The Wise Counsel meditation is one that works based on the idea of projection. Often many people have great advice for others but when it comes to giving themselves that same level of good counsel, it just isn't happening. The wise counsel meditation is a contemplative practice that allows you to speak in your mind with someone you respect and whose advice you would willingly follow. It allows you to imagine and respond to the words you know another would speak.
Now that you’ve been meditating for a while, it’s time to bring the awareness you have been using to label your thoughts and emotions to the speech you use when you aren’t sitting on the cushion. The assignment this week is to bring mindfulness into your spoken words. Specifically, you are doing this to see the speech that is helping or hindering you.
Select specific times to bring awareness to your speech this week. Use the same double-labeling process as with your thoughts and feelings. Observe the words you use and your way of relating to the people around you.
Today is full of sorrow. The largest mass shooting in modern history in our country has just happened and many of us are mourning. 50 LGBTQ people were killed and many more were injured at a night club in Orlando. The victims were predominantly Latinx because the night was Latin-themed. Many people are hurting, angry, and trying to mentally make sense of what has happened.
Often times, emotions are seen as reactions to the world around us and not as things that can be consciously chosen or selected. There are a few meditations I work with which are about being able to choose the emotion we want (or even need) to feel. The inner sanctuary meditation is among them.
This meditation is designed to create a sense of calm, safety, and emotional warmth. It uses a method acting technique to bring up a past setting where all of those emotions already exist. You are still working with reactions on a certain level but you are choosing to what and how you react. By strengthening your mental image of your inner sanctuary and working with this meditation over time, the positive emotions associated with it become more easily recalled.
When I introduce forgiveness as a practice, I emphasize that forgiveness is something we do for ourselves and not for other people. We live in a culture that likes to hold onto hurt. The difficulty with that is that holding onto past hurts can keep us stuck in the past. It can compound the damage of past negative events and experiences by adding additional suffering on top of the original pain.
This week's practice is something you already know and have heard hundreds of times. The difficulty is that though you may hear it constantly, your understanding of it may be quite surface. When you hear people say, "The person you have the most conflict with is your best teacher," you will agree. Most people do. But how is that informing your practice?
Have you reached the point where you see conflict and difficult people as the key to your growth or do you still see these things as obstacles? When you tell stories of conflict does your retelling paint you as innocent and describe the other person as completely in the wrong?
Back on Week 1, you covered how to start a gratitude practice. Gratitude increases patience and also helps to retrain negative thinking toward the positive. Every thought you think is like putting a seed in the soil. Your focus and attention waters each seed with your attention. As you focus more on the positive, you are watering those seeds, which then become plants, and over time they grow larger and larger. As you stop watering the seeds of negativity, those plants slowly begin to wither and die away.
This week's skill building activity is about retraining your mind to see the good, the positive, and the inspirational in the world around you. Too often, our mental filter can screen out the good and leave only the things that need fixing rather than allowing the full experience of what life has to offer to come through. This evening activity combines with a gratitude practice to help you see the positive experiences that happen every day.
This week's skill builds on several previous posts to create a technique that can be used to process any conflicts you may be having but also gives you a technique to use when you are actively engaged in the moment of the conflict. This meditation relies heavily on the work of Dr. Marc Brackett, Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Much of his work on the meta-moment shows up in this guided meditation.
Neti Neti Meditation (n.) - Neti Neti is the meditation of negation. It translates to, "Not this, Not that," and is a form of Vedic analysis. Vedic comes from the word Vedas, which are the oldest Hindu scriptures.
This practice is the structured rejection of all labels, social conditioning, and past experiences that you have come to use to define who you are. The practice is based on the principle that once you let go of who you are not, then your eyes will open to see the you that exists outside limitations.
My Writing and Other Resources for Students
A growing collection of writing and other resources for students to use to continue their growth.