Too often people meditate and enjoy how good it feels but is it really effective? An effective meditation is one that not only feels good but actually clears the old and sets the new patterns and paves the way for your actions through the day. For a more effective meditation practice, study a concept that speaks to you, meditate on that concept, observe any resistance or sensations and discover the blocks. You may need guidance to learn how to stay in spaces of discomfort. In order to shift into the new pattern its important to explore what the block is and in that space that you will discover wisdom that is internally guiding you. Meditation is not to repress, its to discover and expand! The following is an example of how to put a meditation practice to action.
Meditation on The Four Immeasureables: Each component can be its own meditation practice for breaking negative patterns and creating new healthy patterns. After repeating the mantra or phrase, set your intention to action. Always ask for support and guidance from that which sources you.
1. Maitri- Loving Kindness
2. Karuna- Compassion
3. Mudita- Sympathetic Joy
4. Upeksham- Equanimity
Maitri- developing love and kindness for self and toward others and to all living creatures large and small. This practice is powerful for breaking negative thought patterns. If you notice you are spiraling into negative thinking today repeat to yourself, “ May I be Happy.” And throughout your day be mindful of your speech and actions toward self and others. Avoid gossip, speak lovingly and look at things from different perspectives, creatively apply compassion.
Karuna- Compassion through action, free from physical suffering. If you are physically struggling through your day with cravings, physical pain, then use this phrase “May I be healthy and strong”. And through your day be mindful of how you treat your body, what you consume, hydrate, exercise, and get adequate rest.
Mudita- Joy, happiness for self and celebrate other’s success. If you are struggling in your relationships, envy (coveting what someone else has), competing, feeling unloved, unable to be supportive or in an unhealthy relationship, then use this phrase “May I be Safe”. Take action through your day to express interest, praise, celebrate your friends accomplishments, recognize your strengths and the capacity to always learn and grow, study and learn with eagerness not to compete but for transcendence,
Upeksham- Equanimity, letting go, non-attachment, If you are feeling anxious, dissatisfied, worried, jealous (fear of something being taken away), greedy, needy, not feeling good enough or feeling a general sense of lack, then use this phrase, “ May I be peaceful and at ease ”. Set your intention to action by noticing all that you do have, volunteer, give back and express gratitude. If you notice your thoughts pulling you toward revenge are harmful actions, stop, connect with your breath and say the phrase, then shift your behavior to responding with compassion or shift focus on the loving people in your life and acts of kindness.
*origins from the Metta Sutta of Buddhism and in the ancient and medieval texts of Hinduism and Jainism.
Compassionately authored by: Dena Leibowitz, 9/1/18
Only love baby. Only love.