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Trauma-informed Holistic Counsellor
"The keys to self-knowledge and deep contentment are right here before us in this very moment—if we can simply learn to live with open awareness."
~ The Unfolding Now, A.H. Almaas
In this section I would like to share some simple, but transformative breathing techniques, contemplative and mindfulness practices, as well as meditations for cultivating self-love, compassion, presence and inner peace.
These practices can be a great complimentary support to your own therapeutic process.
MEDITATION & AWARENESS
for cultivating inner peace
Sufi meditation of the heart
Its is a practice that drowns the mind and the emotions in the ocean of love.
This mediation has three parts:
We invite ourselves to go deep within, deeper and deeper into our most hidden self. There in our innermost being, in the very core of ourselves, we will find a place where there is peace, stillness, and above all, love.
After having tapped into this place, we imagine that we are seated there, immersed into, and surrounded by love's unconditional warmth and welcoming presence. We are resting in deep peace. We are loved completely; we are sheltered and safe. All of our aspects are present there, the physical body and all; all parts, the wanted and the unwanted, the dark and the light, the liked and disliked; nothing is outside, not even a fingertip, not even the tiniest hair. Our whole being is contained within Love. We can even embrace ourselves physically, and let every cell of our being feel the transformative and healing power of unconditional acceptance and love.
As we sit there, happy and serene or deeply moved, thoughts might intrude into our mind – what we did the day before; what we have to do tomorrow –memories float by, images appear before the mind's eye. If so, we imagine that we bring every thought, every image and feeling to this innermost place, and merge them into the feeling of love.
Instead of rejecting or pushing anything away, we open our arms, and experience a deep sense self-acceptance and
the redeeming power of love.
I personally like to practice this mediation first thing in the morning. As I wake up, I imagine being embraced by the softness of love.
I encourage you to find some time during the day and tune into the frequency of being unconditionally loved.
It is very rewarding and can be a tremendous support in radical self-acceptance.
Breathe in peace, breathe out tension
This is an easy breathing technique that you can do wherever you find yourself, at home, at work, in silence or in the noisy street, standing, lying or sitting. Find a comfortable body posture that supports you to feel connected to yourself, and sense your feet on the ground.
Take three deep breaths in and out. Fully inhale and fully exhale. Imagine that with each inhalation you breathe in peace and tranquillity from the base of the spine to the top of the head, hold the breath for a moment, and exhale through the mouth letting go of any physical, mental or emotional tension.
For deeper relaxation, invite yourself to let go a little bit more every time you exhale, letting the whole weight of your body sink into the earth, and giving all of yourself to the present moment. Inhale fully. Exhale completely.
In case of stress or difficult emotions, as you inhale, lift your shoulders to your ears, hold them there for a moment, then exhale fully through the mouth letting go of the tension held in the shoulders and in the chest.
Repeat it as many times as you wish or until you experience an effortless flow in your body.
Try it at least once a day on regular basis and enjoy the fullness of your presence.
Tonglen practice is a method for connecting with suffering – our own and that which is all around us, everywhere we go.
It is a method for overcoming our fear of suffering and for dissolving the tightness of our hearts. Primarily it is a method for awakening the compassion that is inherent in all of us, no matter how cruel or cold we might seem to be.
We begin the practice by taking on the suffering of a person whom we know to be hurting and wish to help. For instance, if we know of a child who is being hurt, we breathe in with the wish to take away all of that child’s pain and fear. Then, as we breathe out, we send happiness, joy, or whatever would relieve the child. This is the core of the practice: breathing in others’pain so they can be well and have more space to relax and open-breathing out, sending them relaxation or whatever we feel would bring them relief and happiness.
The practice dissolves the walls we’ve built around our hearts. It dissolves the layers of self-protection we have tried so hard to create. We begin to feel love for both ourselves and others; we begin to take care of ourselves and others.
Tonglen awakens our compassion and introduces us to a far bigger view of reality.
For the full description of the practice by Pema Chödrön, click here.
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