Meditating on virtues is a step toward learning how to lead a virtuous life. We need to understand what we want and its benefits before putting our time and energy into it.
Here is a contemplative meditation to make a beginning on virtuous living:
Begin by choosing a quiet place to contemplate and meditate where you can write out insights in your journal as they come to you. I do this kind of contemplative meditation at my computer desk by setting up a document to write into before I begin. Without a computer write in a notebook or dedicated meditation journal.
Since you will be sitting up, keep the soles of your feet firmly planted on the floor for balance. I support my forearms on the arm rests of my computer chair. Open your document or your journal and date it to begin.
To prepare, close your eyes and begin even, regular breathing. For example, breathe in counts 1, 2; breathe out counts 3,4; breathe in counts 1, 2 and continue this rhythmic pattern without actually saying the counts throughout your session. Regular rhythmic breathing calms the mind and settles the body, as two ends of a ribbon brought together in harmony can form a pretty bow.
Take a few moments to contemplate on the virtue you think will assist you in virtuous living. Some choices could be kindness, caring, sharing, or moderation, forbearance, steadfastness. Choose the path that you feel you can stick to.
Usually, my choice is kindness. Every January it is my New Year’s resolution to be kinder. I find there is always room for improvement in myself in being kind to others. My biggest challenge is replying to a short temper with patience and kindness; maybe the person is feeling ill or suffering in another way, so I make an effort to return kindness by my words and actions.
After some ideas have come to you on how to instill your chosen virtue open your eyes and write them out. This way you can keep track of your progress on a regular basis.
Finish your contemplative meditation with thoughts of appreciation for all you have in your life. Be sure to send loving thoughts to at least one person or a pet. Then take those loving feelings and stretch them out to the world and entire creation. Our home is more than the property we live on, it is the whole universe and who knows what beyond.
Take a deep breath in and slowly release it. Stretch out and go on with your day with the resolve in mind to act with virtue in your interactions and all you do.
For offline reading
Meditation Lessons for Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.
Article by Susan Helene Kramer
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