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Contemplative practices - Affirmations, white light visualizations, healing meditations

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Do you have a contemplative practice? A spiritual lifestyle ? imagery or healing meditations you like? Let’s share the love of positive affirmations and meditations. I just finished Ian Gawler's book You Can Conquer Cancer , and I was reminded how much I love self healing practices. I do white light meditations every evening ( great for falling asleep), and mindfulness sitting in stillness in the morning. Have just added affirmations “Every day in every way I am getting better and better , wiser and wiser”. Feels wonderful and sets a loving tone throughout the day.

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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,282
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    @rlschaller, thank you for starting this enriching discussion! It's inspiring to hear about your contemplative practices and the positive impact they have on your well-being. Let's continue to share our experiences and practices! 🤗

    The Mods

  • rlschaller
    rlschaller Member Posts: 52
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    Thank you Mods! I love this topic and hope it might be encouraging for others .
    iOn this lovely Sunday morning I thought I’d share one of my favorites The orb of light, which can read to yourself slowly while you practice:
    Practice: Orb of Light

    This is the orb of light meditation. So when you are ready is close your eyes, and begin to follow the breath. Breathing in and out from the nose. And simply letting your entire attention be focused on the breath. Allowing yourself to relax. Letting go of thoughts, worries, just breath and allow the mind to quiet as we follow the breath for a few more moments. 

    And then when you are ready, I’d like you bring to bring your attention to the very center of your forehead. And imagine that there is an orb of light in the very center of your forehead. And breath in and out through this orb of light at the very center of your forehead, it can be an oval shape or circle. Let it be any shape that comes naturally to mind. You can create the image of the orb of light as you breathe or allow one to rise to mind, either way is fine. 

    But imagine, sense, feel or see this orb of light this beautiful light shimmering strong and steady as your breath. Breathing in and out through this orb of light. 

    Bringing all of your focus to the very enter of the forehead, imagining this orb of light, and it grows and glows brighter with each breath. And if your mind should wander its perfectly fine. Just notice wandering, just notice and then gently bring the focus back to the very center of the forehead, to this beautiful orb of light. 

    And then when you are ready, allow this light to expand. As you breathe, imagine this orb of light expands and begins to fill your entire body. It spreads and expands and fills your entire head, behind your eyes, the very top of your head, back of your head cheeks, jaw, teeth, lips and your chin. Just imagine as you breathe the orb of light expands and fills your entire body. Imagine the light flows down your neck, throat, flows down into your chest, your heart, back. 

    Flows down into your stomach, lower back and waist. To your hips your legs, so while you are breathing in and out from this orb of light, it is filling your entire body. Your legs, knees, calves, ankles, light flows down into your feet, the balls of your feet, the soles, your toes. Continuous stream of light expands and flows throughout your entire bod, in the form of this orb of light at the center for your forehead, simply flowing as you breathe. 

    Flows down your shoulders your arms into your elbows. Down through your forearms into your hands, fingers. This beautiful radiant light shines through the palms of your hands, and soles of your feet. Continue breathing, in and out through this orb of light at the center of your forehead. As the light becomes ever more bright and brilliant within you. Your entire being is breath and light. 

    Allow the light from your third eye, that centered space in the middle of your forehead is also called your third eye, allow the orb of light to flow within you and now allow it flow all around you. As you breathe, like a fountain of energy this beautiful light completely surrounds you, completely fills you as you breathe. 

    Focusing on the orb of light. All energy is light, imagine your beautiful essence, your consciousness is all light as you breathe. Just radiate pure loving light. 

    Your entire being dissolves into this light, you are this light. And your energy shines, you are full breath full light. Allow yourself to be this light for a few more moments, to be the beauty of the light. Peaceful loving light is your essence, let this be your meditation on focused breath and light for a few more moments. 

    And then when you are ready, at the count of 3, you can begin the process of coming back to a waking state, 1, 2 and 3. Very slowly begin to open your eyes allowing this feeling of peace and light to stay with you.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,282
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    Beautiful. Lovely to read this today.

