I love meditation. The attention to breathing, the absence of visual stimulation and the feeling after a session. A weight has been lifted off of my brain. This, of course, goes without saying that it can be a process to develop a steady and on-going practice. Good resources are not always easy to find…sometimes the meditation will pull on strings not ready to be worked on just yet or the guide’s voice is reminiscent of a past school teacher who gave a bad grade. These are valid reactions to digging deeper – and a sign there is more there than the initial thought or emotion. When placing myself into a position to open up and work within, comfort and a feeling of nurturance is key.
One resource that I’ve returned to for ideas is the Sounds True catalog – both online and print are available. Last night, I began the guided meditation Radical Self-Acceptance with Tara Brach. Although is had been quite some time since I’d done a complete hour of meditation and guidance, I had no trouble tuning in since I was ready to develop my practice further. Session one on The Suffering of Self Aversion was powerful. It addresses the way we deal with shame and our layered emotions – conscious and subconscious – around our aversions and coping behaviors without judgment on what we perceive to be our own negative qualities. The meditation and talk she gives helps to place building blocks around these qualities to grow in a more positive perceptive.
Sneak peak into the chapters for session one:
- Relating to the anxiety of imperfection
- The root of suffering
- Fleeing from the face of shame
- Strategies of judgement and conformity
- Awakening from your substitute life
- Mindfulness and love
- A meditation on welcoming the guests (from Rumi)
Each section includes literary and buddhist examples to illuminate Tara Brach’s teachings. This guide could be used for variably anything that is happening in life for anyone looking to grow.
The complete set includes a total of four sessions, I’m greatly looking forward to adding this info my nightly routine this week. If you’re looking for something to dig a little deeper, this might be for you.
The House Guest
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
– Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks