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MeditationTransforming Difficulties

Transforming Difficulties

Practice skillful compassion as a way to show up for yourself, your community, and anyone who may be facing difficulties.

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Hi, and welcome to this meditation on transforming difficulties. This is a practice of skillful compassion where we are breathing in the difficulties of others and exchanging them with all the good things we've experienced or wish for them to experience. Compassion is a quality present in all of us, yet our access to compassion may be clouded by our judgments, racing thoughts and overwhelming feelings. As we sit in stillness and cultivate feelings of care and compassion, not only is this an act of self-care, this can also be an opportunity for community care. In this practice, we're breathing a better world into existence by breathing in the challenges, hardships, grief, and sadness, and breathing out, exchanging these difficulties with goodness, with well-wishes and love. We're living in a time where we may not be able to show up for others in our communities physically, but we can show up in our practice. So take a moment just to get comfortable here, settling in. You can be sitting upright or lying down, whatever feels best for you. We'll begin with the eyes open to a soft, gentle gaze, taking in our surroundings, noticing our space, any sounds, and just creating and connecting to that sense of safety wherever you are. And now taking a few deep breaths, inhaling in through the nose, and exhaling out through the mouth. Filling the lungs with air as you breathe in, and softening the body as you breathe out. On the next exhale, you can continue to keep the eyes open or close them, whatever feels right for you. And just getting comfortable here, relaxing as much as you can. And now, just noticing that slight curve or a bend in your spine, feet connecting to the floor, and noticing that gentle pressure or contact with the surface beneath you. And just taking a moment to check in with the body, maybe softening the eyebrows, unclenching the jaw, and releasing any tension in your shoulders, noticing how the body feels, and now just noticing your mood. And as you notice, continuing to breathe, breathing in any heaviness, tightness, sadness, anger, and breathing out a sense of lightness, spaciousness, and ease. And now bringing to mind a community or a group of individuals you know, or perhaps you don't know, but they're experiencing challenges or difficulties. Breathing in, imagine taking away those hardships and breathing out, exchanging them with love, compassion, and kindness. Breathing in any pain, suffering, grief, and breathing out a sense of lightness, spaciousness, and ease. And just breathing in and breathing out. And if the mind begins to wander, that's okay. Just guiding it back to the breath, just continuing to breathe in and out. And now bringing into mind someone you know who's experiencing challenges or difficulties. As we breathe in, we picture taking away those difficulties, and as we breathe out, we send them a sense of peace, ease, and joy. Breathing in their discomfort, and again, breathing...


Duration10 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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