Free Meditation Instructions
Basic and detailed instructions - one pointed concentration, walking meditation, body sensations, postures, lying down meditation, stretches for sitting, and tonglen meditation.
Our thanks to Jaya Ashmore of Open Dharma for providing and allowing the use of these instructions.
~ Simple meditation instructions ~
I. To begin with, invite your body to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible, lying down or sitting on a cushion, bench, or chair. To help yourself fully arrive here, breathe out two or three times as profoundly as possible. Let the in-breath happen by itself.
Then just let the breath be: short, long, shallow, deep.
Notice that the experience of the breath and body are not separate.
II. Enjoy the luxury of simply being: perhaps it is enough to be a human on the earth, with no need to compete, to "get it right," to do or add or remove anything.
III. Relax into the back of the body as if it is a comfortable sofa. In an atmosphere of gentleness, tune into hearing. Allow sounds near and far to be received by a fluid attention. Notice the brilliant precision of attention, how clearly and immediately each sound is known and released. Notice if any image comes to match a sound—a mental picture of a bird for a birdsong, for example. Is it possible to know the difference between the image of a bird and the simple sound? Notice if any other reactions come in response to the sounds—the body tightening or the mind judging and commenting.
These reactions are interesting in their own right, but for now open yourself again and again to the naked sounds themselves.
IV. Whenever you remember, relax into the back of the body and allow attention to receive direct experience.
V. With the sounds more in the background, let this same receptive attention open to the body: its weight and posture, movements and textures, warmth and coolness. Let the experience we call "body" just float in relaxed attention.
VI. Bring softness into first the head, then the chest, then the belly. Where can you connect most easily? Let about 25% of your attention rest in that place, while also staying open to sounds, thoughts, and the whole body. All else being equal, the lower belly is preferable.
Every time you notice that the attention has wandered, gently rest back "home" in your chosen place.
VII. The opposite of what most of us are used to, this training of the mind is simple but not necessarily easy.
The training is two-fold:
~ Remembering to soften and let attention receive experience.
~ Remembering to connect to direct experience.
The connection between the receptivity of attention and the aliveness of experience empowers our
innate potential for wisdom.
Instructions courtesy of www.opendharma.org
~ One-pointed concentration ~
Returning attention again and again to a fixed, relatively unchanging object sharpens and strengthens our ability to pay close attention to life. With concentration on seeing, the object is visual, and the practice is to see while being awake to the fact that seeing is taking place.
1) Choose an object that you like or love: a photograph of a loved one; a beautiful stone, dried flower, or leaf; a candle; a piece of jewelry....nothing too large. Stay with the same object in each sitting.
2) Place your object far enough away so that the neck is not strained.
3) Rest the eyes while seeing: practice relaxation whenever tension in the body-mind becomes noticeable. If there is pressure on the eyes, unusual visual effects, such as seeing colors or losing focus, may occur. Blinking the eyes helps. Notice how little effort is needed for vision to "happen."
4) Neither fight with nor entertain any images that seem to appear in the object.
5) Sometimes it can be useful to pinpoint the vision on a tiny detail of the object.
6) Beginning meditators may notice that their power of concentration, or energy to keep returning to "just seeing," runs out after ten or twenty minutes. In that case, take a mental break, while maintaining physical stillness. After a few minutes, begin again the practice of continually returning the attention to simple seeing.
Once we can gather the mind in one-pointed concentration, just for a couple of minutes, then we are much better equipped to continue the inner journey.
Instructions courtesy of www.opendharma.org
~ Walking meditation ~
Sustaining awareness of the physical sensations in the legs and feet while walking helps bring interest and openness into everyday life.
Choose a flat place about ten meters long to walk back and forth.
Simply experience the changing textures, temperatures, weights, densities, vibrations, and so on. The main focus is on the soles of the feet, as you walk back and forth at a normal or slow pace. Slowing down can allow concentration on more subtle sensations.
Just enjoy one step at a time, as if you had all the time in the world. Notice that it is self-defeating to set goals such as, "I will be with every step till the end of my line." That thought is already a break in the simple meeting with physical sensations--and besides is an unlikely goal to be fulfilled!
If you are distracted, pause at the end of each "lap," close the eyes, and reconnect before turning around. Some people find that the "noting technique" helps concentration: keep most of the attention on the physical sensations while allowing words such as "lifting, moving, placing," to describe the movement of the feet.
If the words take up too much attention, then please drop the noting.
