Welcome back to the Daily meditation with me, Paul Harrison. Today I’m going to be discussing meditation and grief, and how to feel closer to someone you love who died.
Yes, that subject which touches us all. Loss. Bereavement. And I’d like to start by asking one very personal question. Who in your life have you lost whom you wish you could feel closer to? Whoever it is, in this episode, I’m going to share a wonderful meditation that you can use to feel closer to someone you love who died.
You know death is obviously, probably the most the worst thing that we all face, and the hardest thing is losing somebody whom we love. I remember losing my own father. My father was a great guy. He was very loving. A very sensitive man. When he passed, I was living in a in a different country. I was living here in Canada. And I remember when my mum called me in the morning. In fact, I had a profound moment of, um, insight, or intuition, or call it what you will. I knew that the phone was about to ring and that I was going to get some very unfortunate news, and indeed my mother rang me on the phone and said that my father had passed away, which was an absolute shock. It hit me right in the core of my being. I was devastated, you know? And there were so many different emotions. Obviously, there was sadness. There was also anger because my father was an alcoholic. I Llve him dearly. Ah, but he was an alcoholic and unfortunately alcoholism was a big part of his eventual death. And so there was anger. There was also kind of self-loathing too, like I felt selfish for having moved country and having not been there when he passed. And I think this is what we all go through, isn’t it?
When somebody passes, there’s just so many different emotions, so much goes through the mind, so many thoughts, so many emotions, so many feelings hit us in a tidal wave of feelings. \
But the good news is that meditation can help.
For starters, meditation can certainly help, just to just to kind of reduce the level of emotions that we’re feeling, you know? Often when somebody passes, we think, well, we should feel sad and we’re probably right to be upset. And true, there probably is a degree of sadness that it’s healthy to feel when somebody passes, but there’s, also for a lot of people, almost like a dangerous level of emotion. We can become too emotional. We can drown in our emotions.
If you, in any circumstance, feel like you’re suffering from too many emotions, then certainly meditation can help [Read: Meditation To Control Emotions]. Simple anapanAsati, mindful breathing will massively help just to, you know, stimulate parasympathetic nervous system and get your mind a little bit more grounded, a little bit more relaxed. Goodness me when my father passed, I spent hours every day meditating for a while just to kind of mute those emotions that I was experiencing. So if you are facing grief and you want to reduce the emotional load that you’re suffering from, then definitely mindful breathing and simple meditations like that will massively help.
However, today I’m going to do a different meditation. One that I’ve never shared before, and in fact is one that I haven’t really read about before. It’s one that I used myself to feel more connected to my father, and indeed, to other people in my life whom I’ve lost, be they human, such as my nan (may she rest in peace) or be they an animal such as well, my beautiful cats Tibby, Kitty…. I’ve had 14 cats in my life, so there’s quite a few for me to list.
Whoever it is in your life that has passed who you wish you could feel closer to, whether they be human or animal or whomever, this meditation will help.
Now I’m going to warn you before we do get into this meditation. I am going to warn you that it might get emotional. And if you follow along, you might cry, but it’s a good cry. You know, some tears are a very healthy thing. I mean, it’s scientifically proven that they help to relax. And sometimes it Is good to cry during meditation. Crying helps to release oxytocin and things like that, and to release stress hormones… so crying is in general good. And of course it is good for the mind for releasing emotions. So, if you cry during this meditation then please please please stick with it regardless, and understand that your tears are just a natural part of the human experience.
Grief Meditation To Feel Closer To Someone You Love Who Has Died
So to begin with, I’m just going to sit with good posture. I’ll roll my shoulders back to help me to relax, and maybe just sway my neck from side to side so I’m beginning to just relax my body.
And now I’m going to do Cosmic Mudra, which is a mudra used in Zazen, or Zen meditation. The one palm is cupped beneath the other one. So, you may use cosmic mudra and place cosmic mudra on your lap that is again just with. It’s literally just your two hands cupped together, one above the other one.
