Mindfulness Exercise: Points of Contact

Excerpt from Practicing Mindfulness by Matthew Socklov

The body is always in contact with something, a chair, the ground, clothes, the air. This exercise provides a way to tune into your present-time experience. You can be mindful of these points of contact anytime.


  • Take 1 step at a time: Read through the step, then close your eyes and spend 2-3 minutes on that step.
  • If the step has multiple instructions, take those one at a time, spending 1 minute on each direction.
  • Don’t rush and be patient with yourself.


    1. You can do this practice in any position, but I recommend trying it while sitting. Close the eyes and bring your awareness to the posture of the body. Make any minor adjustments to help the body be at ease.
    2. Begin by noticing the places where the body is touching something else. Can you feel the contact between your feet and the floor? Pay attention to the physical feeling of the feet. There is nothing special to do. Just observe how the feet feel in this moment.
    3. Continue up to where you can feel the contact between your rear end and the chair or cushion. Notice the contact and pressure of the upper thighs with the chair. Rest your awareness here, mindfully observing what this feels like in the body.
    4. Bring the attention to the hands, however, they may be resting. Feel the places where the hands are touching each other, sitting on the lap, or resting on the knees. Focus on whatever part of the hand is in contact with something else.
    5. Now see where you can feel the sensation of the clothes on the body. You can scan the body to see where this sensation is present. It may be easiest to feel the places where the clothing stops and the skin is exposed, such as the arms, neck, or ankles.
    6. Finally, bring your awareness to the sensation of the air on your skin. You may notice the temperature of the air feels different on the palm of the hand than on the back of the hand. You may also feel the wind if you are sitting outside. There is no right or wrong. Be true to your own experience.
    7. Finish this practice, bring mindfulness to the points of contact during the day. Whenever you sit down, feel the body come into contact with the chair. When you stand up, notice your feet on the floor.
    • Write a 5-10 sentence reflection on your experience with the Mindfulness Exercise: Points of Contact
    • Questions to consider:
      • How did you prepare for this exercise?
      • What went well? Did any aspect(s) feel natural or feel easy to you?
      • What did you find challenging?
      • Did your mind wander? How long did it take you to notice? What did you do to re-focus?

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