Pebble meditation can help us develop the habit of being present, can help us get in touch with the state of our body and mind. We can use 4 pebbles or another object such as a mala or something else creative.
1. Freshness is needed to prevent burn-out. Breathing in I visualize myself as a flower, breathing out I feel fresh. Freshness and joy is needed before taking care of our suffering. Have I offered myself a smile today, even when I don’t feel joy? Am I happy with who I am? I can practice smiling to remind myself of the seed of freshness that is in me. I can also be around happy people to nurture my seed of happiness. It might be good to cultivate freshness and joy before going on a date!
2. Stability. Breathing in I see myself as a mountain, breathing out I feel solid. Stillness and presence supports the development of stability. We can maintain an upright posture but relaxed, being aware of our breath. Strength is not allowing ourselves to be carried away by strong emotions. Breathing in I am aware of anger, breathing out the energy of mindfulness is taking care of anger, I don’t have to react. As continuations of our ancestors, what qualities have I inherited from them? What qualities will I transmit to future generations? Our actions of body, speech and mind are our example, our signature.
3. Calm. Breathing in I see myself as still water, breathing out I feel calm. Stillness is crucial to be able to look deeply and see clearly. Calmness is very much needed in today’s hectic society. Presence is stillness, presence is connection, is peace within. Calmness allows us to recognize what is happening so that we can prevent the pain of a second arrow of affliction which is self-inflicted, like worry, guilt, anxiety. Perhaps the next time we go into a big meeting we can practice to generate solidity and calmness so that we can offer our best.
4. Space. Breathing in I am space, breathing out I feel free. Free from negative habits, anger, cravings, perceptions. Do I have enough inner space? We can practice letting go to create more space and openness. Do we give ourselves the freedom to realize our deepest aspiration? Perhaps we can practice to generate inner freedom before we go to visit our parents! With inner space and freedom we can accept ourselves and others more easily.