Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Compassion & Healing Meditation

This Compassion & Healing Meditation is based on the Buddhist practice of Tong Len.

This practice can be very intense, so make sure you are in a safe place that will be undisturbed for about 30 minutes.  (see alternative, quick Compassion & Healing Meditation at the bottom of the page).

Introduction:  Before you start, take a moment to think about a time or situation in your past or future during which you have suffered, or expect to suffer.  Also, think about someone you love who may be suffering presently.  We will be using these images in our compassion and healing meditation.

Sit, very calmly, very confidently.  No one is watching you, no tests to pass or fail.  Just you and your mind. 

Imagine for a moment a blank screen.  This is the screen of you mind.  Upon this screen, you begin to see the number 13.  See the number 13 on the screen of your mind.  13.  Now, visualize the number 12….(continue down to the number 1)

Upon the screen of your mind, you see a tree.  The biggest and most beautiful tree you have ever experienced.  See how the tree fills the screen, its branches spreading wide, it’s height enormous.  Approach the tree.  Notice that you can see around the tree as the screen of your mind dissolves.  Walk around the tree.  Touch the tree’s thick bark.  Notice the earthy smell of this place.  Look around the tree’s base for an opening.  This opening is your invitation from the tree into the Underworld.  Step through the opening, noticing that it widens & deepens with each step.  You notice a spiraling staircase illuminated with warm light.  There are 12 steps descending into the earth.  These will
take you to your Inner Temple.  Begin your descent.  12. Take the 12th step.  11 another step closer.  10 smell the air, thick, but sweet.  9……(continue down to 1 visualizing walking down through the tree on the staircase) a light guides you & gets brighter & brighter as you reach the bottom.

Before you is the entrance to your Inner Temple.  This sacred place is visible only to those who can "vibrate" to its high level of energy.   Look around.  Notice the perfection. Use all your senses, to hear, touch, sense, walk around, and observe all the details of this holy place, making the whole Temple come alive. 
You feel warm and safe.  As you explore the boundaries of your temple.  Notice a door.  This door is not the door from which you entered, but another door.  Behind this door are friends.  Guides.  Guardians.  Open the door if you desire, inviting your friend to share in the beauty of your Inner Temple.  Your guide is delighted to be with you.  And offers protection for the journey to come.  

Spend a moment with your friend.


As you commune with your guide, you remember your garden.  There are many plants growing in the garden.  The spirits of your beloved flowers, herbs and trees call you into the garden.  Wander through the paths.  Take a moment to connect with the spirits of the plants.  Tell them you are headed towards a journey of healing and compassion.  Invite the plant spirits to assist you in your work. 


Notice 2 plant spirits calling to you.  Maybe it is a rosemary bush, a patch of daffodils or violets, maybe lotus flowers floating in a pond.  These lovely beings know the work of healing and are excited to be of service.  Reach into your pocket for an offering to the plant spirits.  As you gently harvest portions of these 2 plants,  give your precious offering as a symbol of gratitude. 
Bowing to the spirits in your garden, you open the garden gate.  Before you is a very beautiful place.  This is your merit field.  The grass under your feet sparkles.  Trees are swaying in the wind with bells in their branches, playing a beautiful melody.  Lakes and ponds surround the field.  The temperature is perfect.  This is a place of healing.  Sit quietly in your merit field for a few moments.


As you take in the surroundings, you notice a cauldron has appeared.  The cauldron is filled with sweet, pure water.  This is your cauldron of healing. Into the cauldron, you place the herbs from your garden.  As the herbs blend with the perfect, pure water, colors appear.  As you stir, you recognize your brew as being pure love and healing.  Look into the cauldron, and notice the colors spiraling and glowing with power.  The light emanating from your cauldron is brilliant and pulsing. Your healing brew is perfect. Begin to breathe in the steam of your healing brew.   With each inhalation, the cells of your body are filled with brilliant color and light.  Continue breathing in the healing light until each cell of your body is glowing with healing love.  Drink of the brew.  Taste it’s deep flavor, rich, warming. 


Look up from the cauldron and notice an image of yourself.  This is the you of the future.  The future is experiencing great suffering.  Maybe the image is of you later this week, maybe 5 years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, maybe the you 30 or even 40 years from now.  You may be very old, very sore, very tired, sick perhaps, lonely.  Invite this vision of you to join you at the cauldron.  See the suffering of your future self filling each cell with thick, black, choking smoke.  This suffering may be in the form of conflict with a loved one, it may be disease, or even harmful energy returning to you.  In whatever form, the suffering the future you is experiencing is deep and frightening.  The dense, black smoke completely fills the body of your future self sitting in front of you.  Sit for a moment and feel the suffering of your future self. You know what that suffering is.  You know your fears.  The sense of compassion is overwhelming and you know you must act to heal this suffering.


