5 Meditation Practices That Will Change Your Life

April 4, 2023 0 Comments

We all know that meditation can improve our health and well-being. What we may not know is that our meditation practice is not limited to sitting on a cushion and breathing, it is how we treat every moment of our lives.

If we limit meditation to just ten to twenty minutes a day, we are missing hours and hours of opportunities to deepen our practice and limiting our ability to completely transform our lives.

Knowing that we can meditate turned off pillow is great news for those of us who say, “I just don’t have time to meditate.” If we change the way we understand this practice and learn to bring it into the messiness of our lives, we can literally use every moment as a path to transformation.

If you’re seeking a deeper connection with yourself and your life, read on for five simple and powerful life-changing meditation practices that you can practice on or off the pillow.

Add a breathing exercise to your meditation to increase awareness and mindfulness

Breathing lessons

with Kathy Scherer

In this short and sweet breathing class from YA Classes, you’ll explore the dynamics of belly and chest breathing and create a deeper connection between them to find a full, expanded breathing pattern. This technique is easy to do anywhere – just like these transformative meditation practices – and it increases awareness and self-empowerment.

5 meditation practices that will change your life:

These easy and accessible meditation practices will help you develop more awareness, compassion and presence, and best of all, these techniques can be practiced anywhere.

1. Practice pause

The practice of pausing is a simple yet profound meditation that can change your life. It provides a place of lightness and refuge even during difficult times during the day. All it takes is a willingness to literally stop and open up to the moment as it is. It’s like taking a step back and seeing clearly, with mirror awareness, that everything is so now.

In this sacred pause, we temporarily set aside all the resistance and struggle we would normally carry with us, along with all the stories we tell about ourselves and our lives, and instead connect with the direct contact of our feelings in the present moment.

When we pause, we stop the constant silliness and unconscious habitual tendencies and reactions of what I call the “I-world” – our self-centered, thinking reactivity that filters every moment of our lives – that tend to sweep us away. from the present moment.

The practice of pausing allows us to tap into the immediacy of our lives.

When we do this, we discover that the current situation, whatever it is, is always workable and always changing, and we begin to believe that our hearts and minds are spacious enough to contain all the 10,000 joys and sorrows that our life. .

I like to think of the pause practice as an open mic night for our bodies, hearts and minds. No matter who or what shows up to perform, we let them play. It might be the worst music we’ve ever heard, but no matter how bad it is, eventually their turn will end and someone else will take the stage.

Sometimes all we need is a little break, and if you do this simple meditation a few times a day, you might be surprised how easily it can change your life.

2. Just like me

Just Like Me is another powerfully transformative meditation practice that can be incorporated into our daily lives, especially when we find ourselves stuck somewhere we wouldn’t normally want to be, such as traffic, a doctor’s waiting room, or a bayou. a long line at the grocery store.

Standing or sitting, wherever we are, we look at the people around us with warmth and kindness; through the loving eyes of compassion. We begin by thinking that they are just like us. They have a desire to be happy. They want to be free from suffering in their lives. They have people they love and who love them back. They have burdens and sorrows that they carry in their hearts.

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As we continue to think in this way, we begin to see that these “other people,” whom we would normally think of as strangers, are actually no different from us. We allow this tenderness to open our hearts and allow the boundaries of separation to naturally fade away. We then embody that friendliness and allow it to transform how we interact with others throughout the day.

If you spend all day looking at everyone you meet through the lens of “just like me”, it will inevitably change your life.

3. On-The-Spot Metta (Loving Kindness)

The Buddhist term “metta” is usually translated as “loving kindness” and is a quality of mind that we can all afford to cultivate a little more. Although this practice is usually done formally on our meditation cushion, it doesn’t have to be! In fact, it can be especially transformative when used locally in the midst of our daily lives.

Matt’s practice is simple: send thoughts of love and kindness. It’s literally that simple!

Traditionally, the thoughts we send go like this:

Be safe.
May you be happy.
Bless you.
May your heart be at peace.

