Skip to main content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Grounding Chair Meditation

November 23, 2023

Subscribe Now

Subscribe to the “Practicing Connection” monthly email to keep up to date on our latest podcasts, blog posts and workshops.

Join the “Practicing Connection Community” on LinkedIn. The community is designed for people who support military families in a variety of settings both on installations and in our communities.


About This Episode

(Season 4, Episode 13)

When it comes to reducing the effects of stress on our bodies, a growing amount of research supports meditation as a practice that pays off in a big way.
In this practicast, Practicing Connection co-host, Bob Bertsch, guides us through a grounding chair meditation, a practice that can help reduce stress levels in the moment, while helping to restore calm.

“Practicasts” are shorter episodes of the podcast highlighting a specific practice to help empower us to work together to improve our resilience and readiness.



Read More


Jessica Beckendorf: When it comes to reducing the effects of stress on our bodies, a growing amount of research supports meditation as a practice that pays off in a big way. Hi, everyone. This is Jessica, and welcome to this week’s Practicing Connection practicast, where we highlight a specific practice to help empower us to work together to improve our resilience and readiness. We’ll continue to share our monthly in-depth episode with you, but now, you can also listen in for a few minutes each week to get inspired by a new practice on the practicast. We hope you’ll give these practices a try and find them useful.

This week’s practice is a grounding chair meditation. This practice can help reduce stress levels in the moment while helping to restore calm. It’s easy to do and can take as little as two minutes or less. My Practicing Connection co-host, Bob Bertsch, will be guiding us through the practice in a few minutes, but first, let’s learn a little bit more about it. Hi, Bob.

Bob Bertsch: Hey, Jessica. I’m excited for this conversation. The grounding chair meditation is something I do often to help me when I’m feeling worried, or stressed out, or overwhelmed, and I am looking forward to sharing it on the practicast.

Jessica: I am too. It’s actually a practice that I have struggled with, but I do it anyway sometimes because even though I struggle with it, it still helps me in the moment. What has your experience been with this activity?

Bob: I’ve been practicing meditation for a little more than three years. It started during the pandemic, actually. Jessica got me started. Thank you for sending me the link to that app, and that really got me going. Grounding meditations like the one we’ll be sharing today are a regular part of my practice. They can be really important as a mindfulness practice because they’re designed to help you focus your attention.

I also am able to notice the benefits of grounding meditations a little bit more than other kinds of meditation. I can feel my stress level decrease a little bit, and I’ve noticed that I stay attentive to a task a little bit longer. In general, I practice meditation because I just want to be happier and be a better person, but the progress I’m making towards those goals isn’t always the most noticeable. It’s much easier to see the benefits I’m getting from grounding meditation, and that keeps me going on my meditation practice as well.

I also use grounding meditation in the moment when I’m feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed. For example, if I’m in a meeting and something’s happening that’s making me feel anxious or angry, I just take a few seconds to pay attention to my body and its connection with the physical world. That can be feeling my hands touching the arms of my chair, or I might put my hands on the surface of my desk or the table in front of me, and just focus on the contact that I can feel there.

If I feel like I want to be maybe a little less obvious in my movements, if we’re in a face-to-face meeting, I might press my feet a little harder down on the floor, so I can feel that contact between the bottom of my feet and the floor, something physical. For me, paying attention to those points of contact reminds me that I exist, we all exist in a physical world, and that physical world is different than the world that we create in our minds.

Jessica: I’m curious to learn more about some of the research behind meditation. You clearly have had some benefits from it, but can you share a little bit about some of the research behind this?

Bob: Yes, so I’ll just highlight a few studies. There’s many studies out there about mindfulness practices, specifically. Meditation and mindfulness practices have been shown to decrease your perception of how much stress you’re feeling and increase your resilience. There was a study conducted with US Marine Corps reservists that showed participation in mindfulness programming was associated with fewer attention lapses when performing demanding tasks, so that’s the focus part. Especially with grounding meditation where we’re talking about how do we improve our concentration or our focus. A group of oncology nurses in the University of California San Diego Health System showed decreases in compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary trauma after practicing a structured meditation five days a week for four weeks. That’s just a few.

Jessica: I just have one last question before we get to the instructions. I’d like to talk a little bit about perfectionism in meditation. I know that when I began to use guided meditation, I struggled a little because sometimes, I was very comfortably lying down, for example, but the instructions were to sit up with a straight spine. I wondered if I was already starting the meditation out wrong and if I wouldn’t get the full benefits. I would say that my start to meditation was a little rocky and hit-and-miss because I didn’t– I would skip it for a while because I didn’t feel like sitting up in a dining room chair to do it. [chuckles]

Bob: Yes, I could completely get that. I think that it’s difficult any time that you have something that’s guided when you’re getting instructions, you feel like you want to follow the instructions and that you might be doing things wrong. There really isn’t any wrong way, no matter what the instructions are. I’m going to give some specific instructions about grounding meditation. All you really need to take away from it is I’m spending some time focusing on my contact with the physical world. You could be sitting up, or laying down, or standing, or walking, as long as you are focusing on that point of contact between your body and the physical world, you’re going to get some kind of benefit out of it.

