It’s World Meditation Day today, a day to raise awareness about the practice of meditation and its benefits. To honor the day, I’m sharing four new guided meditations with a variety of practices and a range of times. These meditations are the recorded companions to the practices offered in my book, How to Be a Badass Lawyer.
As the book explains in more detail, these practices are offered to help you build a regular meditation practice. They offer a variety of practices so that, over time, you can better understand your body, mind, and emotions. With this foundation, you should have the basic skills needed to do the dynamic and transformational practice of loving-kindness. In addition, they range in time so that you can gradually build up your tolerance for meditation practice.
Keep reading to learn more about and try each practice.
Breath Focus Practice
Most meditation practitioners and teachers start with the breath and there’s good reason for that. It’s always with you and the breath is the link between body and mind that can reliably help you calm down. This means that getting comfortable with your breath and being able to use it as a tool is not just helpful as a resource for meditation practice but also a good tool for life. If you need help finding your breath, read more here.
But if you are ready to go, check out this 5-minute practice to get started.
One thing that can get overlooked when it comes to mindfulness is that the body is an essential part. Mindfulness of thoughts is only one aspect, but the body is a link that can help us cultivate awareness even of thoughts. Why? Because contemporary life invites us so frequently to reside in our heads and ignore our bodies.
Body scan is a practice that can help us get reacquainted with our bodies. It is a simple practice that many consider deeply relaxing. You systematically feel the sensations in the body. This is a practice that can help you understand how to take better care of your body (i.e. recognizing signs of stress or physical needs), relax and rest, and understand your emotions better.
To try this 10-minute practice, check it out here.
Now, I bet you are wondering why I would tell you to practice joy. I have good reason. Did you know that, from a stress standpoint, the body doesn’t necessarily differentiate between what we consider positive emotions versus negative emotions? Thus, if we get more understanding and tolerance for positive emotions, we can understand all of our emotions better.
For many lawyers and professionals, though, positive emotions are the easiest ones to overlook. We are busy and expect good results so we may gloss over accomplishments and peaceful times because we are habituated to handle crisis situations. When we focus on joy, we heal and nourish ourselves and we cultivate emotional understanding at the same time.
Try this 15-minute practice, which incorporates breath and body work as well here.
The final practice in the book is my favorite: loving-kindness. It is a practice where meditators focus on the body, usually the area around the heart, and wish others well. Though you may not think wishing will do a lot, research says otherwise. This practice is associated with reduced stress, improved relationships, and may even lead to more ethical conduct.
You can modify the practice to support your needs and goals and I have a guide here that can help you do that. This 20-minute practice, however, includes the traditional people, groups, and phrases. You can check it out here.
To learn more about the practices and how they fit together, check out my book, How to Be a Badass Lawyer. Good luck with the practices and please reach out if you have any questions.
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