This is another meditation practise that provides nourishment for the soul (see also loving kindness meditation). I find it particularly useful as a reminder to invite these positive qualities into my life, especially when I am taking life too seriously and devoting too much energy to work and writing. I also find that the active focus involved in this meditation means that I am less likely to get distracted, so it can be a particularly satisfying meditative experience.
I start this meditation with 7 rounds of alternative nostril breathing to settle myself down and focus. Then I allow my breath to find its own natural rhythm, following its movement wherever it is in my body. I try and pay particular attention to the moment of stillness between the exhalation and the inhalation.
Then I start to introduce a word into this moment of stillness, starting with peace. After each breath I introduce a new word that explains a particular quality involved in peace e.g. harmony, calm, tranquillity, tolerance, serenity, stillness, acceptance etc. In a way I’m asking myself what peace means to me and in those short moments between breaths I aim to experience it.
When I have comfortably come to the end of my exploration of peace I move on to the concept of love. Again the aim is to experience the different (non-sexual) qualities that are encompassed by that word, e.g. affection, unconditional, cherish, respect, harmony, devotion etc. I imagine a powerful force loving me and try to experience what that feels like. All in that quiet moment at the end of the exhalation.
Finally I explore the word joy e.g. fun, laughter, delight, love etc. I often find myself having to picture the circumstances in which I might experience joy, aiming to explore its different aspects momentarily in those pauses between breaths.
Don’t worry about any overlap; this isn’t an intellectual activity to see how many original words you can come up with. The aim is to help you fully experience the qualities of peace, love and joy.
Wishing you all peace, love and joy in abundance!