But it is quite normal for us to create our own. Indeed, the most important thing is the intention to show love and kindness. For example, maybe we have a friend who is sick and they randomly come to mind. Our practice may sound more like:

May you be free from all inconveniences.
May your body be healthy and light.
Let your strength and immunity grow.
Let your heart and mind be free.

Just imagine that friend receiving all the love and affection and continuing to repeat the above phrases.

Throughout the day, especially when we feel frustrated, resentful, or bitter, we can choose to cultivate thoughts of love and kindness, literally rewiring our brains for compassion.

This meditation works especially well for people who cause us difficulties during the day.

It could be a nagging coworker, a difficult family member, or even a certain politician who makes us cringe. Instead of continuing to cultivate anger, frustration, and disgust with them, we can choose to cultivate a heart and mind filled with love and compassion.

Consistent practice of this Matt meditation in place will open your heart and change your perspective.

This transformative meditation practice is a direct path to happiness

Meditation class

with Ashley Limehouse

Ready to increase your ability to forgive and accept yourself and self-awareness? Loving Kindness Meditation will change you. Check out this short sitting meditation practice from YA Classes and feel more content with yourself, your relationships, and the world around you.

4. Tonglen on site (sending/receiving)

One of my personal favorite practices is the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Tonglen, which literally translates to sending and receiving. This is another transformative meditation practice that can be done both formally and locally.

The idea behind this meditation is to breathe in suffering, allow that suffering to transform in our hearts, and then send relief.

If we’re having a rough day and we’re filled with anxiety, we can breathe in the anxiety fully – allow ourselves to feel it fully – and then breathe out its opposite – let it go – and fill ourselves with lightness and peace at the same time.

As a rule, there is visualization that accompanies the Tonglen meditation. When we inhale suffering, we imagine that it is like thick, sticky black smoke. This heavy, dark smoke travels straight to our heart center, transforming into a warm, beautiful white light that spreads throughout our being on exhalation.

As we become more comfortable with this transformative meditation practice, we can extend it to anyone who experiences similar suffering as we do.

Using the anxiety example above, after we breathe it in and out for a few minutes, we can extend it to anyone who is feeling anxious at that moment. As we breathe in, we can imagine that we are actually taking the anxiety away from everyone in the world, freeing them completely from it, and then as we breathe out, we send a healing white light that shoots out in all directions, bringing all beings the freedom and ease that we ourselves are. looking for at this moment.

This transformative meditation practice is also great when we see other people suffering in a way that we feel we can’t help. It can be when we see a loved one in hospice or a friend with a raging addiction.

Such situations make us feel helpless and out of control, but this on-site Tonglen practice can help us feel that we are contributing to their well-being in some way. All we have to do is imagine breathing in their suffering and breathing out their relief.

We may not be able to control the situation, but we can decide what we want to cultivate in our hearts and minds, which will ultimately allow us to be more present, helpful, and loving.

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5. Goodbye forever

One poignant meditation practice that will change your life is called Goodbye Forever. The practice is this: every time we say goodbye to someone for the day, we imagine that this is the last time we will see them.

In our heads we can say “goodbye forever”. It allows us to see this person through the gentle eyes of impermanence, and teaches us to relate to the feelings and reactions that arise in response to that thought.

This transformative meditation practice helps us become accustomed to the reality of death and loss.

It’s a very intense practice, but death and loss are a very real part of our lives that we tend to ignore, and it helps us to evoke a tenderness, deep appreciation and gratitude for life that can usually be buried by the busyness and stress of our daily routines.

By continuing the practice of saying goodbye forever, we will feel more liberated and open in our relationships with ourselves, our loved ones and those around us.

Now go forth and practice these meditation practices that will change your life

Now that you know the five meditation practices that will change your life, you should start incorporating them into your daily routine. Try to pick one that resonates with you and practice it wholeheartedly over a period of time, or keep all five in your back pocket and use whichever one you need at the moment.

As with anything else, the more you practice, the better you will get, and eventually these simple, transformative meditation practices will become how you automatically approach your life, bringing more presence, compassion, and joy to every experience you have.

I wish you success in your journey!

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