Guided meditation on stability, spaciousness and warmth (9 minutes)
Many thanks to those of you who have been attending the Central Oregon compassion calls with me and Ruth Williamson for the past few weeks. As we’re all sorting out and settling into the reality of physical distancing and life during covid-19, it’s been good to connect and talk about what’s going on.
The meditation we did today is one I first learned from Kelly McGonigal during CCT teacher training in 2012. It’s a practice for contacting some qualities often associated with compassion – stability, spaciousness and warmth – in the body. I love this practice for holding difficult emotions or experiences.
For example, if you feel anxiety or off balance while watching the news, connecting with stability by feeling the support of the spine and feet on the floor can help.
Or, if you feel judgmental or angry in response to a difficult interaction with someone, it can help to pause and breathe or look up at the sky to bring space and perspective to the situation.
Or when you’re feeling lonely, far from loved ones, or misunderstood, it can help to connect to the quality of warmth and nurturing that’s often associated with the heartbeat.
Stability, spaciousness and warmth are just three examples of what compassion can feel like. Experiences of compassion can be vivid, pivotal moments, of no-strings-attached giving, heightened awareness, acceptance and an openhearted absence of judgement.
What qualities do you associate with compassion?