  • tougholdcrow
    tougholdcrow Member Posts: 99
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    I was taught Vipassana, which is a very simple, but deep meditation technique. I did a 10-day silent retreat 20 years ago, when three people very close to me died, and the calm place is still within me. I can always go there. These retreats are free, with voluntary donations. As a person who has learned the technique, I sometimes go to one-day refreshers. That's my main practice, but I spend time studying in different traditions, and I remember what I once heard about the three main currents of Buddhist practice: Zen is for poets, Tibetan buddhism is for artists, and southeast asian vipassana is for philosophers. I think it's good to have some of all of them and to not get too wedded to a single practice. There's a lot of wisdom to be had. I have been spending a lot more time with these ideas and practices since my BC diagnosis, and they have been of inestimable value.

  • rlschaller
    rlschaller Member Posts: 52
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    @ tougholdcrow I love "Zen is for poets, Tibetan buddhism is for artists, and southeast asian vipassana is for philosophers" . I think that is so true lol. I have been meditating for a long time as well, and it has been so vital to my growth as a human being, and my peace of mind through BC and now MBC. I travelled to Burma in my 20's, and studied Tibetan healing practices which I find helpful now as I do a mix of vipassana and Zen practice. Not sure if you know of Allevi8 - its a cancer meditation app which I love, mostly visualization and mindfuless based on Ian Gawler's work who wrote You Can Conquer Cancer. A great book too. Love to have found a fellow meditator here on the discussion board, so glad you responded!

  • rlschaller
    rlschaller Member Posts: 52
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    and here is a practice I love by Ram Dass on being Loving Awareness, from his amazing book with Mirabei Bush “Walking Each other Home. “

    Meditation instruction_ Loving Awareness (Ram Dass)

    Sit quietly. Just be with what is. If you are hot, be hot. If some part of you hurts, let it hurt. If you're emotionally open, let yourself be emotionally open, and if you're closed, be closed. If you're bored, be bored, and if you are stimulated, be stimulated. Just let it all be. Notice.

    Bring your awareness to your breath. Breath in and out naturally, just noticing the breath itself as it comes in and out of your nostrils, not trying to change it. Notice its texture, temperature, duration. When your attention wanders, as it will, simpy return to the breath. Do this until your mind and body begin to settle into a calm, quiet, stable state.

    Now imagine a vask sky before you, and crossing it are clouds , coming into your vision and going out of your vision. The sky is vast and present, the clouds coming and going. Imagine now that the sky is mirrored within you, so that inside of you is a vast sky, right in the middle of your chest, at your heart. And every thought you have, every sensatoin you have, every model you have of who you are or what it's all about, see all of that now as clouds, coming and going, rising in your mind and then disappearing, rising in your body and then disappearing. And keep focusing on the sky, on the vast sky that is not changed in any way by the clouds, your heart open to it all.

    Now imagine an immense ocean. Rising up out of the ocean are waves. The waves rise, and they dissolve back into the ocean. Be the vast ocean of awareness, letting thoughts, sensations, plans, memories , hopes , fears, life, and death all be waves that rise up out of your awreaness and sink back into your awareness. Cultivate resting in awareness. No coming, no going, no birth, no death. Just a vast ocean.

    Rest in that part of your being, pure awareness. Pure is ness, pure consciousness, pure love, beyond form, just vast pesence, then notice what arises. Being in the quality of your being - the ocean, the sky, the awareness - loving awareness. You are free, and being free you sing, you dance, song of life, the dance of life. May all beings in this very life be free. 

  • amel_83
    amel_83 Member Posts: 169
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    Thank for all the infos.

    I just do breathing exercise when i feel like i may have a panic attac, or just dayly for calm. For those 10 minutes at least i think only at my breathing rather than something else, so it help in diffucult moment. Also i usually breath so little, this help filling up my longs better. It feel like it improved my general breathing too.

    I do Whim Hof breathing, as it was the first that pop up when i searched two years ago, and just stayed with it, as I liked it.

  • tougholdcrow
    tougholdcrow Member Posts: 99
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    Oh I adore Ram Dass. Such a trippy guy. And I'm familiar with his musical recording of Loving Awareness. You can find it on YouTube. Anything that keeps you calm and loving and expansive is very good!

