Mindfulness isn’t disengaging with life, being unaffected, or withdrawn. Mindfulness means being fully present even when things are hard. In this video, I speak to that difference and how mindfulness can help us show up in our personal lives and in the world at large prepared to both bring and be the good.
This is a 7-minute guided meditation that I recorded to connect feelings of compassion with your body.
Find a quiet and comfortable spot. It’s ideal if you can lie down for deeper relaxation, but sitting is also okay. You may want to try it more than once and see how each session is different for you. Enjoy!
With our current state of affairs in the nation and in the world, it’s important to practice self-care so we can continue to show up ready to serve the greater good.
1. Go within first. If you encounter a difficult story in the news or witness something unjust, take a moment to check in with yourself. Connect with the breath in your body.
2. Be compassionate. Offer yourself self-compassion. As we bear witness to violence and injustice, we experience suffering. Acknowledge this and allow the grief, rage, anger, or fear to process through.
3. Stay connected. Remember that we’re all in this together. There isn’t a us and a them. There’s only an us. Try to cultivate feelings of compassion for others, even if they are behaving in ways that are harmful.
4. Grow the good. The world is full of goodness. We each have so much to be grateful for. Focus on the good all around you and see if you can’t build upon it.
One of the benefits of a meditation practice is that you’ll begin to experience an overall increase in feelings of calm and ease. This doesn’t mean that you’ll become indifferent or numb to life, but that you’ll be more skillfully responsive and less momentarily reactive. You’ll notice some space around your thoughts and emotions in which you can pause. You’ll likely turn to the practice in moments of chaos, stress, and emotional upset as a way to move through the difficulty. Instead of getting knocked off center and spinning out into fear, doubt, or worry, you’ll maintain a feeling of being grounded and sure even as you are overcome with difficult emotions. There will be a still point within you that you can return to as often as needed. You can take refuge there to regain your strength, cultivate compassion, or rest your mind. Cultivating this still point is the work of our practice.
1. Start small with 2-8 minutes of sitting practice each day.
2. Orient your practice around something you already do each day, such as your morning cup of coffee, afternoon snack break, evening walk, etc.
3. Begin again every time. Embrace the fact that you don’t have to be an expert at this. Allow yourself to start fresh. There isn’t a wrong way to practice.
4. Keep trying. Keep trying, Keep trying. Day after day. When you feel the most discouraged is when you know you’re on the right track.
Mindfulness isn’t new. In fact, it’s ancient. It doesn’t require a lot of resources or any gadgets. It’s simple, yet profound. It begins with the breath and our attention and leads to a complex unfolding of awareness. Basic mindfulness practice sounds like it should be easy. So easy that many people disregard it, but it’s actually quite difficult and the results of practice can be surprising. There’s a good chance you’ll discover parts of yourself you didn’t know were missing. You may see something that’s been right in front of your for years in a revelatory new light. You may find that you are actually, truly, and deeply okay just as you are, which may be one of the most compelling reasons of all to practice mindfulness.