Whenever possible, be alert for the subtle "urge" or "intention" to turn the body around, just before actually turning. It can be possible, to expand this alertness to the intentions to lift, move, or place a foot. Awareness of intentions gives more space between unconscious urges and following through on them.
Let this practice come into your daily life.
Instructions courtesy of www.opendharma.org
~ Body Sensations - "Feeling tone" ~
Body sensations, or more specifically "feeling" or "feeling-tone," are a subtle, quick and tricky aspect of human experience.
It is the way we take in experience, the way sights, sounds, smells, tastes, physical sensations, and thoughts get immediately filtered as pleasant, unpleasant, or neither. A subjective response gets mixed into the experience
We don't just see color, we automatically see a color we like, or don't like, or don't care about—a color that is good, bad or unimportant. We may even be surprised if another person experiences the same color differently.
This filtered reaction has deep roots in hidden "survival strategies," the ways we blindly try to manipulate the world with aggression, seduction, and shutting down or ignoring.
~ Our practice is to give attention to pleasant feelings without desperately trying to make them last when they go away.
~ Our practice is also to give attention to unpleasant feelings without struggling to get rid of them when they come.
~ We can also learn to give attention to neutral feelings without being bored or restless.
~ Notice how feeling-tone affects and is influenced by experience of the environment, physical sensations, thoughts, and moods.
An unnoticed unpleasant feeling-tone that persists for half an hour can create a bad mood that lasts all day. Conversely, a good mood can make us more likely to give our attention to experiences with pleasant feeling-tone, to notice what we like, to think optimistically, etc. Letting various feeling-tone come and go by themselves and simply staying aware of them without getting caught up in them, we weaken the forces of greed, hatred, and delusion that are the causes of all suffering.
Our practice then leads directly to an abiding happiness and peace. Our practice is also to be aware of unpleasant feelings without struggling to get rid of them when they come.
Instructions courtesy of www.opendharma.org
~ Loving kindness meditation~
Cultivating loving kindness is a crucial counterpart to other meditation practices such as concentration, awareness, equanimity, and investigation.
Traditionally prescribed to relieve fear for those who walked through jungles and slept in caves, loving kindness practice is an antidote for negativity, whether self-hatred, anger, insecurity or resistance to change. Diligent loving kindness practice brings easy sleep, pleasant dreams, protection from danger, a radiant face, a serene mind, and an unconfused death.
~ The formal practice
Formal loving kindness practice taps into the power of intention, the ability of the mind to set itself moving in a particular direction. The practices mentioned below use the silent repetition of words expressing love to self and others. It is not important to feel anything special, but rather to connect again and again to the meaning of the words. Once the following methods are familiar to you, you may experiment with a focus other than words, such as visualization or the simple sense of love.
Start by making yourself comfortable. If you normally sit on the floor, try sitting in a chair or leaning against the wall. With the first few breaths, receive a sense of your body, heart, and mind as they are right now. Some people find it helpful to bring attention to the chest and breathe "through" the heart area.
Sometimes it is helpful to clear space for metta with a short forgiveness offering. Silently reflect on and then repeat these or other similar words:
If I have caused any living being harm, intentionally or unintentionally, I ask forgiveness.
If any living being has caused me harm, intentionally or unintentionally, I offer forgiveness. (Some people feel more comfortable saying, "I offer peace.")
If I have caused myself harm, intentionally or unintentionally, I forgive myself.
~ Loving oneself
The traditional ways to cultivate loving kindness start with oneself. The Buddha said, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
To begin the practice, dig deeply to find your deepest wishes. Take your time to find your own words in your own language to express two or three or four of these deep wishes. Some of the traditional phrases are: "May I be safe. May I be free from suffering. May I be happy." You can also use single words such as "peace," "love," or "liberation."
Connecting to the meaning, repeat the words slowly, perhaps in rhythm with your breath, for at least 5-10 minutes. Feel as if you have all the time in the world. Once you find the right words, remain with the same words throughout the meditation.
Note that at times it might be helpful to focus lovingkindness on oneself throughout the entire meditation period. However, for some people, it is easier to offer self-acceptance rather than love: "May I accept myself completely. May I accept that I am okay as I am." Or visualize someone who has helped you, but with whom you don't feel tension, and imagine that person sending lovingkindness to you.
~ Three ways to expand the focus
After focusing loving kindness on yourself, you can continue with one of three formats.