Remembering the power of the plant spirits who have joined your effort and the promise of protection from your guide, you begin to breathe deeply.  With each breath you are drawing the thick, black smoke of suffering out of the future you.  The smoke gathers above the cauldron.  With each breath, more and more smoke moves into the cauldron.  The cloud becomes more and more dense.  Continue to draw out the cloud of black smoke, from the future you, emptying this loved being of all suffering.


Now, with one deep inhalation, breathe in the cloud of thick smoke.  Amazingly, you are not affected as the smoke enters your lungs and spreads to your cells.  Your healing brew brought immunity from the smoke.  The cells of your body communicate as one, bringing all the colors together into a bolt of lightning that is pure love.  The lightning explodes, transforming the smoke into a rainbow of colors.  Continue breathing in the thick, black smoke and exploding it until the entire cloud above the cauldron is gone.


Now, with your exhalation, fill your future self with exactly what is needed in the form of the brilliant rainbow of colors.  Visualize very strongly your future self actually getting the qualities you wish for and becoming completely free, relaxed, totally free from suffering.  Visualize that you’re actually bringing this about.  It is really happening. It is really happening.  Visualize this very strongly.


Repeat cycle again.  Really feel the urgency of pulling the black smoke out.  It’s been there for so long.  All that suffering.  You pull it out and transform it instantly into a rainbow of light, healing nectar and you give it back.  Exactly what’s needed.  Visualize your future self in the best possible way and invite your future self to drink from the cauldron of healing.


Now, in front of you, still in your merit field with your cauldron swirling with colored light, imagine someone you care about.  Someone you have what feels like natural feelings of love and compassion for.  Maybe a close friend or relative or perhaps a pet.  Someone you feel loving kindness for, someone you care about, someone who is very important to you.


Once you have them set, visualize the suffering that they are going through.  Perhaps they’re going through a hard time or an illness, extreme financial difficulties, worry about their children, their future, their health, their relationships.  You really want to help them. And you can, you finally can.
We repeat the process.  Drawing their suffering out in the form of black smoke, bit by bit, gathering in front of you, bit by bit. 


This is tough, this is not your suffering, this is their suffering, but you want so much to help them.  So you draw it out.  When it gathers over the cauldron you begin to bring it in.  Exploding their suffering with your power and light.  You are very connected with this person right now.


Continue to spend a few moments healing your loved one.  You may repeat the cycle. Experience the compassion of wanting to take every speck of the smoke of suffering from them.  Experience the breathing in of the suffering and what it does to your heart, how this experience strengthens you.  And the experience of giving back everything good within you to bring about their happiness.  Invite your loved one to drink from the healing cauldron.


Strongly visualize this loved one in their best possible state, full of joy and happiness, free of all suffering. 


Now, it is just you in your merit field.  Think of what you have just done.  Think of what you’ve done for yourself, what you’ve done for your loved one.  Feel the power of light pulsating within your body.

With one last look around your merit field, return through your garden to your Inner Temple.  Reach into your pocket, noticing a symbol of tonight’s work.  Place the symbol in your temple for remembrance.  Bid hale & farewell to your guide, thanking them for their protection. 


Leaving your Inner Temple the same way you first came, begin to climb the stone staircase.  We will count the stairs as we ascend.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

You emerge at the base of the tree.  Thank the tree for guarding your entrance to the Underworld.  And walk back through the screen of your mind.  

As we count up from 1 to 13, being very gentle with yourself, you will begin to return to the physical world. 

1 – you feel the air around you
2 – the ground beneath your feet is solid
3- your spirit fully inhabits your body
4- your mind is becoming alert to your surroundings
5- begin to move by stretching your fingers
6- now wiggle your toes
7- rotate your wrists
8- rotate your ankles
9- begin to move your head, feel the relaxation in your shoulders
10- your arms and legs are ready to move now
11- rotate your shoulders & move your upper back
12- Reach your arms above your head, hands facing down
13- slowly, open your eyes and draw your hands down, pushing any excess energy out and away from you.

If you still feel floaty, try touching the floor to ground and center, releasing any energy into the earth.

As an alternative to this meditation, you may try meditating with this repeated affirmation:
"May I be free of pain & sorrow & the causes of pain & sorrow. May I be well, happy & filled with joy.  May _______ (someone you love) be free of pain & sorrow & the causes of pain & sorrow. May _______ be well, happy & filled with joy.  May all beings be free of pain & sorrow & the causes of pain & sorrow. May all beings be well, happy & filled with joy."
As you get more comfortable with these meditations, expand your compassion from yourself & those you love to those with whom have difficult relationships & eventually to all sentient beings.

These meditations are amazing for the Heart Chakra & build positive karmic energy.

Wild & Bright Blessings!

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