Meditation is like taking your brain to the gym.
Similar to the way athletes visualize their performances on the court or field, you can use meditation as a technique to train your brain to offer compassion toward yourself and others. You can also train your mind to be more present.
Sara Schairer recorded the following meditation practices. They aim to help you be more mindful, to expand your circle of compassion, and to remember that you, too, deserve compassion.
Sara is the founder of Compassion It® and senior facilitator of Compassion Cultivation Training®.
1 - MINDFUL DRINKING MEDITATION
Meditation doesn't always mean closing your eyes and sitting on a cushion.
Grab a cup of tea, and be guided through the experience of mindful drinking. The practice begins with tuning into your five senses, and then you'll slowly and mindfully sip and savor your beverage.
2 - BRIEF BREATH-FOCUSED MEDITATION
Cultivate concentration and present-moment awareness by focusing on your breath. When your mind wanders (which it will!), gently and kindly bring your attention back to the breath.
3 - COMPASSIONATE IMAGE
Feel the sensations of compassion through the use of compassionate imagery.
4 - SELF-COMPASSION THROUGH SOOTHING TOUCH, COMMON HUMANITY, WORDS OF KINDNESS
Inspired by Kristin Neff, PhD's three pillars of self-compassion and her Self-Compassion Break practice, this meditation uses a few methods for bringing comfort to yourself.
5 - COMMON HUMANITY
Practice opening your mind and heart to everyone - including those who are outside of your normal circle of compassion.
6 - TONGLEN - Taking Suffering and Giving Compassion
This meditation technique invites you to use visualization and your breath to transform someone's suffering into healing compassion.