The “Hack” that May Actually Get Meditation to Work for You!
This one I learned from Lisa Sherman, a genius teacher in Asheville, North Carolina.
She called it a “hack,” to calm the flurry of your thoughts as you sit down to meditate. It gets you over that hump of frustration, thinking your mind is too busy to ever be any “good” at meditating.
Close your eyes to meditate, and just settle into your seat. Relax.
Bring to mind two people in your life who wish you well, and who want you to be happy. It could be a parent or a partner, or maybe a benefactor or a mentor, or maybe a child or a colleague. Whoever they are, imagine them sitting across from you, so the three of you are in a little pod.
Next, imagine these sentences that each of them says to you, quietly and sincerely:
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you live with an open heart.
First one of the people you’ve brought to mind says these sentences, then the other. Spend some time letting this happen as you begin your meditation.
Notice what happens, and how you feel.
Why is this a “hack,” and why does it work?
Biologically speaking, bringing to mind these people and their well wishes for you triggers that part of your nervous system that assures you that you are in a safe space. That things are okay. That you are okay.
Emotionally speaking, it reminds you of people in your life who truly are concerned with your well-being. Who want you to be happy, and healthy, and to live with an open heart.
Sit with that for a while in your meditation.
Then, when you’re ready for the next part, imagine that you’re saying those three sentences to yourself.
May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with an open heart.
Notice what happens then.
Ironically, this is often the part of this practice that people I know stumble over, that is, when we remind themselves that we are in fact our own best friends. And, oh yeah! We have our own best interests at heart.
So pay attention here too, as you sit with this part of your meditation. Give it some time.
Finally, when you’re ready, direct those three sentiments outward, in order to complete this sort of triad of intention.
May we all be happy. May we all be healthy. May we all live with an open heart.
You could do this in concentric circles if you want. You could direct those sentiments toward acquaintances, for example, and then toward people you feel neutral toward, and then toward people you feel some negativity toward, and then toward people you really dislike, and then toward all of us, throughout the world.
You could also do this one “circle” at a time, however you’re comfortable.
But, once others are wishing you well and then you’re wishing yourself well, don’t forget to wish others well too. Because the idea of this last step is for your sense of compassion to become more expansive, and to cultivate it, and to share it with others even outside your immediate sphere.
That’s when, for me, things shift.
This practice may be a “hack,” but it’s one that works. (Thank you, Lisa Sherman.) Give it a try, and please let us know what happens. We’re curious to hear.
What We’re Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
7 Self-Care Practices for When Life Feels Painful – A Life In Progress.ca
“Self-care is always important yet easily neglected. In painful seasons of life when it feels like we’re drowning it can feel incredibly hard to see our way forward. These 7 self-care practices help me show up when life is painful.”
Seven new grapes approved in historic Bordeaux AOC vote – Sophie Kevany for Meininger’s Wine Business International
Growers will be allowed to plant the new vine types on up to 5% of their vineyard area, and to add up to 10% of their production to final blends, all within existing controlled origin (AOC) rules.
Meet the Tribe!
Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.
Eduardo A Dingler - VP of Wine - Wine Access, International Wine, Sake and Spirits Judge, Writer, and Founder of SakeDrinker.com (USA)
Years in the industry:
The hospitality industry has treated me well for just over twenty years. The restaurant business inevitably led me to the beverage world. Wine, spirits and Sake are now part of my daily forms of work / fun, with a heavy educational aspect and sharing the experiences that make this industry so enjoyable.
My biggest challenge to wellness:
The balance of work, fun and family is very easy to say, but quite frankly a daily mountain to climb. Somehow at the end of the day it all works out and then we start all over again. Setting goals to incorporate all 3 is nearly impossible but sometimes achievable. Spontaneous trips are the best, performing outside of the box of daily life gives me the jolt of energy and inspiration.
How I keep it together to stay well:
A few things that keep me sane and balanced are listening to the compositions and music of the late Ravi Shankar, playing drums, and getting lost in Tokyo for hours on end. And of course you’ve got to keep your body moving; activities with my partner in crime, Laura, like occasional marathons, tennis and some bike time take care of that. Jet lag is best prevented and cured by an educational stop at a local dive bar (karaoke a plus) and early morning runs while traveling.
Let’s Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.
Attendee at TEXSOM Sommelier Conference in Dallas, August 18 to 20 (Beck)
Attendee at Australian Women in Wine Awards in New York, Sept. 17 (Beck)
Speaker at Dream Big Darling in Paso Robles, September 15 to 17 (Cathy)
Emcee at Australia Decanted in Lake Tahoe, Oct. 6 to 9 (Cathy)
Presenter at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, February 25 to 29 (Cathy)
Presenter at the Future Wine Expo in Santa Rosa, May 12 and 13 (Cathy)