Invitation to Rest

invitation to rest, woman by beautiful lake
Traveler is resting at the lake, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

This is a simple meditation I want to share with you. A couple of years ago I developed this approach because I saw so many people straining and making so much effort as they meditated. Even in a calm-abiding meditation, there was so much exertion happening.

There was another level beneath the calm-abiding or shamatha that people weren’t reaching. So many people have this idea that they MUST calm their minds, must still the mind or their meditation session is a failure. Booo! There’s no gentleness in that.

I had been practicing it myself for a while. One Sunday, I was leading my meditation group and the common theme was we are all so very busy. Busy, busy, busy even when we are sitting still on a meditation cushion.

The practice evolved for me by combining calm-abiding with a practice I learned years earlier called centering prayer.

If you are ready to rest deeply in a space of tranquil love and gentle energy, try out these steps of this meditation method.

Invitation to Rest

  • Settle yourself into a seated position.
  • Take a relaxed but upright posture, gently aligning your body.
  • Roll your shoulders back and open up your chest/heart space.
  • Now, take 2-3 deep centering breaths, drawing down into your abdomen. Allow the stomach to expand and your chest to roll out and up as if it were a flower opening.
  • Rest your eyes, either closing them or doing a soft gaze.
  • Bring your attention to your heart space, the seat of gentle compassion and lovingkindness.
  • Whatever your spiritual beliefs, allow yourself to rest in this space of non-conceptual Love, Gentleness, and Compassion. For some, this is Infinite Source. For some it is God. For some, it is less defined.
  • Rest in this space, allowing your body to soften, tensions to roll away.
  • You are loved and you are love. If you doubt this, bring to light an experience or sensation of love you’ve had at some point in your life. Allow that to radiate out. This is not something you force. Just experience it. Let it be.
  • When you find yourself wandered off in your mind, return your focus to your heartspace and rest there.

It’s simple and gentle with no expectations. Rest there as often as you wish throughout your day. A few moments of this improves our lives in subtle and gentle ways.

Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes for you or if you have questions.