Meditation and the Four-Fold Way

I like to use this framework in introducing the practice of meditation to new students. It is adapted from  The Four Fold Way by Angeles Arrien

The Four-Fold Way is an ancient system of guidance for living a life of balance and integrity practiced by Native Americans and other indigenous peoples for millenniums. Today we may apply those same principles to the learning and practice of meditation and thus to the everyday moments of our lives. In each way we seek to achieve integration and balance among these four aspects. Here is a brief summary of the steps:

Showing Up
In meditation we must first set our intention to make a full commitment to bring all our resources to bear upon being fully present with our Selves. This is the Way of the Warrior and invokes the personal power that we hold within. 

Paying Attention
This is the integral part of the process of mindfulness. But it is not about using or activating our thoughts. Rather we open our awareness, our observations and perceptions, especially using our hearts and intuition to all that exists in the moment that we are experiencing. This is the Way of the Healer.

Telling the Truth Without Judgment
Once we see and fully experience our present reality, we allow and accept our experience. We stay open to what is revealed to us through our inner vision and the clarity that comes with that. We do not judge our thoughts or experience or those of others, inviting a broader perspective. This is the Way of the Visionary.

Not Being Attached to Outcome
As we get to know our true and expanded sense of self we invite full acceptance and surrender to both that which we know and cannot know fully. We trust the process and a Universe larger and wiser than ourselves. We give up the struggles and stress created by thoughts, our “shoulds” and our ego and our expectations.
 This is the Way of the Teacher.

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