Definitely don’t get caught up in, “Am I doing this right?” Focus maybe on the main point, which in this case, in grounding meditation, is just focusing on that contact with the physical world and let the other stuff fall away.

Jessica: Let’s get started. Bob, would you please walk us through this practice?

Bob: Sure. The first thing is that if you would like to or able to, sit down in a chair, on a bench. If you are sitting, having your feet touching the ground can be helpful, the ground or the floor. Now, if you’re comfortable with this, close your eyes. If you’re not comfortable closing your eyes, you’re not in a space where you’re comfortable closing your eyes, you can just soften your gaze, lower your gaze. I find it helpful to take a couple of deep breaths to relax and center myself on the practice. Breathe in deeply, and as you breathe out, try and let go of whatever was happening before you started this practice. If you feel any tension in your body, try to let that tension go as you breathe out, and soften the area around your eyes, soften the tension in your jaw, in your shoulders.

Now, if you can bring your attention to your body, think about how does your body feel sitting. We sit all the time without really being aware of how it feels to be sitting. The meditation teacher, Joseph Goldstein, uses the phrase, “Sit and know your sitting.” Try to feel the places where your body is contacting the chair or bench or whatever you are sitting or laying on. Feel your weight against the seat. How does that feel? Is the seat hard or soft? Are there sensations of warm or cold? What other sensations are there? Maybe some pressure or vibration.

Now, if your chair has a back, you can get that sense of sitting by feeling your back touching the back of the chair. If you’re on a bench or a stool, just try to feel your spine holding your body upright. Some teachers will recommend if you’re having trouble with that, to think about a string attached to the top of your head, pulling you up a little bit, so you can feel that uprightness.

Now, see if you can feel the texture of the material on the chair, whatever your chair or bench is made of. If your chair has arms, you can feel the surface of the arms. If not, reach down and touch the seat of the chair. How does that feel? Is it rough or smooth? Again, is it warm or cold? Can you feel any other sensations there? Maybe it’s vibrating.

Now that you’ve centered your body and gotten used to that contact to the physical world, press your feet lightly into the floor or ground. Just put a little bit of pressure onto your feet so you can feel the bottoms of your feet on the floor. Shift your awareness there and think about what you can feel there. Can you feel the increase in pressure? Is there any vibration? Maybe you feel something in your feet, whether it’s pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. Sometimes some tightness, pressure, pain even. Focus on that feeling of your feet contacting the ground or the floor.

Now, imagine the weight draining from your mind and body. Whatever heaviness that you feel in your mind or feel in your body, feel that draining down your legs, and into your feet, and finally, into the ground. Take a moment to think about how does your mind feel after doing that. Do you feel lighter? Does your body feel lighter? Can you feel the sense of your weight flowing down through your body to the ground?

As we close the meditation, just take a few easy, slow breaths. When you’re ready, open your eyes if you had them closed, or look up, and return your awareness to your surroundings. A meditation practice like this can be helpful when you’re feeling stressed or a sense of being overwhelmed. It helps because you become aware of your body instead of getting lost in your mind. Thanks for practicing that with me.

Jessica: Wow. That was great, Bob. I have never experienced the weight flowing, that part of the exercise. I really appreciated that part of it. Thank you so much for guiding us through that.

Bob: Hey, you’re welcome. I really enjoy talking about meditation and mindfulness practices, so it was definitely my pleasure.

Jessica: That’s it for this episode. Thanks for joining us. We hope you’ll give this practice a try and share your experience in the Practicing Connection LinkedIn group, where people supporting military families practice the skills that empower us to work together, so that we can positively impact our communities and help families thrive. You’ll find the link to the group on our website at We’ll be back next week with a practice to get to know yourself better called Energy Engagement Mapping. Until then, keep practicing.

Kalin Goble: The Practicing Connection podcast is a production of OneOp and is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Military Family Readiness Policy, US Department of Defense under award numbers 2019-48770-30366 and 2023-48770-41333.


[00:12:16] [END OF AUDIO]


November 23, 2023
Event Category:
Event Tags:

How To Join

Complete the registration form with your name, email address, and how you learned about this webinar. You should receive a confirmation email shortly after with the connection information. Please email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or need technical support.

If you are unable to join the webinar via Zoom, please view the live-streamed webinar at

More Info

Practicing Connection Podcast