Your Meditation Tool Box
Your meditation tool box should contain a variety of gadgets: practices that help you focus, increase your awareness, see the world with greater clarity (and less judgement), and most importantly, practices to increase kindness and connection.
The aim is to have a full and well organized tool box. And to know how to use each tool. Being familiar with the various tools will ensure that you not only grab the right tool, but that you feel confident using it.
Take time to practice the meditations, even if they seem simple and easy to understand. Actually, especially when they seem simple and easy to understand. Those are often the practices that go the deepest.
Four Tools for Developing Self Kindness
Self kindness is a precursor to love, which is a precursor to compassion. I'll write more about this in a future post.
1) Loving Kindness or Metta. This is a foundational practice for developing self kindness. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's best to learn from someone else. I'll be covering this practice, along with many others, this Saturday, Oct 22 at Making Friends with Your Scare-ies, at Kula Yoga Tribeca.
2) The soothing powers of self touch. Place your hands on yourself in a way that feels comforting, for example, on your heart. This is best done in private. But you can also find a way to self-sooth through touch in an inconspicuous way, by placing your hand on your forearm for example. Explore touch that feel soothing to you. Science shows that we respond similarly to self touch do we do someone we love touches us.
3) Imagine that you are holding a small infant. When we hold a small child, we make an unspoken promise to be tender and to protect them. Recall what it feels like to hold a child, how warm and soft they feel in your arms, and how gently and yet securely you hold them. Practice relating to yourself with that same unspoken commitment to be firm but incredibly tender. Protect yourself as much as needed, but also allow for growth and exploration of your edges.
4) Imagine a dear friend comes to you with a problem. Hear them saying something like, "My heart is so sad, and so hurt. Can you help?" How you would respond. What kind of words would you use? Would you hug them, or hold their hand? Would you make them a cup of tea, or open a window? Now bring to mind something that has hurt your heart recently. Don't dwell on what happened, just the hurt feeling. Practice responding, step by step, to yourself as you would to a friend.
Sign up and stay tuned for more tools.
Megan Mook's MNDFL class notes. Oct 17, 2016