The Affective Meditation is a tool for helping train the mind and heart to generate thoughts and feelings to respond to the challenges of life and learn from them. For example, I have the habit of waking up each morning dreading what awaits me at work. Realizing that this is not the way I want to start each day, I can engage the Affective Meditation to generate a different state of mind, one that is open to the challenges that the day may bring.
The Affective Meditation consists of six steps.
1. Invocation. This step helps me to center myself in the divine. My effort is not just for my personal benefit, but takes on a larger dimension for I am calling on my spiritual nature. I can invoke the Divine Mother to help me greet the day with openness and offering.
2. Imaginative Picture. I create a mental picture of myself awakening in the morning. I see the day before me as a gift from the Divine Mother. Opening the gift, I find it full of meaning because I will learn something and help someone.
3. Sensations. I feel the emotion that comes with opening the gift: joy at the opportunities before me.
4. Purpose. Each morning I will look to the day ahead as an opportunity to unfold and give back.
5. Consequences. I consider the consequences of this response: a day with meaning.
6. Summary of the preceding steps of the meditation.
Each time I visualize a situation and a desired result, I strengthen my ability to respond that way in the pressure of everyday life. The second step can be a picture of me behaving in a way I would like to change or in the way I would like to respond. I may also create a picture evoking the divine dimension, which tends to elude my everyday perception. With this technique, I can progress from rejecting a behavior I want to change, to practicing a more expansive one, and then to seeing how I am connected to a greater whole.
The Affective Meditation helps me train my mind and emotions to respond to life in the way that I choose. I practice in order to make new pathways in my mind and create ways of thinking that will help me unfold.