Settle into a posture that is as relaxed and alert as possible.

Allow your eyes to gently close.

Take a few moments to be aware of your body, releasing any areas of tension. Let your shoulders, face, and hands relax and soften.

For a few moments focus your attention on your breathing. Be particularly aware of your outgoing breath, following it with your attention until the very end of the breath.

Rest your attention in the brief moment between the ending of an out-breath and the beginning of the next in-breath.

Take a few moments to reflect on where you most repetitively battle with yourself.

Sense the places you are most judgmental of yourself, the places where you extend to yourself the greatest unkindness or blame, the places that trigger feelings of shame or self-consciousness.

You may be aware of carrying events or acts from the past in your heart and mind that are laden with guilt or regret.

You may be aware of recurring patterns in your present, in speech, thought, or action, that cause pain or alienation and that you wish to be free from.

As you reflect on these patterns or events, sense what happens in your body and mind.

Sense how simply bringing these places of pain into your attention may trigger feelings of contraction, tension, or resistance in your body. You may be aware of the rhythm of your breathing changing, becoming shorter or tighter. If this happens, bring your attention to the part of your body that is registering distress or discomfort and let it soften and relax.

Sense the aversion you have for these places in your own heart and mind. Sense your wish to be free from them. Be aware of how the aversion and resistance themselves are the energy of struggle and inner estrangement.

Reflect on what you may need to cultivate or nurture to make peace with yourself.

Reflect on what difference it would make to those places of rejection and alienation to cultivate a greater kindness, acceptance, or compassion.

Can you offer to yourself the forgiveness and generosity of heart to embrace the places of greatest difficulty and unease in your own heart and mind?

Are you able to stay present with those places in yourself that you are most tempted to flee from?

Reflect on what it might mean to befriend yourself, to offer to yourself the openness and understanding you would both wish to offer to others and to receive from others.

Sense that your capacity to make peace with yourself may not depend upon denying anything.

Your capacity to be at peace with yourself begins with your willingness to let go of prejudice and judgment.

With a wholehearted and gentle attentiveness, explore those places in your heart and mind that are the source of the greatest struggle and pain.

Sense how it may be possible to bring calmness, gentleness, and care to those places without any expectation.

When you are ready, open your eyes and come out of the posture.

Christina Feldman in Heart of Wisdom, Mind of Calm