening. I was in my bed this time. This time as I listened, I really caught on to allowing the forehead to melt and the skin soften around the eyes. For some reason this stuck out to me. I also agree with the previous post about the sirens. I have noticed that each session is not perfectly quiet. I hear rustling, coughing, sirens etc. It IS nice to know it does not have to be completely quiet and that it is not reality. Life goes on around us and is out of our control. However, we can control our inner peace with meditation. This is definitely going with the flow.

  9. December 5, 2016 @ 9:48 am vstickler10

    I listened to this again on my phone this morning. I was able to let go of some of my feelings and even surrender to my need for peace. I was so relaxed that I did not want to get out bed. Could sleep for another few hours. So relaxing. Thank you.

  10. January 14, 2017 @ 4:18 pm Gunilla

    Aurora your voice is soothing and comforting you walk us through a mindfullness and complete body relaxation. I enjoyed your images pictured ‘smile into your heart’ which is a universal expression and so positive minded.

  11. February 9, 2017 @ 5:46 pm Marselis15

    Opening to Yourself; I feel a sense if relaxation. I feel loved. I have a soothing feeling. I’m in touch with life itself and the world gives me a sense if being grounded. The physical sensations I felt were lightness and no worries. The momentum of my mind was that of energy and waves of self love. My heart feels good and nourished. My stomach was relaxed. I felt emotional calmness and clear vision. My mind was quieter than usual. Janice Jones

  12. February 15, 2017 @ 10:28 am margya

    45+ minutes too long for me this afternoon (2/13). I got restless at “allow your breath to gently hold you, to gently hold your experience”…..not sure where that was in session….so I just enjoyed the remaining time just focusing on my breath, breathing in and breathing out. Actually glad more alert and in the room when Aurora game the science lesson and spoke about the measurable heart energy projecting in to the space. I felt a distinct tenderness softness in my heart. I do love how Aurora brings us full circle at the end of a session….breath broadens/opens the back, etc both at the beginning and the end.

  13. February 26, 2017 @ 8:54 pm margya

    Aurora’s soothing voice washed over me so gently and lovingly right from the beginning. Immediately felt the waves of relaxation washing over me relaxing my jaw and face. Soon a relaxing feeling of heaviness with no interest in being anywhere but here. Felt no restlessness as previously, felt safe and that I belonged right where I was.

  14. February 28, 2017 @ 8:32 pm margya

    So easy to settle in, release and let go today. Feel heavy yet open. Loved the thought, the feeling of my shoulder blades melting down my back. If the sirens hadn’t brought me back in to the room I could have so easily drifted off to sleep. The water analogies combined with the ebb and flow of Auroras voice was solo relaxing. My heart is soft and open sending love inward all through me and outward to a daughter who is struggling. Thank you I am so grateful to be here now in this.

  15. March 7, 2017 @ 6:51 pm pjois

    This was so soothing. Simply being aware… as simple as that! Just left me with a soft, mushy feeling. My thoughts were just that, drifting by happily content.

  16. March 10, 2017 @ 3:26 pm madoyle

    MMTT JE: January 10, 2017
    This meditation took me deeply into an awareness of my body as a ‘sensing, knowing being’ as Aurora guided with the imagery of the waves and spaciousness. Breathing into my back helps so much during a session, and the tight place on the left of my back opens and my shoulders drop. I can feel the melting away of the shoulder blades that Aurora describes when we breathe into our back, and my heart-space opens in my chest and my back too opens up in that relaxation. There is pushback from my mind as I transition to the post-session time but I place my awareness again in the intention to ‘flood my whole being in acceptance.’

  17. March 10, 2017 @ 3:33 pm madoyle

    MMTT JE Jan. 11, 2017
    This continues to be a tough emotional week and I tried earlier today to bring my awareness to my breath and to allow my breath to ‘wash over my whole body.’ I was walking and tried to use what Aurora had guided in this session from memory. I decided I needed to return to the session and to listen to it lying down, rather than sitting up. For some reason, lying down seems to help me drop into my body and it helps my experience of the breath washing over my ‘experience’ of myself. My body felt saturated with tenderness and as I transition out of the session, that awareness remains with me and I can still feel what Aurora calls a ‘sky-like spaciousness.’

