meditation tips and techniques

Meditation Tips and Techniques 1: An act of love & friendship

This first post of meditation tips and techniques is to think of your practice as an act of love and friendship- not a self-improvement project.

The Buddha evidently said something along the lines that asking what meditation added to his life was less accurate than asking what it had taken away: anger, anxiety, depression, greed, envy, insecurity….

Etc…You get the picture.

I don’t know if he actually said that but I definitely believe that meditation is not about trying to change or fix you so much as help you see things more clearly and ultimately

live from that liberated, loving, calm, compassionate place

that is already there within you.

This is a key distinction because taking meditation on as self-improvement assumes you need fixing and, let’s face it, that doesn’t feel so good and therefore it takes willpower to maintain your practice.

And willpower is notorious for:

  • running out,
  • not being there when we need it most (when we’re stressed), and
  • may even being a myth or something available only to a few genetically gifted people! (check out Dr. Jud Brewer’s book Unwinding Anxiety to hear his thoughts on this)

So take a moment to remind yourself:

I don’t need to be fixed. I am not a self-improvement project.

A much better and more appropriate motivation for meditation is pointed out beautifully by meditation teacher Bob Sharples:

Don’t meditate to fix yourself, to improve yourself, to redeem yourself; 
rather, do it as an act of love, of deep warm friendship to yourself.


In this way there is no longer any need for the subtle aggression of self-improvement, 
for the endless guilt of not doing enough.


It offers the possibility of an end to the ceaseless round of trying so hard that wraps so many people’s lives in a knot.


Instead there is now meditation as an act of love. How endlessly delightful and encouraging.

 

How endlessly delightful and encouragingmeditation as an act of love and friendship

Now this FEELS good.

And when something FEELS GOOD, it ignites the reward circuitry in our brains and we actually WANT to meditate and we DON’T NEED ANY WILLPOWER.  This is the  sound neuroscience basis for meditation as an act of love and friendship.

As you start your meditation practice today, place one hand on your heart and affirm to yourself:

I am whole and complete just as I am.

I am enough just as I am.

I am worthy of love and belonging just as I am.

 

So I’ll finish today’s edition of meditation tips and techniques with a story as you look forward to your meditation practice nourishing you with love and friendship.

A Cherokee grandfather is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

 

Feed the good within you today- sit down and meditate!

Namaste.

If you are facing life challenges and would like some 1:1 support to be heard and find mindfulness- and evidence-based practices that may help, I’d be honoured to hold the space for you.

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