Practice 1: Raising Your Childlike Self

Posted November 24, 2014
Category meditation


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Practice 1: Raising your childlike self

This is a meditative practice for raising and liberating your childlike self, reflecting on the life span and continuing on in the world as a powerful and wise human.

Printable pdf version: Raising your childlike self (right click linked text to download)

Settling in:

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position with your back straight. If you prefer to lie down use a mat for comfort. You may wish to place a pillow under your knees.

Take a long, slow, deep, and deliberate inhale. On the exhale release a sigh and imagine letting go of any tension or toxicity you are carrying with you in this moment.

Let the breath return to normal.

As you inhale, feel the weight of the body and as you exhale, feel the support of the surface you are resting on. Repeat this several times.

Release and Relax:

Next, bring your awareness to your right hand and all of the sensations of your right hand. Then, bring your awareness to the left hand and all of the sensations of the left hand. Then, bring your awareness to both hands at the same time. This may involve ping-ponging back and forth between the two hands until you are able to get close to feeling them at the same time.

Counting the Breath:

Begin by counting the breath starting at the number 21 and counting backwards down to the number 1.

Example: Breathe in 21 and breathe out 21. Breathe in 20 and breathe out 20. Breathe in 19 and breathe out 19. Continue to count until you reach the number one. If you lose track of the count simply return to the beginning. Repeat this until you feel you are stable in your counting and not too distracted from the breath.

Let go of the counting and let it slowly dissolve into the background, eventually disappearing altogether.

Visualization:

Imagine you are a baby, resting securely and comfortably in the arms of your mother or mother / mentor figure. Imagine your adult self, taking your baby self from your mother gently and carefully. Thank your mother figure for raising you and walk away waving goodbye to your mother figure as she fades into the background. As you continue to walk, imagine your baby self growing into a toddler, child, pre-teen, and teenager, all the while nurturing and providing comfort and security as you go through your lifespan. Continue to carry yourself through these stages. As you grow into adulthood and old age continue to provide love, nurturing and kindness to yourself. This may involve carrying yourself through various landscapes: fire, wind, water, space, gardens, dark clouds and clear skies. Once, you’ve come to the end of your life, notice a large pyre nearby. Carry your now lifeless body to the pyre and place it on top. Take a moment to reflect on the body you are releasing and walk away from the pyre continuing as your wise adult self into the landscape beyond.

Transition to waking life:

Return to the breath, as you breathe in feel the weight of the body and as you breathe out feel the support of the surface you are resting on. Slowly begin to open and close the eyes on the in (eyes closed) and out (eyes open) breath. Go back and forth between opening and closing the eyes until your eyes are fully open.

 

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Creative Commons License
Raising your childlike self by Christine Heinisch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://twowingstherapy.com/index.php/blog/2014/10/practice-1-raising-your-childlike-self.  Please feel free to share this practice, but credit my name and link to my site. Thanks!

About the Author

Chris Heinisch is a counselor and psychotherapist in Tucson, Arizona. She integrates the practices and wisdom of Eastern traditions (primarily Buddhist) with Western Psychology. She is currently studying Contemplative Psychotherapy at the Nalanda Institute in NYC. Please visit her website at http://twowingstherapy.com for more information.

 

 

 

 

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