  18. March 10, 2017 @ 3:57 pm madoyle

    MMTT JE: Jan. 21, 2017
    I returned to this meditation again. Today is my birthday and this has been a very tough couple of weeks. Friends asked how I wanted to spend my birthday and I remembered this meditation and invited two friends to listen to it with me. So we sat together and followed Aurora’s guidance. I love how Aurora begins with the invitation to ‘meet yourself right where you are.’ I have been able to sustain that awareness even in the transition after the session’s conclusion. The ebbing and flowing imagery of the waves held the space open during the session and it is still present. My face muscles are softened, my jaw is unclenched and relaxed. My body feels like I am taking care of myself.

  19. March 10, 2017 @ 11:42 pm madoyle

    MMTT J January 23, 2017
    This meditation called me back. What remains when the session is finished is a sense of welcome, to the practice as well as for myself. Aurora’s invitation to recognize that by coming to the meditation we have already demonstrated an intention to take care of ourselves is just what I have needed these past few weeks. I met myself right where I was, which was stressed and sad. The session helped me breathe into my body and at the conclusion of the session I am able to sense that I want to be here for myself. My breath is always there for me, ebbing and flowing. I am bringing this awareness with me from the meditation into the post-meditation return to the many demands in my life. My body feels refreshed and I am able to scan and release tension, particularly in my back, even as I move around. Aurora’s guidance had suggested I could drop more deeply into the awareness of the spaciousness in and around my mind and body. That took me deeper each time she suggested it might happen and I can feel it lingering in my arms and legs and chest.

  20. March 13, 2017 @ 5:16 pm Amy Balentine

    This meditation really helped me to be open to myself and to the current moment. I wish I had listened to it earlier in the week when I had an experience that made me feel very closed off. I think this would be helpful for me to practice as a way of remaining open even in stressful situations.

  21. March 25, 2017 @ 9:39 am Amy Balentine

    I liked the imagery of breaths as waves in the ocean. I liked the invitation to drop deeper into the experience. Even though I was feeling some stress over things that need to be done today, I allowed myself just to be with that experience. I also like the smiling at the heart. It gave me an expansive feeling that could contain the stress.

  22. March 25, 2017 @ 11:01 pm Aliciaj80

    I liked this one. I really enjoyed the phrases “feeling every muscle open along the spine” “what is your body telling you” and “what would you hear if you listened”. When my mind started to go elsewhere I would repeat in my head What would you hear if you listened?

  23. March 26, 2017 @ 8:42 pm hmast1

    This was a very soothing practice to use tonight. For me it brought more of an emotional change than a physical one. It seemed to cultivate a sense of compassion for what I viewed as my mistakes and shortfalls of today. Allowing myself time to just except the moments and not looking to change them was a comfort. I think sometimes we provide that type of compassion and comfort for everyone else but neglect to give it to ourselves. As lead by this practice I was able to “smile from within my heart” and I am grateful for that.

  24. March 29, 2017 @ 12:52 pm Toni Needel

    Really liked this one as well. I was able to deeply relax.. I like the part by part body relaxation at the beginning. I remember here saying that there was no right or wrong way to do it. Immediately takes away all self consciousness. I remember something about leaning into your breath experience. I will have to listen to this meditation again. Give yourself the gift of being present with yourself. Allowing yourself to accept. She talked a lot about heart sensing. It was nice to be guided through it during a meditation. It felt good. I felt at peace. I felt very open. It was a good experience. I feel steady, calm relaxed

  25. March 29, 2017 @ 7:30 pm pjois

    i became conscious of every part of my body as i followed my breath flowing to each and every part. as my attention moved gently, it relaxed the muscles. My body felt cherished! my heart was content and so was the mind. Some thoughts drifted by slowly, they were in no hurry. i was aware of being aware of the thoughts. This brought a smile from within. i know my face didn’t reflect a smile, but it still felt like i was smiling.