  • rlschaller
    rlschaller Member Posts: 52
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    @amel_83 ive read about Whim Hof breathing. I love breathing lol… focus of attention on breath. After 5 minutes I can feel my whole body begin to let go. There is an app I love called Plum Village, from Thich Nhat Hanhs work and they have silent meditation recordings with bells, I like, I use a 20 minute one with 4 interval bells that ring … I find it so soothing to breath with the bells.

    @tougholdcrow trippy indeed! Lol. I’ll look for the YouTube of Ram Dass , thanks! So many paths lead to love and yes to anything that keeps the love flowing inviting calm and tranquility . Amazing really the mind and taming it enough to let the light shine . Takes effort and patience too, and a community to support the efforts. Glad you gals are here.

  • tougholdcrow
    tougholdcrow Member Posts: 99
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    @rschaller I often listen to Jack Kornfield's healing meditations before I go to sleep at night. I listen to Guided Meditations for Self-Healing but there are many others available. He fuses Buddhism with Western psychology, but his talks are pretty well-grounded in the classic Loving Kindness (metta) meditation. So, as it goes, may you be happy, may you be free from mental and physical suffering.

  • rlschaller
    rlschaller Member Posts: 52
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    @tougholdcrow

    Thank you for the Jack Kornfield mention. I really like his teachings. A friend gave me his book A Path With Heart when I was first diagnosed, and it’s lovely. I also like his healing meditations!

    https://jackkornfield.com/the-temple-of-healing/

    MEDITATION PRACTICE

    Sit comfortably and allow your eyes to close. Make sure your seat allows you to be present, awake, grounded, and relaxed. As you sit at ease, feel your connection to the Earth. Center yourself and feel how your breath breathes itself in your body. 

    Then, without trying to change anything, bring a kind attention to what’s comfortable and uncomfortable in your body. Notice if there’s tension, contraction, or pain in certain areas, and ease and relaxation in others. Notice if there’s clutter in your mind or repetitive thoughts. Notice the state of your heart. 

    Does it feel contracted, or soft and open? Is it full of some emotion or feeling, such as fatigue or joy, sadness or irritation? Simply witness whatever is present without judgment. Breathe and let yourself be easy with it all.

    After a few minutes, begin to envision or sense in any way you can that you are floating up into the air as if on a magic carpet, up into the clear, blue sky. Take your time. Feel or imagine or sense that you’re floating above the Earth in the stillness of the clear air and luminous sunlight. After a minute or two, allow yourself to gradually descend. Set your intention to descend into a sacred and beautiful Temple of Healing, into a place of great wisdom and healing and love. Let this temple be a surprise. It may be some place you’ve been before or it may be some place you’ve never seen. It may be indoors or out. Come to rest in it. Take as much time as you need to imagine and feel and picture this temple.

    Now sense how you feel being in this Temple of Healing. What does the energy of this healing place feel like to you? How does it affect your body and spirit to be present there?

    As you sense yourself in this temple and feel how its energy is affecting you, let yourself become aware of the wounds you carry that require healing. Once you have at least one injury clearly in mind, become aware that there is a beautiful altar of healing nearby. 

    Now imagine yourself sitting in front of this altar. After a time, a wise and loving healer who lives at this temple will walk toward you. Let yourself open to, sense, or envision this luminous being as they appear. As this healer approaches you, they will bow lightly to you. Next they will put their gentle, healing hand on the part of your body where you are most deeply wounded. 

    Feel the presence of this healing hand on your injured limb, your pained heart, or your wounded brow. If you wish, you can take your own hand and put it on the location of your deepest wound. Hold the place of your sorrow, your difficulty, or your illness. Touch it as if you were guided by this great healing being. Know that no matter how many times you have buried or resisted this injury or sorrow, how many times you’ve greeted it with fear or aversion, now is the time that you can finally open to it.

    As you feel your body opening to this healing touch, explore your sensations. Is the touch warm or cool, hard or soft? Let your awareness be gentle, as if learning the loving touch of Kwan Yin, the goddess of compassion, or Mother Mary, or Jesus. Feel your wounds, fears, and difficulties touched by pure sweetness and openness.

