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9 friends meditation

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

"Be silent, only the hand of God can remove the burdens of your heart." - Rumi

"As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace & love to enter." - Eckhart Tolle

meditation instruction video (watch before practicing):

guided meditation video (watch while practicing):

This week's meditation is called the "9 Friends" meditation. It's a meditation I created. I've practiced it many times, to great benefit. Afterwards I routinely feel more grounded, more present, more connected with my body, and more relaxed & patient. It's one of my go-to meditations when I'm feeling off or when I'm looking for a richer sense of presence.

The general flow of the meditation is this: go through each of the 9 Friends, in order:

  1. sense posture

  2. sense pulse

  3. sense breath

  4. sense body

  5. sense smile

  6. sense friendship

  7. sense suffering

  8. sense yes

  9. sense ocean

Use the attached graphic to help you memorize the friends & their order. For each friend: take as long as you want, move at your own pace. When you're finished: bow gently 10 times; the 10th friend is you. There are a few different ways to approach the meditation:

  • quick cycling: move through the friends quickly, staying with each one for only 5-10 seconds

  • slow cycling: move through the friends slowly, staying with each one indefinitely, and moving along only when you feel ready

  • stay at sea: move through friends 1-8, and then stay with friend 9 (ocean) for the remainder of the session

  • blend: do a few quick cycles, do a few slow cycles, and then use the remainder of the session to stay at sea.

I've benefited from each approach. Experiment, explore, & tinker, to find what works for you. guidance:

  1. posture - feel free to switch positions if you become uncomfortable

  2. pulse - feel the sensations, feel the rhythm

  3. breath - feel the sensations, feel the rhythm

  4. body - sense specific areas, & generally

  5. smile - smile naturally & comfortably; even the faintest smile will do

  6. friendship - be warm & friendly with yourself; express gladness & encouragement however feels natural in the moment

  7. suffering - recognize suffering's four aspects - pain, urge, stress, thought; experience them peacefully

  8. yes - yes is a healing fire: let it roar!

  9. ocean - let go & let be; enjoy this break from doing

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