  26. April 1, 2017 @ 10:05 am knighl

    The consistent reminder to meet myself exactly were I currently am, is a blessing. In this life we spend so much time faking it until we make it, that we lose the ability to truly check in and know ourself. To know our likes and dislikes, what truly makes us tick! Calming and peaceful meditation as always! Namaste!

  27. April 4, 2017 @ 11:01 am

    Loved the concept of our breath as always being here for us–a comforting friend in any circumstance. I loved the idea of the scalp easing and feeling the weight of the hair. What a tingly sensation!

  28. April 4, 2017 @ 3:03 pm sindyyogini1010

    This meditation was very soothing. I actually laid down about 20 minutes into it and fell asleep! While I was awake, the meditation made me feel very relaxed and focused on my breath. I didn’t love the phrase “what would it be like,” but I liked the suggestion to breath into different body parts “from the inside out.”

  29. April 5, 2017 @ 7:07 am Stephlewis

    This meditation was incredibly relaxing. I started it sitting up cross legged on my bed last night and somewhere along the way slid down on my back. My mind and my body entered a really peaceful state as it followed the scan throughout the body. I might have fallen asleep for a small piece of it at some point but was awake at the end. Again, I like the reminder at the beginning that the meditator is the owner of his or her own meditation experience. Aurora’s encouragement to communicate with our body and see the “mind and body as one” is always appreciated.

  30. April 5, 2017 @ 11:55 am

    I feel a sense of safety and protection. My body and mind are quiet but alert in this awareness that I am safe in my current life.
    I remember a point in today’s practice when I had a clear image of the ocean. The water was sparkling and I was seeing it from high up as though from the balcony of a tall building. Then I saw the vague outline of a house and as I faded away from this place I saw a figure seemingly chasing after me. The figure felt young and it felt as though the figure did not want me to leave. It had a toddling run but was not small and chubby like a toddler. It was more of a blurry stick figure.
    I also experienced a sense that I was somewhere in my past at some point because I saw a kerosene lamp like we had in our house when I was growing up. Initially, I felt uneasy but eventually I felt an overwhelming sense that I do not need to fear anything that comes up for me in the practice because I am completely safe.
    Phrases that I remember include, “Thoughts like snowflakes drifting down” which is a peaceful image for me.
    “Thoughts like a ticker tape on television” is a stress inducing image because it reminds me of the news.
    The idea of sitting with the heart and exploring the heart. Is it warm or cool? Is it open or closed? I noticed that my heart felt very warm and open.
    I love the idea of dropping into the space between breaths and being held there and soothed by the breath.
    Thank you Aurora!

  31. April 6, 2017 @ 9:48 pm Aliciaj80

    I really like Aurora’s voice and the tempo of her guided meditations. I enjoyed the feeling of untangling and unraveling myself. It’s a very calming and soothing meditation for me. Thank you!

  32. April 10, 2017 @ 4:21 pm Toni Needel

    I did this meditation outside today. It is a lovely spring day so I went out in the park by my house. (great idea!). When she talked about ebbing & flowing I could hear the creek nearby & I felt in sync with nature. I loved how she guided me to relax my shoulders. (always a trouble spot for me). When she talked about feeling gravity on your arms I did feel very connected with the earth. I loved the part about smiling into your heart. The smile is the universal expression of kindness. (after it was over I made sure to smile at all of the walkers on the way home). Always changing, fresh and new. Really nice meditation for me today. Thanks

  33. April 13, 2017 @ 9:58 pm Aliciaj80

    My mind was a little scattered today during the meditation. I just worked on my breathing and shifted my body when I needed to. I have done this meditation before and really enjoyed it. By the end I felt great and my mind felt clear. Thanks!

  34. April 16, 2017 @ 10:30 pm Amy Balentine

    I always like the openness evoked by imagery of the sky. I also connected with the imagery of a smile. This meditation was helpful to connect with a sense of ease and openness.

