Some days are . . . just one of those days. The good news is, I am about to share the 6-step bear meditation technique with you so you can enjoy inner peace, if nothing else. Inner peace definitely matters, especially when there is not much you can do about a situation but control your response to it.
There are times in life when we really cannot find a rational answer to some of our problems. During these times, meditation is a good path to walk on. Of course, it won’t really solve your problems, but it certainly has other benefits.
For some people, it brings a sense of peace, calm and some determination. It can also bring a better understanding through a flash of . . . enlightenment, for want of a better word. It can bring insights to the issue on hand. And more than anything else, it helps to stay in the moment and manage the pain one’s going through in a compassionate and caring manner.
How does Bear Meditation help?
The purpose of bear meditation is not to relieve the pain, but to accept, understand and work with it with fresh eyes.
Have you seen the film The Big Lebowski starring the legendary Jeff Bridges? There is one scene where the Stranger says to the Jeff Bridges’ character, the Dude, “Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you.”
It is the perfect quote—we can compare the bear to that difficult unresolved situation in life—like the pain that has to be endured. Here’s the thing about bears: your attitude to that bear can make all the difference.
Provoke the bear and try to chase it away, and it will attack you and maybe make a delicious meal of you.
But try and be patient with the bear, maybe outlast it and just maybe . . . it will move on.
You could even try and become friendly with the bear, so you and the bear can co-exist peacefully.
Yet another approach is to just be present with compassion for you as well as the bear—to bear witness. (see that pun?).
It is up to you which approach you choose.
Also, there are certain things you should care less about, in life, to be happy.
Step by step guide to Bear Meditation
There are six steps to help you deal with the bear.
Remember, you can use this Bear Meditation to come to terms with the situation you are facing right now, and open yourself to new perspectives to deal with it.
Pick a quiet place where you can sit in silence.
Set this intention: “May my higher power listen with love and compassion, without judgement. May it steer me towards a wise path filled with deeper awareness, self-compassion and meaning.”
Now converse with the higher power about your pain, your distress. Spend some time to thinking about this higher power – this can be anything from the divine, someone you know that you look up to, or even your own higher self. Imagine it seated in front of you. Tell this higher power how the bear is affecting your life. Talk about your fears, your worries, the emotions you feel. As you tell your story, know that your higher power is by your side, intently listening to you, because s/he cares deeply about your well being.
Tell your higher power that you cannot handle this tough situation on your own and that you need help. Visualize your higher power as fully
Understanding and appreciating your wisdom in seeking help. Pause to experience the wonderful feeling of sharing the burden of your bear, and not having to carry that bear all by yourself. Experience the relief of the lightness.
Ask the higher power for the courage to just sit with the bear. Sit without expectations with the sole intent of understanding the bear better. The higher power may help you here, or maybe just open up another perspective of doing this. Give in to whatever happens. If you feel sad, hand it over to the higher power to hold. Whatever happens, remember that the higher power is right there, with you, supporting you, sending you love and compassion constantly. Sit for as long as you need with the bear.
Now, do something that you might have thought impossible. Switch seats and positions with your higher power. This doesn’t mean that you are this higher power, but that you can see yourself through the eyes of the higher power, with compassion, with care and love. From this vantage point, what is it like to look at yourself? See your courage, your strength, your wisdom. Do this just for a few seconds. Now come back to your own seat.
Thank your higher power for its presence. Appreciate how it is always there for you when you need it.
Something to reflect on
- How did the Bear Meditation change your approach to the bear?
- What did you learn about it or yourself?
- How does it feel to know that you can call upon your higher power when you need it?
- How do you think this is useful?
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verse, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor.
You have brought up an interesting topic here.
Going through tough times brings along with it the inability to think rationally and clearly how wrong you are in reacting to the circumstances in your life–all of which I am experiencing these days.
Thank you for this valuable post, Vidya. I so need to sit and have the talk with the higher power as well as the bear!
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I really liked this post. I’m going to try this type of meditation this weekend.
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This sounds like a really great meditation. Will definitely be giving it a try soon. Thinking back to some anxious situations I’ve been in before and how this could have changed the outcome so drastically.
Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you… that’s so true.
Bear Meditation is an interesting technique. Step 5 may need a bit more practice, patience and maturity…. guess, it wont come that easily. But will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing, Vidya!
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