I've been slowly working my way through an audiobook by Cheri Huber called Unconditional Self-Acceptance. I've just listened to a section where she gives a few meditation tips. I think these are pretty unusual tips - I love them!
1. Realise that the voice in your head that purports to be an expert on meditation and how you should do it, is not an expert on meditation – or anything else. That voice is part of the survival system that we’ve been looking at, it’s often that internalised critic or judge that there’s to tell you how you should be and what you should do, and what you should know. It presents itself and an authority so that you will pay attention to it as you did when you were a small child. You’re no longer a small child, and that voice has no useful information. In fact, another sub tip I’d offer – any voice that’s not speaking to you with compassion has no information that will be helpful to you.
2. Only ego sets standards and makes contest for you to fail. And that goes with no 3...
3. Your heart, or whatever you want to call ‘that’ which draws you toward the work of awareness, wants you to succeed, and always communicates with you compassionately.
4. It is always good to do more than ego says you can, and less than ego says you should. (Note: By ‘ego’ Cheri usually means that critical voice in the mind).
5. Enlightenment is not more important than kindness, and, in fact, you can’t have one without the other.
I really like how Cheri communicates ideas so clearly and simply: 'Any voice that's not speaking to you with compassion has no information that will be helpful to you.' You just can't say it more clearly than that!
I've found that concept to be so helpful over the past week. As I lie in bed, often too exhausted to think clearly or meditate, I just notice voices drifting in and out of my mind and my question to them is: 'Is that a kind thought?' I just note 'yes' or 'no'... and let the thought move on. I'm focusing on noticing - not trying to fix or change the 'bad' thoughts. It's been a wonderfully simple practice for me.
Today's artwork is an original painting by Etsy artist Tomato Tomahto. She makes beautiful artworks, often accompanied by bible verse.