  35. April 18, 2017 @ 3:44 pm Toni Needel

    I did this meditation as my second longer afternoon session today. Very nice. I had a lot of time and space to really relax and drop in.. When she talked about feeling your arms heavy it was very true for me because I had just gotten off of work. (a lot of lifting today). I liked the image of thoughts like snow gently falling. It is very hot here today and that image was soothing. I appreciated being lead to check how my heart felt with specific words. I was having a hard time today with describing. I could “feel” just not name. Nice session for me today.

  36. April 23, 2017 @ 4:07 pm shannonstutz

    M22 – Allow everything to just be. Such a simple concept once one is exposed to the idea. In that state, everything is ok, absolutely anything. I always enjoy being given permission to enjoy this time for me, and that is something I already share with my students. I love the idea of the experience of being me and how that is always changing. Always moving, always constant, always there for me. My breath and my sensory experience are available to tune me into the present moment.

  37. April 28, 2017 @ 7:35 am Stephlewis

    Another serene meditation. There is much to take away from this one. It sets a calming tone for the day. Just slowed my mind and the rest of my body down and that’s great. Parts of it particularly resonated with me such as the portion that discussed the gift of honoring, listening and being present with yourself right where you are. I love that line and concept. it is really rich. And the idea of the mind being open and spacious. I think it was referred to as sky like spaciousness and openness. That is a great visualization.

  38. May 19, 2017 @ 10:25 am

    I’m feeling sleepy and relaxed. I drifted off several times during the practice this morning but feel rested and calm. No judgement. Feeling deeply grateful for the practice.
     I really enjoyed the guided relaxation today. Moving around and relaxing the various parts of my face and body really helped me unwind and settle in.  
    I especially appreciated the reminder to be with myself where I am and that there is no wrong way to do this practice.
    Thank you!

  39. June 2, 2017 @ 4:53 pm Brad Reed

    This was a great meditation for giving me some more insight into my body. I found that the intention to focus inward on the body allows me to appreciate the space and time which represents the now. I felt very relaxed and the voice was quite soothing in addition to only minimal amounts of speaking and guiding which helps enhance the experience. I found especially interesting the part where the electromagnetic field emanating from the heart is discussed. They are so much more to our bodies and our being then we realize and meditations like this help us tap into it. Nice experience

  40. June 13, 2017 @ 2:56 pm AngieMack

    Today’s practice was very uplifting. I was really able to focus on each part of myself and accept each part of myself and how I was feeling in both my physical body and emotional and spiritual mind. I really felt a higher sense of thought today that was very peaceful and uplifting. There was a lot of noise in my house today, however, I was able to block it all out and focus on the meditation, which I am very proud of since I typically get easily distracted with noise.

    I felt very in the moment today, my mind was clear, my body was relaxed and I felt very close to the thoughts and sensations that were happening. The most significant memory was that I was able to block out external noises around me and focus on the practice. I typically do my practice in the morning when my house is empty or quiet, however today was very busy around the house, but I was able to go to my space and focus on my mediation successfully.

    There was no specific phrase I can remember, but I liked the parts where parts of the body were focused on and to release or let go of each of those parts.

  41. July 12, 2017 @ 1:00 am knighl

    I have consistently meditated every day this year. As my practice deepens I find that I learn more about myself, my true self after each session. Knowing myself allows me to trust myself more! This meditation helped reinforce the importance of becoming familiar with your true self.

  42. July 16, 2017 @ 2:07 pm Kathleen

    I have just started taking kickboxing classes in the morning and, as much as I truly love them, they put me in a different headspace than the usual yoga practice I begin my day with. After my first kickboxing class, I felt a little too wound up to begin my day comfortably. I wanted to find my center again or else I felt I would rush through my day and fall into some anxious patterns I’ve been able to kick since beginning a regular yoga and meditation practice. I came to this meditation after the class to bring ease back into my body. I could feel my central nervous system responding positively to this meditation and the breathwork I practiced with it. I noticed as my heartbeat slowed, my breathing return to a comfortable pace, and thoughts stopped whirling so furiously around my head.

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