1.- Expanding circles
Feel the life in the space just around and including you. Direct the wishes you had for yourself towards these living beings. Mosquitoes, pigeons, trees, human beings, ants, and you. Visualize and/or get a sense of the whole space or of individuals in the space one at a time.
For several minutes or more, offer lovingkindness to all the beings in the hall, room, garden, or landscape. For example: "Just as I wish to be free, may all beings in this hall be free."May all beings in this hall be happy."
Or: "May we all be liberated...."
After several minutes, again expand your sense of the moment to include a broader area, offering loving kindness to the surrounding ashram or neighborhood or ecosystem.
Then expand your awareness periodically to embrace the town, the state or province, the country, the planet and the universe. If you prefer, instead of referring to political boundaries such as states and countries, visualize natural "boundaries"--the forest, the river system, the mountain range, the plains, and then the continent or island you happen to be sitting on.
2.- In each direction
A second way to practice metta is mentioned frequently in the ancient texts. Once you have spent some time directing lovingkindness towards yourself, you can send it out to all beings in each of the directions one by one: north, south, east, west, above, and below.
Visualize and/or get a sense of all beings to the north receiving your friendship as you repeat, "May all beings to the north, be liberated." Lastly, allow the loving intention to spread out in all directions.
A third way to practice loving kindness is to focus on specific individuals, as usual starting with yourself. The second person to send metta to is called the benefactor, someone who has helped you, and whom you love and respect--preferably someone who is presently alive, and with whom you are not sexually involved. It may be a facilitator, friend, or even someone like the Dalai Lama whom you may not know well.
The third individual to receive your well-wishing is a person about whom you feel neutral. It can be difficult to think of such a person, since we usually jump to conclusions about others as soon as we meet them. Think of a bus driver, someone you have seen walking down the street, or a bank teller. The fourth person is someone with whom you feel some tension. If it is too difficult to send well wishing to this fourth person, then return to one of the previous steps for a while.
With each person, visualize and/or get a sense of her or him, as you connect to the meaning of your chosen words.
Once you have become familiar with the suggested forms of loving kindness cultivation, you can be creative and find your own forms.
You may find it more effective to start with what is easier and move towards what is more difficult. For example, if sending love to yourself is excruciating, you can break from the usual pattern and begin with a benefactor or friend. If while sending love to a large group you become distracted, then return to a smaller group for a while.
However, loving kindness has a healing power that may be beyond your expectations. Each time you practice, go to the edge of what is comfortable for you and see what happens.
Instructions courtesy of www.opendharma.org
~ Postures ~
Meditation flows through all "four postures" of walking, sitting, standing and lying down. We sometimes think the "best" posture is the position in which we can happily stay still and steady.
Notice how striving to find an imaginary perfect posture is just a nagging, unpleasant, mind-game. Experiment with different positions, especially if you struggle with pain during much of the session, or if pain persists after you move out of your chosen posture.
It is not necessary to use the same position in every session. With acceptance of the body and mind as they are in the moment, an ease and stillness can begin to develop.
For many people, lying down is the position most suitable for being relaxed, open and still. This relaxed stillness makes it harder for the controlling mind to dominate and therefore leaves space for a deeper and more fluid awareness to come through.
You will need a soft, flat surface to lie on. Usually a yoga mat is too thin if you want to be able to stay still long enough for a deep meditation. Use a mattress, folded blanket, soft carpet, or a combination of two or more things. You may also need extra cushions or some improvised substitute, such as a folded sweater or blanket.
It is really worthwhile to experiment with different degrees of softness and different heights of cushions and surfaces. A centimeter of difference can make all the difference.
~ Lying on your back
Make sure you are lying on a soft enough surface and preferably with no extra pillow under your head. Put pillows under your knees to protect your back. Even better for many people is to place pillows under the whole length of your legs, with the feet higher than the knees and the knees higher than the hips. Be careful with your knees: if the legs roll out to the sides too much, you may feel strain in your knees after a while.
~ Lying on your side
With your hips and knees bent and your arms comfortable, lie on your side with pillows under your head and between your knees/legs. You might notice a difference between lying on your left or your right side. See hand suggestions for hand positions.
. ~ Lying turned
3/4ths of the way towards the floor or bed If you start by lying on your side, you can shift towards the floor or bed, and straighten one leg. Usually a very small, soft pillow under your ear is enough, but be caring about your neck. Some people prefer this position without a pillow under the head, and others prefer to put a larger pillow under the whole upper body. You may also like to put one hand under the hip of your straight leg, and the other near your forehead, face, throat or upper chest.
