For this practice we will be looking at compassionate descendant exploration. We will have an opportunity to feel into what kind of healing and resilience we want to send from our bodies to future generations of beings on this planet.
A Guided Meditation to Deepen Our Intergenerational Resilience
A Meditation to Deepen Intergenerational Resilience with Sará King
- As always, the invitation is to come to a place that is going to be truly supportive to your practice. For some of you, that may be sitting down with your back supported by a chair or a sofa. For others, that may be lying down or even standing up, which if you’re feeling a little bit tired and you want a sense of being energized, could be a great option for you to explore.
We’re going to start by either closing the eyes or using what I call a “soft gaze,” which is looking at the ground with the eyelids halfway closed about two inches before the knees or the feet.
- The invitation is to take three deep breaths. When you’re finished taking those three deep breaths, you can return the breath to a natural cadence and rhythm.
- The invitation here is to turn your awareness and your attention to the bottoms of your feet, however they are resting upon the earth. Notice if one foot is a little bit heavier or lighter than the other. This is our practice of grounding and rooting to the earth beneath us, our home.
- After you’ve made this connection to the earth, continue an exploration of noticing the body. Take the entire body into your mind’s eye and see if there are certain places that are really calling out to you right now. What places need attention? Perhaps there are areas that feel calm, maybe there’s tightness, tingling, tension, excitement, warmth, or cold.
- From here let’s take two more deep breaths, sending each inhale and exhale from the very top of the head to the bottoms of the feet, following the breath in and out much like a beautiful ocean wave.
- Bring your attention and awareness to the muscles of the belly and notice if they’ve been drawn tight toward the spine. Often we unconsciously hold our bellies close toward the spine as an act of wanting to protect ourselves from this world. That’s OK, but it can be helpful to start your meditation practice by softening and loosening the belly as an act of vulnerability, knowing that this vulnerability is going to deeply contribute to feelings of resilience.
Resilience is not about hardening yourself to the world. Resilience is not about putting an armor on, which no one can penetrate. Resilience isn’t even necessarily about being tough, which may be a message we have received from society.
Rather, resilience can be thought of as our capacity to connect deeply to ourselves, and to offer up this empathy and compassion deeply to others, in our lives and our communities. Resilience can be thought of as our capacity to know when we are not in a state of equilibrium and to be in the practice of gently inviting ourselves to open up and reveal whatever it is we need to be nourished and to be held. This can help us to reestablish a feeling of safety, connectedness, and grounding, which allows us to orient more greatly toward the vastness of our true selves.
Resilience can be thought of as our innate ability to harness the power of our curiosity, awe, “don’t know mind,” “beginner’s mind,” and to realize that there’s something so beautiful in the uncertainty that we encounter in this world—if we can allow it in.
- Let’s take another deep breath here. Notice again if the muscles of the belly have drawn tight toward the spine and allow them to be loose.
- Relax the muscles of the shoulders and offer up some relaxation to the muscles of the face, the chin, the cheeks. As the muscles of the forehead begin to melt and as the muscles of the face begin to relax, we can be in the practice of taking off our mask. We can be in the practice of radical friendship with ourselves and say, “Yes, come as you are, dear one.” We can show our true face to ourselves, and in that way, we can offer ourselves up more authentically, resiliently, to the world.
- Imagine now the color of resilience. Maybe when I say the word “resilience,” a particular person, or group of people, or a place, or an object, comes to mind. Invite them into the room with you now and notice if in the space of the heart a certain energy or color comes alive.
- Can we be in the practice of radiating this color or energy or texture of resilience out into the world, much like a lighthouse? What is the impact of radiating this energy of resilience from your being into the world?
- Now imagine that there is a particular gift that your unique resilience has to offer this world. You don’t necessarily have to know what that is, but we can be in the practice of feeling into the space of this unique gift.
- As we continue to shine this light of resilience forth from our body, imagine the descendants of the earth. These may be your children, they may be the children of other loved ones in your life, your friends, your family, all the babies coming into this world. There are so many of them and they are so tender and beautiful. Baby animals, baby plants, babies of all different kinds, are the future of this world. Can you radiate and shine the light of this resilience forth to those descendants and offer up a special message to them? What gift do you want to share with all of our descendants?
- Let’s take a few moments of quiet here and just feel into what this is like in the body. Maybe there is a particular gift that comes from your ancestral line or the vast experiences you’ve had in this life that you’re shining forward to our descendants.
- Notice when you shine this light of resilience forth to our descendants, if it changes in its quality. Actively connecting, sending the energy of our healing practices back into our ancestral bloodline, and forward into all the descendants of the earth, is a wonderful practice of tuning in to who we are as intergenerational beings in a practice of cultivating intergenerational resilience.
- Let’s take one more deep breath in here, bringing the entire body into our mind’s awareness, actively feeling what it is like to tune in to our intergenerational resilience with one another.
- When you are ready at your own pace and rhythm, begin to gently open up the eyes without staring at anything in particular and allow color and texture to flood back into your awareness.
- We’ll practice orienting ourselves to the space that we’re in by slowly turning the head and the neck, very gently witnessing, seeing, what is different about the body now, or about the space that we’re occupying now? What has changed? This is the process of transformation.