    As the very core of your wounds opens to the touch of healing, sense how you’ve closed off from this pain, how you’ve wished it would go away, how you’ve rejected your feelings. Now you are ready to open your heart to experience this pain at last, held by loving attention, with the touch of this luminous being, and by your own hand. Feel the medicine of healing enter you through this touch. Stay with this healing for as long as is helpful. Then shift to any other areas that ask for healing. Take your time.

    After this luminous being removes their hand, they have gifts to give you. There is a package of the perfect medicine for you on the altar that this luminous being now places in your hands. This medicine will be in the simple form of a symbol of exactly what you need for healing. Open this gift of medicine and see what is inside the box. If you cannot see it clearly, hold it up to the light. Hold this symbol of the medicine that you need in your hands and become aware of just what it means for you.

    Now relax and drink in the blessings of being at this healing temple and in the presence of this luminous and wise being. Finally, imagine that they lean over to you with great compassion and whisper into your ear the healing words you most need to hear. Let yourself hear, imagine, think of, or sense the healing words of this being. Receive their blessings in any way you can. 

    Remember their gift and these words and take them into your heart. Before you leave, if you have any questions for this wise healer, you can ask them and they will answer you. When you feel satisfied, rest in this temple and allow its healing and compassionate spirit to fill your heart and body and mind. Let it touch every part of your being. Stay as long as you wish. When you are ready to leave, imagine you can bow to this healing being with gratitude for everything they’ve given to you. As you depart, know that this temple is inside of you. It is available to return to any time you need it. 

    Remember that you carry all the medicine and healing you will ever need inside your own heart.

    This excerpt is taken from the book, “A Lamp in the Darkness”



  • tougholdcrow
    tougholdcrow Member Posts: 99
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    How are you holding up, @rlschaller ? I have spent some time looking through the stories of the people on this site, and one that very much touched me was GraceDD, who died with her meditation teachers at her side and posted about this, joyful to the end.

  • rlschaller
    rlschaller Member Posts: 52
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    @tougholdcrow that is beautiful. May we all aspire to live a good life and a good death . Thank you for sharing that. A friend of mine whose husband was in Hospice with stomach cancer and spine Mets was Buddhist. The hospice arranged for Buddhist monks to chant at his bedside when he was passing. Ahh.. Joyful till the end. My heart is so happy reading that. I hope to live well and have a good death too, joyful and peaceful to the end.. great image. How are you ? Do you attend any of the zoom meet ups for MBC? I go Mondays at 2pm EST.

    I’m holding up, on a new treatment Trodelvy , seems to be working so far, cancer is lessening again. Enhertu failed after 5 months. Xeloda and Ketruda failed before that. So we’ll see. Hoping they found the a good drug for my body to work with. In my belief system this is my karma to live and learn with this moment, and I’m learning to live and love my fate, as well as dissolve my connection to the old script I live out lifetime after lifetime .. gosh letting go and watching my mind. Moving more with awareness and just this breath this moment. I’m doing a Japanese zen Zazen daily sit program for 90 days called Commit to Sit with the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. It’s either inperson or online, I go online - and I highly recommend them if you are interested. The dharma talks and group meditations are lovely. Koshin Sensei talked recently shared how do you open yourself to awe and wonder ? These words so resonated for me:

    Are you willing to be changed by what you hear?

    Feeling completely, allowing it to pass through you

    Great fear bodhisatva, I am at one with whatever I fear

    I am at one with the great bodhisatva death, or sickness, fear….

    How are you working with your mind? 

    Be with what is, without making a story out of it

    How do you open yourself up to awe and wonder? 

    -Koshin Ellison Sensai 


  • tougholdcrow
    tougholdcrow Member Posts: 99
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    @rlschaller Thanks so much for the zen recommendation and the inspiration. I have just been listening to some works by Dogen, the founder of zazen, and find them very intriguing. I guess there's no real rush to enlightenment, since we will all get there eventually in the vast expanse of time. Much joy to you.