What: Practice awareness of what's happening in your body through mindfulness of breath, then physical and emotional sensations.
Why: It is so easy to stay disconnected from our bodies, staying instead in our heads, or social media, or to-do lists… It is vital that we devote time to checking in with ourselves, focusing on what’s happening internally. Over time, this can help us to bring awareness into our day-to-day life, becoming more fully present and able to find space and acceptance in the moment.
What: Generate a feeling of loving-kindness in your body, and then send that feeling to a loved one, as well as yourself.
Why: With practice, we can bring more loving-kindness into our thoughts, words, and deeds, both internal and external. This particular version of the meter practice goes beyond saying kind words. We know from somatic theory that we process a great deal of our experiences through our physical bodies, not just our minds, so you’ll be guided to generate specific sensations in your own body before extending it first to a loved one and then back to yourself.
What: Cultivate qualities you want to embody by visualizing yourself interacting with a heroic figure.
Why: The visualization is based on the Tibetan Buddhist practice of bonding with a buddha or deity in order to purify ourselves and come closer to our innate divine nature. From a Western psychology point of view, this is akin to a reparenting practice, where we tend to our own inner development, elevate our sense of personal potential, and bask in safe connectivity.
For the purposes of this practice, the mentor you visualize can be an historical leader, saint, buddha, deity, or even a fictional character—so long as this is a heroic figure who embodies characteristics you want to cultivate in yourself.
This meditation does not require any empowerment. If you feel called to explore this practice more deeply, please seek out lineage holder within Tibetan Buddhism.