~Lying on the belly
Lie face down with both legs straight, and perhaps both hands palm face up under the hips. Your head will need to tilt slightly to one side, and a soft pillow under the ear may suffice.
Where you place your hands is up to you. It can make a big difference where your hands are, and what they are touching. Some people need to have the hands not touching the body; others find certain hand positions helpful for meditation. In many postures, we can let the hands find their place and even let them help harmonize body, heart, mind and spirit.
If lying on your back:
~ you can place your hands on your hips
~ or on the base of your ribcage.
~ If you support your bent elbows with soft pillows, you can also place the hands on the upper chest, although the arms may tend to fall asleep after 20 minutes or so.
If lying on your side:
~ you can place your lower hand between your knees and the upper hand on top of the upper outer knee.
~ Or with the lower arm bent, place your fingers on the middle of your neck. At the same time, you can place your upper arm along your hip and buttock, so that the fingers are near the coccyx.
~ Or invent a comfortable way for you to place one hand on one cheek and the other hand on the collar bone of the same side of the body as the cheek.
Hands rest comfortably on knees or lap. Chest is open, with shoulders relaxed down and back. Chin is slightly tucked in, allowing the neck to be straighter than usual. Top of hips is slightly rolled forward, so that abdomen opens and spine is supported and straight. Angling the cushion or the seat of the chair can help hips to tilt forward. If sitting on cushions, experiment to find the best height. Some people need to sit directly on the floor without a cushion, and some people need several cushions stacked up.
Sitting in a chair:
With feet resting firmly on floor or cushions, sit upright and without leaning on the back of the chair if possible. Propping the back two legs of the chair up on small supports helps hips roll forward, and keeps the front edge of the chair from cutting off circulation through the backs of the legs.
Sitting on the floor:
"Japanese style" ~ Kneel with the buttocks resting on a cushion or bench. Make sure not to put too much weight on the knees.
"Thai" or "Sri Lankan style" ~ Sit on cushion or floor, and bend one leg across the front with the knee pointing out to the side. Bend the other leg to one side so that the knee points to the front and the foot points behind you. As with other cross-legged positions, please alternate legs in alternate sittings: if the left leg is in front in one sitting, then have the right leg in front in the next sitting.
"Burmese style" ~ Bend both legs, with knees pointing out to the sides, and with both lower legs and feet resting on the floor, one in front of the other. Alternate which leg is in front, if possible.
"Lotus style" ~ Same as "Burmese" but with one or both feet and lower legs crossed on top of the opposite calf or thigh.
Instructions courtesy of www.opendharma.org
~ Lying Down Meditation ~
To rest is not only to relax but also to energize ourselves—a paradoxical combination of qualities essential for the alchemy of meditation.
In contrast to sitting for meditation, lying down to rest or meditate brings a different atmosphere which can be disconcerting at first. Experienced sitters often complain at first that they don't find the same clarity when lying down as when sitting. However, this accustomed clarity of sitting often turns out to be the dead end of "me controlling my experience." One can be an expert at mind control and leave the heart sadly untransformed.
Once we "sitters" dare to lie down for meditation, we often ask ourselves, "Why did I wait so long to dive in when there is so much to explore and so much uncontrived flowering of the heart?" As the heart opens, a different realm of clarity also unfolds.
Our usual fears about lying down to meditate are:
(1) "What if I fall asleep?" and
(2) "What if I'm wasting my time, not really doing anything?"
Experience shows that, yes, it is very likely that we will sometimes fall asleep and perhaps even snore! In spite of our conditioning to the contrary, sleeping is not a sin, and snoring is actually just one more sound of nature.
In the meditation hall, we can welcome sleep as well as waking and the many, often fertile, states of mind between sleep and waking. If one knows one just needs a nap, then feel free to do it in bed rather than the hall. Our accelerated lifestyles leave us disconnected even from the ability to feel how tired we are, so we often need to go through a few days of feeling more tired the more we rest. We need to "rest through" our accumulated exhaustion to start to uncover our deep life's eyes.
Another way of moving
You may remember sometimes waking up from a sleep and—before plugging into your persona, your list of things to do, and your limited sense of who you are—feeling for a moment a breezy, caring ease. The flavor of such moments gives us the taste of genuine meditation much more so than do our usual attempts to control or train the mind.
We desperately need to discover a different kind of wakefulness, clarity, and creative action—a way of being moved from within by our connection with life and with our deepest wisdom. We need to find a way of giving up our tense and uninspired "should's." We need to feel permission to be pulled into loving creativity for "no reason." Then we can celebrate the marriage of these complementary factors of ease and flow, letting go and being inspired, restfulness and wholeness of energy.
Our loving life is that celebration.
Instructions courtesy of www.opendharma.
~ Stretches for sitting ~
These stretches, when done regularly for several months, can help the body sit more comfortably for a longer time.
The most important thing to bear in mind while stretching is that each person's body is unique. The challenge is to stay in touch with your own body, and make sure that you don't overdo it.
It is especially important that you give the highest authority to your own body's wisdom, since I am not an expert. I am just sharing, as a friend, these stretches that I have gathered from various yoga facilitators and physical therapists over the last few years.
~ Lie on your back; lift right leg so that foot points to ceiling; bend left knee out to the left. Place left foot on right thigh (bending right leg if you wish). Reach left hand through the angle of left leg and clasp hands behind right thigh; pull right thigh towards abdomen; hold. Reverse.
~ "Cradle the Baby": sitting with right leg straight out in front, bend left leg with left knee out to side. Place left foot in right elbow or hand, and left knee in left elbow. For more stretch, lift left leg higher and then pull it in closer. Reverse.
~ Gaumukhasana ("Cow's face position!"): Sit up on sitting bones with the help of a blanket. Cross right leg in front of you, with knee pointing towards the front, and right foot close to, but not under, left buttock. Cross left leg over right, so that eventually left knee will be over right and left foot will be next to right buttock. Gently lean forward if you need more stretch. (To stretch the chest at the same time: bend left arm behind back with elbow down. Bend right arm behind head with elbow up. Clasp hands if you can. If you cannot reach, use a cloth between your hands. Then bend forward with sitting bones still in contact with floor.) Reverse. Hold each side for at least 2-3 minutes. These are tough muscles.
~ "The Box": Sitting on sit-bones, cross right leg in front with knee pointing diagonally to the front/right. Cross left leg on top. Left outer foot is along the outside of right knee. Left knee would drop into right foot's arch if the hip were flexible. Reverse. (Each side 2-5 minutes.)
~ "Anton's Pigeon": Go into a lunge with right leg straight behind you and top of right foot and toes on the floor, and right knee off the floor. With sole of left foot flat on floor and not far in front of left hip, turn left foot and bent left knee out towards left. Look back over right shoulder then return to face front. Gently lower right knee, left hip, and torso towards floor until you find a good stretch. If you want more stretch, try turning left knee and foot fully 90° to the left. Use pillows or other supports under torso to relax into the stretch longer. Reverse to stretch right hip.
~ "Pigeon": Similar to Anton's pigeon with right leg extended behind you, and left knee bent out to left, but now with left knee, lower leg, outer ankle and foot lying along ground perpendicular to torso and straight right leg. Keep center of gravity over straight leg. Again, supporting torso with pillows may help relax into the stretch.
Hips and legs
~ Sit with both legs out in front. Use a blanket under the back edge of your buttocks to help you sit up on your sitting bones.
a) Let the in-breath help you pull your toes toward you; the out-breath helps you point your toes away from you. Then the same with the whole foot. Next, keeping in tune with the breath, circle the ankles: first together in each direction, then in opposite directions. Clasping hands under one knee, bend your knee and pull thigh in towards trunk with the in-breath; on the out-breath straighten your leg and point toe. Reverse.
b) Cross left foot up on right thigh, as close to the trunk as you comfortably can. Support left foot with right hand, and let left knee point out to your left. Use left arm to pull left leg towards you on in-breath; down towards floor—gently—on out-breath. Then other side.
c) Starting in same position as in (b) above, circle knee in each direction in tune with the breath. Reverse. (From the Bihar School of Yoga)
Backs of legs
~ Lie on your back with tailbone (coccyx) on the floor and sacrum off the floor slightly. Bend both knees slightly and rest soles of feet on floor. Lift left leg (bent is fine) and "point" the ball of the foot towards ceiling. Clasp hands (or wrap a cloth) over ball of foot and gently pull leg down towards trunk. Right leg can be straight if your back is strong. Reverse. Lifting both legs together is the next step.
~ Standing near a step or low table, put left foot up on the step-table. Lean belly towards thigh with back straight. Reach with your belly not with your shoulders. Reverse.
Instructions courtesy of www.opendharma.org
~ Tonglen meditation ~
Although traditionally known as a Tibetan Buddhist meditation, the tonglen technique, roughly translated as "sending and receiving", can be used by and benefit anyone.
