Mindfulness Exercises

A Compassion Meditation to Ease Anxiety – Script

Sit tall, but relaxed, in a quiet and safe place
Breathe patiently and evenly in and out through your nose

Count out three, slow and perfect breaths
One long, full breath in,
And one long, full breath out

Again with a full, slow breath in,
And a full, slow breath out

One more time, breathe in
And then empty with breath out

And now let your breathing relax,
But find a nice balance between letting go of controlled breath all together,
And still aware of, and extending the length of the exhale breath a tiny bit

Take note of how you’re feeling right now in your body, heart and mind
Ask yourself, what’s present in the body?

Maybe you notice physical sensation, discomfort, ease, what’s here?
And then from an overall sense of the body, check in with the heart space

Are there any emotions present?
And then what about what’s going on in the mind?

Are there any stories present, positive or negative, that you may relate
To this felt sensation, or to these emotions

Notice what’s here without self-criticism, without self judgment
In fact, notice what’s here with an open heart, a loving kindness, a sense of compassion

To help us tap into that sense of compassion,
We’ll repeat to ourselves a few phrases

The first is…these feelings are not mine alone to carry,
Secondly….there are many others who feel the same way I do
Third….I accept these feelings, thoughts and emotions as a shared human experience

And as you say these phrases, notice again
If there’s any reaction in body, heart or mind

Be kind to yourself
Accept how you are feeling
And extend yourself compassion

Next, bring to mind a loved one,
Someone whom you know personally,
Someone who is very dear to you
And visualize them sitting across from you
Right here and right now

Take note of this loved one in all their complexity
Recognize they too, feel anxiety, difficulty, or pain
They too, have good and bad days
And they too have struggles which you may or may not know anything about

See if you can feel, in your own body, heart and mind
What your loved one might be feeling

And then intentionally send them the following phrases…

What my loved one is feeling is not theirs alone to carry, 
There are many others who feel the same way they do
May they accept these feelings, thoughts and emotions as a shared human experience

And then from your heart to theirs, 
Send them kindness
Send them acceptance
Send them compassion

See them having received your wish
See the ease and the joy that arises
As they begin to understand they’re not alone

Next, repeat the same exercise with an acquaintance, 
a challenging person, or with all beings in the world

Sit them directly across from you, 
And see them in all their complex humanity
See their good and bad days, 
See their joys and their hardships
See their moments of total suffering, 
Even those that they hide

And then with love and kindness in your heart, 
Send them the following phrases…

What this person/these people is/are feeling is not theirs alone to carry, 
There are many others who feel the same way they do
May they accept these feelings, thoughts and emotions as a shared human experience

And then from your heart to theirs, 
Send them kindness
Send them acceptance
Send them compassion

See them having received your wish
See the ease and the joy that arises
As they begin to understand they’re not alone

And recall too, 
That you are not alone
That you are able to recognize joy and pain equally in others
Because you have had the experience of joy and pain yourself

And then check in with how you are feeling now
In body, heart and mind

As you fill up with the recognition that you’ve sent loving kindness 
To so many others
Perhaps you’re better able to connect
With the sensation of having received loving kindness yourself

That which we give, we get back in return

So continue, to practice kindness, acceptance and compassion
Every moment of each day

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