Zen Habits Guided Meditations

These guided meditations are offered for free, from Leo Babauta.

Breath Meditation

A return to the basics exploring the breath with a beginners mind, curiosity, and love for the life it gives us.

Compassion Meditation

A meditation about dropping down into our body and heart and sending out love, healing and compassion to ourselves and others.

Meditation: Fearlessness with Feelings

This meditation is about the willingness to be with all feelings. To give space and to show unconditional compassion towards them. To feel its to be alive, open to the unknown.

Open Awareness Meditation

In this meditation, we begin by scanning for the sensations in mind and body, as well as the ones coming from our surroundings through the senses. By appreciating these sensations without judgement, we allow ourselves to walk through the day with an open and loving awareness.

Vast Consciousness

In this meditation, we practice sitting upright in the storm, with dignity and integrity. We expand our awareness out layer by layer, out into the universe. And from there we ask a question, and see what answer arises.

Meditation on Breath & Impermanence

In this meditation, we explore the breath, releasing any tension, savoring each breath, realizing that breath is impermanent, as is our life and this meditation.

Enlightened Energy

In this meditation, we notice the energy residing in our body. Is this energy somehow familiar? Could this energy be created by your thoughts and beliefs? Seeing that energy in all things in the world and the universe as enlightened energy that connects everything.

Interconnectedness

In this meditation we realize how interconnected we are with everything around us. We feel and develop appreciation, gratitude and joy for the interconnectedness with the earth, the sun, all life on earth. We are supported by a network, a big web of life, and in turn we support others.

Impatience

Patience – being in the middle of the chaos of life, practice with whatever comes up, a fundamental of meditation, notice sensations, picture someone or something that causes you discomfort, uncertainties, frustrations, turn toward and be with the feeling, open up to the experience as it is, continuous contact.

Showing Up for the Moment

In this meditation, we start by practicing nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment and notice how we show up for this moment. We let go of our stories and expectations, and meet ourselves with compassion. We finish by setting our intention to reflect what we’ve practiced, when we show show up for others and the world.

Direct Experience

Direct experience: dropping down into our body, noticing our sensations, at first labeling them, then just experiencing them without labeling the part of our body where they are occurring. Experiencing our life with a beginner mind.

This is a fundamental meditation, I highly recommend it.

Let Go of Control

Let go of control – relaxing into our posture, upright, not rigid. Being aware of our breath, but not trying to control it. Being in our body, and noticing how well it functions on its own without us trying to control it. Noticing how others in the world around us are able to function without us having to control them.

Non-Judgmental Compassionate Awareness

Practicing relaxation in the body with nothing to control and being with our feelings and sensations with friendliness. However our experience shows up is perfect, and we welcome it as a good friend. We expand this compassionate awareness out to others in the world even those we find difficult to be friendly and compassionate to in a non-judgemental open way.

Open Nature

We begin by focusing on our posture and breath and not try to control them but just experience them as sensations. We drop all labels of our experience and try to see them as they really are. We gradually expand our awareness outside ourselves, the sound, the air temperature, the colors, the light and then experience both inner and outer as open nature.

Surrendering to Support

Relaxing into our seat, realizing the earth is supporting us, as is the air. We consider how impossible it is to try and control everything. We practice gratitude for everything in our life that has supported us up to this point- people, electricity, water… we are grateful for all of it.

Tender Heart Energy

Beginning by focusing on our breath and feeling how it is in our body, we bring to mind a hurt or anger connected with another person who we have lost that we can recall and bring to our body the feelings of anger or sadness. Underneath these feelings we notice our tender heart energy which we focus on and expand to the person we have hurt feelings towards and then share it outwards to those all around us.

Tender Heart Practice

We release tension out into the world, noting any uncertainty or frustration or anger, with no judgment, just being aware of how we feel, with compassion. We search for any stress, pain in the heart area. Imagining a situation where we were experiencing strong emotions, and using that to be present with the sensations. Under that we feel our tender heart which we use to feel the pain and anger and difficult sensations- which is our gift to the world. We send compassion to others who need it.

Uncertainty Energy

In the middle of the storm we sit upright but relaxed, what sensations are present, looking at the feeling of uncertainty, which can produce anxiety, anger, fear, frustration, shakiness, doubt. This can happen during times of crisis, change which produces tightness in the body. We become present with the sensations, just experiencing it without adding more problems to it. We become more comfortable with it. It’s also an energy which is dynamic, open like a cloud. We can be curious about it, more like how we would treat a friend – enlightened energy.

