In his book, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, Dr. Christopher Germer teaches us how to eliminate toxic thoughts and emotions by replacing them with healing, peaceful thoughts. He suggests that we meditate daily on the following thoughts:
• May all beings be safe and free from harm.
• May all beings be peaceful and happy.
• May all beings be healthy and strong.
• May all beings live with ease.
Sometimes he simply says:
• May all beings be happy.
• May all beings be free.
Dr. Germer recommends that we acknowledge and accept our negative emotions, release them, and eventually replace with these healing attitudes. He shares stories of clients who suffered with post-traumatic stress, insomnia, anxiety, and depression who experienced great healing with these thoughts.
Dr. Germer suggests that we begin asking that “we” be safe and free from harm.” We can then extend this meditation to our family, friends, neighbors, and eventually, even our enemies. The mediatation word “may” suggests that we accept the will of a Higher Power as we ask for this blessing, realizing that we may not be able to change difficult life circumstances but that we can change our attitude about them. The author explains that this meditation may seem easy at first, may become more frustrating and difficult, and will eventually become purposeful as we continue this habit for several weeks.
Our western culture teaches little about true self-compassion, but often promotes either selfishness, hedonism, or addiction. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to better care for themselves so that they can better love others. Jesus did not ask us to love our neighbors instead of ourselves. He asked us to love others as we love ourselves.
He adds the following meditations:
• May I love myself just as I am.
• May I be truly happy.
• May I find peace in this uncertain world.
• May my happiness continue to grow.
•May I have happiness and the causes of happiness.
• May I live in peace, without too much attachment and too much aversion.
• May I be free from sorrow.
• May I be free of physical suffering.
•May I care for myself with ease.
•May I love and be loved.
•Dear one, may you be happy and content.
May these ideas give you greater peace today as you deal with the stresses and challenges of life.
© Carol Brown