On this episode of Heart Wisdom, Jack Kornfield leads a guided meditation that focuses on the practice of deep listening as we breathe love in, and breath love out.
This special episode of the Heart Wisdom podcast is Jack leading his Breathe Love In, Breathe Love Out Meditation. The entire meditation is transcribed below.
Relaxing the Nervous System
Let your eyes close gently. Maybe take a couple of deeper breaths, just to release whatever goes with that exhale, to become more present. Let your eyes and face be soft. Loosen the jaw. If you like, you can roll your head in a circle to release your neck and let it find a simple upright.
Let the shoulders relax, and the arms and hands rest easily. Feel the weight of your body, your bottom and your legs and feet, the weight of gravity, and how you can let go and be fully supported just where you are; the earth fully supports you. Steady, and stable.
Let the belly be soft, and the breath natural. Let the heart be soft as well, to receive whatever arises with the spirit of kindness, compassion.
Now, with this embodied presence, begin to pay attention to this mysterious human body, this human incarnation and bodily form. And feel how it’s breathing itself. You don’t have to do anything. Breathe in the breath of the atmosphere and oxygen. Feel the breath wherever it’s easy: the nostrils, the back of the throat, the chest or belly. If it helps, you can put your hand on your belly if you can’t feel the breath easily, and feel the belly rise and fall in the palm of your hand.
With a kind attention to each breath, invite a sense of ease, breathing in and out with ease, calm. Breathing in with ease, breathing out, calm and steady.
The whole nervous system relaxes, stands down. And the body and attention, the heart, mind, all come together, just feeling this breath.
Ram Dass shares several meditation methods on Here and Now Ep. 14
Add Metta to Each Breath (7:00)
Of course, there will be thoughts and emotions and sounds that arise as you sense each breath. Let them rise and fall like waves from the ocean around the breath, and feel how the breath breathes itself in the midst of it all.
Now, add Metta or loving-kindness to each breath, very simple. As the breath breathes in, fill your body with breath and kindness, loving-kindness. Let each breath in, fill your whole body and being with loving-kindness for yourself.
With each breath out, feel, sense, imagine, any way you can, that you’re sending love out to the whole world. Breathing in love for your whole being, just naturally and easily, and every little breath out – ahhhh – sending love to the world.
As the breath gets soft and quiet, let the love get soft and quiet as well.
Breathe In Love, Breathe Out Love (14:05)
Notice as you breathe, breathing in and out love, how there’s a natural trust. A trust that after the breath breathes out, it will breathe in again, all on its own. And after it breathes in, it breathes out, all on its own. How you can trust the earth to hold you, wherever you’re seated. How you can trust the mindful, loving awareness to notice and hold it all – the breath, the love, all the waves of experience that come and go.
In the midst of it all, there’s a stillness, a listening. And in this stillness, ask your body, what does my body want or need, as we go through this new change of seasons. Now that you’re present and quiet, let your body tell you what you need for the seasons ahead, what you want. And trust that you can know. What does it need to be at its best?
You can listen in this deep presence and stillness, just as you listen to the body, you can listen to your heart. As the seasons turn, the year ahead will begin. What does the heart want? What does it need to be at its best? You can know.
In the same way ask [yourself], what does my spirit need and want for the next season? What would serve? What would bring the best? You can know.
Take whatever gifts of understanding your body and heart and spirit offer, and the quieting of your mind and tending of your heart and breath, and let this wellbeing stay with you even after the bell invites your eyes to open.
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