Welcome back to the MBSR Meditation series. My name is Nejra, I am your mindfulness teacher, here to guide you on your path of healing and re-integration of body, mind, and heart.
In today’s practice, we will be cultivating self-compassion by allowing the difficulty to be.
And learning the tools to comfort and care for ourselves in the present moment.
Life can be hard, and self-compassion helps us manage the pain, hardship, and suffering of living in this complex, uncertain, changing, and sometimes aggressive world.
So to begin this practice perhaps setting the intention to allow whatever arises to simply be here, learning to sit with the difficulty and acknowledge the suffering and have a sense of compassion and love for ourselves.
Making a definitive shift in our posture, one that embodies our arrival at the seat of awareness. Spine is straight, with the head balanced on top, as if an invisible string was gently pulling us upwards.
Chin ever so slightly tucked in so that the neck is elongated.
Building a sense of an inner mountain.
Sensing the ground beneath our feet.
And the sitting bones melting into contact with the floor or chair.
Feeling the energy, the stillness of the mountain.
Inviting an exploration of the anchors that we may choose in this practice.
So, whenever an emotion or a thought arises that feels overwhelming and craves our attention, perhaps remembering to come back to the breath.
So, exploring where it can be felt the strongest today?
Perhaps we feel the air of the breath at the nostrils, or all the way down flowing into the belly, dropping into the rise and fall of the breathing like a constant river flow.
Offering a hand on the heart to ground us and connect with the heart space.
Remembering that we always have a choice, to move the posture, to anchor to the breath or to pause the meditation if we need to.
It is your practice and your choice.
In our mind’s eye, invite in a difficulty or pain that you are experiencing right now.
Perhaps, choosing something moderate in emotional charge, not too heavy for this short practice.
And whenever we are ready, gently turning towards the situation in our life that is causing you suffering and pain.
And as vividly as you can, at this moment.
Exploring these sensations now, and scanning where can the sensations inside the body be felt the most?
Zooming into that area and imagining that we can send a calm, cooling breath, allowing it all to be.
Breathing into the sensation, breathing out of the sensation.
Practicing mindfulness – the art of being with and opening to our actual experience, in the present moment.
Without judgment, strengthening our ability to be with our feelings and emotions during hardship.
Honoring them, tuning in, processing, letting go.
At a certain point, maybe finding the words that feel appropriate for ourselves and with a kind, gentle voice offering compassion as you would to a friend who was hurting.
Saying to ourselves something like:
This is really painful. This really hurts. I’m having this difficulty in my life and I’m struggling with it. This is stressful. This is hard.
Embody this experience by placing a hand on your heart or cheek, or by patting your arm gently as you would that of a loved one in need.
We’re turning toward our difficulty, acknowledging it, naming it.
This is a moment of suffering, the first phase.
Then when we are ready, gently moving to the next phase, reminding ourselves that suffering is a part of life.
A part of being a human being.
Reminding ourselves of common humanity.
Everyone has pain and challenges in their life.
Many people are going through similar situations.
The degree of suffering may be different, the intensity or the flavor of suffering may be different, but suffering is a part of life.
Part of being human.
Again, if it feels right, offering words of compassion: It is okay, I am not alone, other people experience suffering and struggle, it is a part of our life as human beings, it is a part of our life as human beings.
Then gently moving to the next phase
Tuning in to the heart space and inquiring:
May I be kind to myself?
And to support bringing kindness to ourselves, the invitation is to perhaps put our hands over our heart, or some other place on the body that feels soothing and comforting, feeling the warmth of the hands, holding our own hands or giving ourselves a warm hug, and feeling your own kind touch.
Letting those feelings of care stream through the fingers.
May I be kind to myself?
Perhaps asking, “What do I need to hear right now to show kindness towards myself?”.
Then with the same gentle words and a kind tone of voice, just like when you would be consoling a friend, saying to ourselves what feels most appropriate:
It will be ok… I am here for you… we will get through this…
Or perhaps using a phrase that most talks to you:
‘May I have strength to go through this.’
‘May I be kind to myself during this difficult time.’
‘May I have peace in my heart.’
‘May I have patience.’
‘May I accept myself the way I am.’
And then slowly returning back to the breath, awareness of the whole body breathing.
Breath flowing in and flowing out.
Gently coming back to the body sitting or lying here.
Noticing thoughts and emotions.
Noticing how does the body feel.
And when we are ready, connecting to the ground through our sit bones.
Connecting the anchor where our feet are in contact with the floor.
As we bring this meditation to a close, perhaps connecting to the heart and asking ourselves, how can we hold more space for self-compassion in our daily lives?
And then listening to the wisdom of our soul.
And when we are ready, inviting the body to move in whichever way it feels like.
Taking the time, there is no rush, bringing this practice to a close.
The Self-Compassion Meditation is complete.
Thank you for meditating with me.
In the next session, we will continue the theme of self-love and acceptance with a Loving-Kindness Meditation.
See you in the next practice.
”Life can be hard, and self-compassion helps us manage the pain, hardship, and suffering of living in this complex, uncertain, changing, and sometimes aggressive world.