Meditations

Based on my personal experience of meditation books for 20 years, I use John Makransky's Awakening Through Love for these reasons:

  • Makransky's knowledge is excellent and draws on his decades-long experiences with well-regarded teachers. 

  • The explanations are very clear, he provides context for each meditation and each practice builds on the previous ones. 

  • Each chapter has 1 core practice and although there are only 7 chapters, each one is for about 6-8 weeks so it takes at least 6 months to complete the book (usually longer). By the end, you'll have a solid understanding of a variety of different techniques.

  • It works. 

  • Paraphrased feedback from clients includes:

    • I didn't realise my father was giving praise all throughout my life but because I listened more deeply to what he was saying and noticed the many ways he was helping me I saw him in a new light.​

    • I was having a really tough time at work with a lot of political issues and it kept me sane.

    • I saw how people were kinder and more generous than I'd realised.  

 

I send a pdf of each chapter as we go along but if you'd like to buy the book, it's available from a non-Amazon supplier here www.booktopia.com.au/awakening-through-love-john-j-makransky/book/9780861715374.html

 

Each chapter builds on the previous. Do the first 2 meditations for about 6-8 weeks each before going to the next one, and do each one thereafter for about 6-8 weeks. 

Meditation to become aware of kindness - learning to recognise benefactors

What will we be doing?

Recalling someone from your early life who at one moment was kind to you. They don’t need to be perfect, and it may be that was the only time they were kind to you, but in that moment, they unreservedly showed love and care for you. We call this person a benefactor and will be referring to them this way in the meditations.

Why are we doing it?


By recalling moments of kindness, we open to changing how we understand the world. It becomes transformative for seeing small gestures as having a larger benefit than we’d imagined.

How will we do it?

Allowing us to look throughout our past for times when people showed us kindness (it can be quite a surprise!)

1a Meditation: What are spiritual benefactors
00:00 / 14:43

Post-meditation reflections

What was difficult?

What was surprising?

What did you notice about the acts of kindness?

Meditation - Receiving the healing, transforming power of love

What will we be doing?

Drawing on the previous exercise to bring to mind a benefactor from early life and a spiritual benefactor to enter into the habit of receiving gracefully and begin the practice of meditation.

Why are we doing it?

 

To be truly helpful and kind to others and ourselves, our communications must express an authentic care that actually wishes others well. Otherwise, when the chips are down, our attempts at communication seem stilted and offers of help may come across as self-serving. In order to give care in a stable enduring way, we have to be able to receive kindness gracefully. Giving and receiving are of one piece and  ‘self’ and ‘other’ aren’t different from one another.

How will we do it?

First, find a comfortable sitting position. Most of the meditation will bring to mind 2 benefactors: one from your life (a person from the previous exercise or a pet or someone else) and a spiritual benefactor. A spiritual benefactor is a person who sees the world larger from a larger perspective, e.g. the Dalai Lama (Buddhist), Mr Rogers (Christian) or a humanist (secular).

1b Meditation: Receiving the Healing, Transforming Power of Love
00:00 / 14:37

Post-meditation reflections

What was it like to receive the care from others?

How does this meditation change your ideas of what love might be?

What difficulties and surprises arose?

Meditation - Letting Be in Natural Awareness

What will we be doing?

This is opening to non-conceptual meditation and expanding on the previous meditations.

Why are we doing it?

 

Instead of attempting to assert control over our experience so as to come to know it better, we do just the opposite – we give up the attempt to control anything and let our innate pure awareness do the knowing. This is done by relying upon the natural power of body, breath, and mind to enable all aspects of experience to calm, settle, and clarify by themselves. The senses are left wide open, the awareness unrestricted. Then the thinking mechanism that fixates narrowly on “self” and “other” can no longer sustain itself permitting the nature of mind, infinite innate pure awareness, to reveal itself. As this innate awareness recognises the empty radiant nature of all experiences, all thoughts and emotions naturally self-release like ripples on water, and the natural great peace of enlightenment dawns. Non-conceptual meditation is a practice of deep receptivity - and profound allowing – letting all be just as it is.

How will we do it?

The meditation has 4 parts: (1) settling into the body and breath, (2) receiving the wish of love and merging with our field of refuge, (3) letting the natural power of body, breath, and mind further release us into natural awareness, and (4) dedicating the karmic merit – the spiritual power of the meditation – to full enlightenment for the sake of all.

Meditation: Refuge, receiving the blessing of unconditional love
00:00 / 22:27

Post-meditation reflections

What was that experience like for you?

Where are phenomena dissolving – all these thoughts, feelings, perceptions?

Let thoughts occur – is there any place that they go when they disappear?

Where do the thoughts, all those impressions of self and other, dissolve within experience?

 

Sift through experience to sense if any destination can be found.

 

Explore this for a short while, letting the investigation penetrate your mind.

Inner Critic meditation from Inner Voice Blog

What we will be doing: In this meditation we will begin an enquiry into the inner critic

Why we are doing it: The inner voice drives many of our behaviours consciously and unconsciously. The more aware we are of the voice, the more agency we have in how to respond. For more information about the inner critic, please read the Inner Voice blog.

How will we do it: I’ll firstly invite you to sit comfortably, then notice where your body has contact with the floor, chair and lap. Then I’ll guide an enquiry to listen to the inner critic - to hear the quality of the emotions, any yearning to connect to others and its role in seeking social dignity.

Duration: 14 minutes

Meditation on awareness of the inner critic - see also blogWendy Nash
00:00 / 13:54

Honesty meditation from blog
(Wise speech 1)

What we will be doing: In this meditation we will begin an enquiry into self-honesty.

Why we are doing it: It's difficult to be self-aware about our gaps of knowledge about ourselves. We can ask a logical question because the mind will give us the same old answers to a creative question is needed. For more information about honesty, please read the Honesty blog.

How will we do it: I’ll firstly invite you to sit comfortably, then notice where your body has contact with the floor, chair and lap. Then I’ll guide an enquiry to become aware of our blind spots.

Duration: 14 minutes

Meditation on self-honesty (Wise Speech 1) - see also blogWendy Nash
00:00 / 10:07