Do you tend to focus on the problems, and have trouble noticing everything that is going right? It’s not just you- our brains evolved to have a built-in negativity bias! Fortunately our brains are elastic, and we can train them to enjoy and rest in our fundamental okayness and aliveness, independent of changing conditions.
This practice cultivates and embeds feelings of security, or peace, contentedness and love. It helps you rewire your brain to experience less fear, sense of lack and loneliness; more calm, satisfaction and sense of belonging. Though we like to think of ourselves as transcending our animalness, we are still affected (and sometimes run!) by earlier evolved structures in the brain, which we have in common with reptiles, mammals and primates. In this guided meditation we will nourish and soothe each of these 3 parts of the brain: the preverbal reptilian brainstem which is concerned with survival, safety, and avoiding harm- this is the part that triggers a fight or flight response; the paleo-mammalian limbic system, focused on approaching rewards and afraid of scarcity; and the cortex we share with primates that seeks a sense of connection and belonging.
Drawing on the work of Dr. Rick Hanson (author of Buddha’s Brain and other wonderful books), this exercise condenses 3 different practices aimed at different parts of the brain, and concludes with feeling connection to and caring for all beings. You may do this practice sitting or lying down.