You can begin this mindfulness of emotions practice by bringing your awareness within your mind and body, finding any emotion that is here now. You can do this mindful practice with any emotion, pleasant or unpleasant. By practicing this, you will learn that you can feel sad without being sad, feel anger without being an angry person, and include any fearful part of yourself, from your natural open-hearted awareness.
A 7-Minute Guided Meditation to Embrace Fear
1. Find an emotion—fear, anger, jealousy—and begin by feeling it fully. (I’ll use fear as an example in the following steps. You can substitute whatever emotion you choose.)
2. Silently say to yourself, “I am afraid.”
3. Fully experience what it is like to say and feel “I am afraid.” Stay with this experience until you feel it completely.
4. Now, instead of saying, “I am afraid,” take a breath and say silently to yourself, “I feel fear.”
5. Notice the shift from “I am” to “I feel.” Experience this shift and the new relationship.
6. Now, shift again by saying silently to yourself, “I am aware of feeling fear.”
7. Experience awareness of feeling fear fully. Shift into an observing awareness. Notice the different emotional quality that comes from shifting who or what fear is appearing to.
8. Now, let your awareness shift again as you say, “Fear is welcome.”
9. Starting from and as awareness, experience welcoming like a vast deep ocean of awareness welcoming the waves of fear.
10. Feel the awareness embody and embrace while remaining open. Notice the different emotional quality that comes from welcoming the aliveness as not separate from the ocean of awareness. Sense the support that welcoming brings.
11. Now say silently to yourself, “Awareness and fear are not separate.”
12. Pause and be curious. Notice if awareness is arising, in the sense of aliveness and feelings, without identifying or rejecting it. Feel the open-hearted awareness fully.
13. Feel the awareness, the energetic aliveness, the deep stillness of presence that feels connected to all other beings who feel fear and have the resource of awakeness within.
14. Notice the feeling of looking out at others and the world from this embodied, connected, open-hearted awareness. Close the meditation by feeling a new motivation to reach out to connect to others in a compassionate expression.
Find more meditations from Loch Kelly in his award-winning book The Way of Effortless Mindfulness.
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