I. Resting back.
Relaxing into the back of the body, connect with the natural generosity of the out-breath, and the natural receptivity of the in-breath. With the out-breath, feel how the body--by itself--simply lets go of what is not needed. Thoughts and beliefs about what we are can also be allowed to fall out with the out-breath. Tensions and plans and memories can just flow out. With the in-breath, notice how aliveness pours in. Notice that the breath happens by itself, and let yourself rest "back" and enjoy.
II. Expansive presence.
We can start to feel for a more spacious sense of presence by tuning into the space at the end of the out-breath, or by feeling the space around the body as we let the body breathe. Enjoying the softness of the breathing can also help us begin to erase our strong sense that our skin is our boundary, that we are contained within the skin. We can feel or imagine that we are as vast as the night sky.
The breath, the mind, and the body are just some of the sparkling things happening within gentle spaciousness. There is enough room for everything, even those secret corners of the heart. There is enough room for us to be ourselves. The night sky is the background for the next steps of the meditation and we can come back to it whenever we like.
III. Feeling what is important.
We are allowed to ask ourselves, "What is important? What are these cells here for? What makes life worth living?" We can throw the question into the gap after the out-breath, and just wait for a natural response, as the in-breath answers the out-breath. Or we can just ask the deepest place we know in ourselves. We do not need an answer in words, although sometimes our own genuine words may help us connect with what is important in this life.
If we cannot feel very vividly the texture and flavor of what is important, then we may remember a time we experienced clarity, freedom, joy, feeling at home or loved, or a deep happiness for no reason. Let the memory be as vivid as possible, as we remember sounds, temperature, posture, etc.
Once we can feel what Pema Chodron calls the "texture" of the experience, we can let go of the images and details of memory, and just stay with the vivid texture. Getting to know the texture, notice if it is grounded or uplifting; fluid or still; embracing or expansive, or all of that. Then let yourself swim in that texture—let the cells say "yes" to it and drink it into every corner of your being. Breathing in, connect to the texture in a very alive way. Breathing out, fill and (eventually) overflow with that texture.
IV. Feeling what is difficult.
Resting back again into the "night sky," drop the previous exercise for a while. Then think of a moment of difficulty in your own or someone else's life—not an overwhelming difficulty but something that moves your heart, something you can feel.
Again, choose something specific and clear, and tune into the texture: burning? spiky? accelerated? stuck? heavy? sharp? dense? dark? Normally we resist feeling the fever of self-doubt or the weight of loneliness, and we can include the resistance with the difficulty. Then we simply welcome the "texture of the difficult" into night sky on the in-breath.
Finally, no need to fix or explain or hide or fight. There just happens to be enough room in the night sky for this pain to be.
V. Sending and receiving.
Remembering the night sky, we continue to let the inhalation bring us into intimacy with the texture of the difficult. On the out-breath, we can now also re-connect with the texture of what we love in life, the texture of what is important. And we can let the out-breath fill us and overflow. If we are focusing on a specific person other than ourselves, we can direct the silkiness (or whatever texture) towards that person.
VI. Playing with questions.
We can question whether there is enough silkiness to go around. Where does it come from? To whom does it belong? Is it my secret? Is this what everyone and everything else is also living or looking for? We can also question the deep, dark secrets we human beings think we live with. Is anyone alone in feeling loneliness or any other difficulty? Is there anyone else in the room (or country) who may have felt that same difficulty? Is there anyone who has never felt it? How many thousands of people may be feeling rage or panic or shame just now on the planet? Is it mine or hers or his, this desperation or anxiety? To whom does it belong? Where does it get its energy from?
VII. Widening the flow.
Why not? We can expand our view. We can let the in-breath welcome the difficult texture we all share. There is enough space in spaciousness. And we can let the out-breath share what is most precious to us. The more we give the more we find.
VIII. Uncovering the treasure.
It can take some days or weeks to get into a rhythm with this practice. As we get more familiar with this technique of reversal—of stopping our usual running away from the difficult and burying the light--we may find that it helps us uncover a natural, uncontrived circle of transforming generosity.
Instructions courtesy of www.opendharma.org
Did you like this page?
We Love Meditation
In order to promote meditation, we need your help. You can help to promote
www.FreeMeditationInfo.com by linking back to our website, submitting us to social
networking sites, and posting our links in sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Delicious.
Thanks for your support.