Mindfulness of Shame

We all experience shame and self-judgment. Rather than avoiding it, can we turn towards it gently and with curiosity and compassion? Sean Fargo leads this guided meditation on shame, helping us to establish a new relationship with this difficult emotion.

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Just like to extend a gentle, friendly invitation to find a posture that feels relaxed and alert. Just finding a position that feels embodied, perhaps somewhat noble, where you can bring full awareness to the body, perhaps feeling the bottoms of your feet flat on the ground, really sensing into the earth below and support of the ground.

Feeling the weight of your body on the seat and just opening up to the sense of gravity, the feeling of that downward pull. Noticing a sense of groundedness of your body and whatever it's touching. And opening to the fullness of the body.

Noticing all of the predominant sensations around the feet and the legs, the pelvic area, and the belly, the chest and the heart, shoulders, the neck. Feeling the arms and the hands, the head and the face. And taking a couple of deep breaths, relaxing the belly as we breathe in and out.

Now shifting our awareness to recall a moment or a topic that you might feel perhaps a little bit of shame around. Perhaps there's some form of self-judgment, some part of your life that perhaps you don't feel like you measure up in some way, where there's just a little bit of shame, nothing too intense, on something where you might feel like you want to cringe, or hide, or self-criticized.

And allow yourself to just reflect on that topic or that aspect of your life, and allow that sense of shame to come forth. Allow it to be felt and to be known.

And begin to notice what's happening around the body, what's happening in your experience. If you had to describe how this feels to a friend, how might you describe the sensations, and the thoughts, and the feelings, and what happens to you when you allow yourself to go there?

We may be judging the experience to be right or wrong, and noticing any judgment and seeing if we can just pause the judgment for a moment and be curious about the actual experience itself.

So opening to this mild sense of shame with gentle, caring, curiosity for how this experience feels right now. And staying open and staying curious about the changing sensations and the changing experience, noticing judgements arising, but being curious about the actual experience.

Remembering to breathe and staying connected with the body. Noticing how this experience changes as we open to it with this gentle curiosity. We're okay. Thankful for are ourselves for having the courage to open to what is uncomfortable. Thankful for this opportunity to heal, or to understand, or to simply be, without judgment.

And now, perhaps taking a couple more deep breaths with the belly, feeling that sense of groundedness with the ground below. Sensing into the fullness of the body as you breathe. And maybe bring this sense of caring and curiosity with us, for our experience for the rest of the day.

Download this Audio Meditation for Free, Just Enter Your First Name and Email Address:

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