Unfixed Nature of Reality

Being open and present to the sensations of the breath and our body. Where are we training our attention, to the present moment? Noticing where the mind goes and then coming back to the present moment. Seeing the beauty of the present moment. As our attention wanders, can we have a gentle and friendly awareness of it? We sometimes fix reality the way we think it should be. We feel moments where we may be frustrated, fearful, tightness, we just be present with them. We realize they are not problems, they are just sensations. We loosen our hold on these fixed beliefs, thoughts or stories. And we realize that others are like me too. I’m a part of this universe.

Urges & Desires

Do we have the urge to move during meditation? What is it like to indulge in our urges? Is it a habit? Can we restrain our selves from these urges for a little while? Try to just sit a watch it. It’s just a sensation. It’s not necessarily a command we have to follow. Temporary pleasure only lasts for a short while. Then, we look for the next thing. Can we be with discomfort for a little bit with patience? It’s neither good nor bad. Just sit with it. This way we give ourselves freedom. We will still want things. We just don’t need to indulge every desire. The same with pain and anxiety. We can try just being with it, accepting of this moment.

Vast Consciousness

Feeling supported by the earth, sitting with integrity, in the middle of the storm of our life, with dignity in our uprightness. Observing the sensations of our body, aware of our consciousness, the peace that is always available to us, expanding out to the countryside, pure freedom and stillness, covering the earth, below and upwards to space. What is life calling me to do?

Whole

Upright in our posture, letting our breath bring awareness to our body and our connection to the world. Letting the boundaries in our mind go and returning to wholeness. Noticing our thoughts that are concerned with self, and loosening our attachment to those thoughts. The breathing process is the visible way that we are interconnected to the world. We lose our sense of separateness from others and feel compassion for them , losing our concern for self.

Powerful Compassionate Godforms

There is a powerful energy in the earth, just as there is power in the heavens. They are completely different energies, and yet we are a connection between them. There is a regality in this. We are compassionate godforms – courageous, dignified, pure light, pure love. As godforms, we stand powerfully in this world, concerned about the suffering of others. 

Beginner’s Mind, Healing

Notice the physical sensations of the breath as if taking our very first breath. Now turn that awareness, gently, to the physical sensation of being wounded. Pour out healing compassion to ourselves and others who have been wounded. In giving the thing we crave, we send and receive healing.

Nourishment, Peace, Vulnerability

With the force of its being the earth holds us. This stability allows us to sit upright in a relaxed way. Each breath in this relaxed, supported position is pleasurable and nourishing. The nourishment gives us a sense of peace, and we begin to trust and open our hearts, being vulnerable to life. Our vulnerability is a gift to the world. It pulses with love for all beings.

Healing Compassion

Being fully present in this moment, we bring compassion to what we feel – a warm flow of love that washes over the hurt parts of us. Then we practice compassion for others. We breathe in their pain, letting our heart transform it into a warm, loving light that we breathe back out to them. Our hearts become healing centres that can serve others.

Fear to Healing

In-breath nourishing healing … Out breath letting go and relaxing … and the whole time a gentle loving awareness. Adding gratitude for having a body. Adding trust in the process. Just sitting here and practicing with that.

Uncertainty & Compassion

We meditate sitting upright, with dignity in the storm of uncertainty. Uncertainty can be useful, it wakes us up to the part of us that feels compassion.

Anxiety & Tender Heart

During this meditation we may find peace when just watching the beauty of turbulence like the waves of the ocean. We look for the wonder of the tender heart behind fear and uncertainty and behold the basic goodness that is there unconditionally. This basic goodness is always there and is always available to us. Can we feel at peace or love with the turbulence? Does compassion arise? Can it be an entryway to the tenderness of our hearts?

Breath, Loss & Bardo

Difficult People & Intimacy

Fearless Love

Feelings & Openness

Groundlessness & Not Knowing

Intimacy with Our Awakened Nature

Intimacy with Self

Intimacy with the Moment, Gift of Heart

Just Sitting, Just Sensation

Nourishment, Vitality, Consciousness

Open Awareness, Without Control

Open Awareness, Intimacy & Compassion

Rest in the Open Nature of Reality

Reverence & Awe

Interconnection & Reverence

Dreamlike Nature

Openness & Powerful Compassion

Procrastination & Aliveness

Openness of This Moment

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