The ABCs of Meditation Practice

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When learning a new skill, it’s best to start with the basics. Here are three elemental concepts that go along with traditional meditation, and how they can affect your practice.

A: Acceptance

Meditation allows us to let thoughts and feelings come and go without judging them or attaching meaning to them. With practice we come to see unhelpful thoughts as what they are – just thoughts, with no bearing on our true health and happiness.
Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. – Thich Nhat Hanh

B: Breathing

Meditation calls our focus to the basis of our existence – our breath. Since early times meditation has centered on breathing, with the Om sound representing the very breath of creation in our universe. In practice, deep, controlled breaths help calm the body and slow your heart rate, helping you to physically relax.
In this very breath that we take now lies the secret that all great teachers try to tell us. – Peter Matthiessen

C: Compassion

Meditation helps us cultivate compassionate feelings towards ourselves, towards loved ones and teachers, and towards all beings in creation. Simple mantras, such as “loving-kindness,” can help develop compassionate intention with each meditative session.
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.– 14th Dalai Lama

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