Now to begin with, it’s always very important that we just relax, and so we’re just going to focus the breath on this little spot here just beneath the middle of the nose. And we’re simply going to just take ten deep breaths. And while we’re doing that deep breathing, we are is just going to observe the breath and just allow ourselves to simply exist in the present moment.
And so we are simply breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. And for the time being, we are simply observing the passage of the breath through that space just beneath the middle of the nose. If you struggle to focus, I advise you to simply say to yourself, “I am breathing in. And now, pausing. And now I am breathing out. And then pausing”. Simply allow yourself to exist in the present moment as you observe your breath. And should thoughts or feelings come to mind, you are simply going to allow them to float on by as you continue to breathe.
OK, now. You may pause this here if you would like to continue mindful breathing for a short while, just to relax and focus your mind. Feel free to pause momentarily as you continue to breathe mindfully. And now I shall get into our meditation for feeling connected to loved ones who have passed.
What I would like you to do is simply bring to mind a person whom you love dearly and whom has passed. Could be a person or an animal. Just someone whom you love. And someone whom has passed. Bring this person to mind. And now in your mind’s eye, around your ajna chakra, which is between the eyebrow, visualize an image of this person in a happy moment. I begin by seeing the overall sort of silhouette or shape of the person. And then from head to toe I will fill in the details, remembering how they looked. How their face looked, how their body looked. And So what we are doing is we are painting in the mind an image of the person whom we love, whom we have lost. And we want to take as much time as is needed to truly visualize this person. And when you do visualise this person… in fact this has just happened to me now as I visualized my father… As you visualise this person there will be a moment when you feel happy, or peaceful, or you experience a shift in emotional state as you see this person happy.
Now what I would like you to do is to continue to visualise this person. You may pause here if you would like to continue with this step. And so all you will be doing is visualizing the person whom you love and just getting a really good mental picture of that person smiling. You should be able to see them quite clearly in your mind’s eye before you continue.
Now we visualize the person we loved and lost doing something that they loved. What did this person whom you loved so dearly, what did they love to do? For my father, it was to sit on our boat as it as he drove it up one of the many beautiful rivers back home in England. And so I am visualizing the person whom I love doing the thing that they love. At times during this meditation, we might experience different emotions. Just remember that is normal. That is completely normal and completely natural. You are permitted to embrace the full gamut of human existence and human experience, including all emotions. And so if you feel sad or however you feel, it is completely fine. And so continue to visualize this person whom you love doing the thing that they love. And again, feel free to pause this episode. If you would like to continue this stage.
Now the next stage is to visualize ourselves yourself myself. With the person that we love while doing that thing. Which they love. So, to give example, I’m visualizing myself being with my father while we are on the boat, which is the thing that he loved to do. So visualize yourself, try to see yourself clearly and the person you love clearly doing that thing that they loved so much. And again, please feel free to pause to continue this stage for however long you should like.
And now the next stage is when we really, really feel connected. To the person whom we love. So upto now we have visualized the person whom we love doing the thing that they they love while we are with them. If you have done this properly up to now you will feel an emotional connection that is taking place between you and the person whom you love. What I would like for you to do now is to embrace that emotion, that energy, that feeling of connection with the person whom u love.
And now remind yourself that this emotional connection is taking place in the present moment. You are experiencing this emotion now. And so this connection, this soulful spiritual connection between yourself and the person whom you love who has died, it is still here right now because right now you can feel it and experience it. And do take your time to allow yourself tobserve and almost to bathe in that emotional connection with the person whom you love who had died. And again, you may pause this episode here if you would like to continue this stage.
And that is. Our meditation. To finish, we simply take a few mindful breaths and gradually open our eyes.
And so. I really love that meditation because I can feel already the emotional difference that it’s made. We can choose to bring to mind thoughts and memories of the people whom we love but who we have lost in positive moments in our lives. And to recreate the energy ghat we felt when we were with that person. And so by creating that emotional energy that was the bond between us. In that way, no one is ever really lost.
Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison