Cultivating Courage Meditation
In this meditation, you use the mudra of fearlessness—depicted in many Hindu and Buddhist paintings—to create a brave space in which to sit with difficulty. Cultivating the quality of courage is as important as peace or compassion in yoga. This quality allows you to face the many obstacles and fears of life nonviolently. Practice this meditation when you ’re struggling with any challenging situation and need to cultivate inner strength by confronting your fears.
1 Begin by creating a stable seat. Sit up tall with a strong back, cultivating the courage to keep your heart open and vulnerable. Place your left hand on your thigh and lift your right hand to the outside of your right shoulder, bending your elbow by your side.
2 Place your mind on your breath. Inhale and let in everything that is causing you fear in your life. Breathe into the feeling. Hold it in your chest for a moment and then let it go. Instead of running away or avoiding situations that cause suffering, we welcome them and even make friends with them The key is to sit with everything as a way of facing our fears and developing the courage to be fully present. As the Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche said, “Smile at fear.” So you can try that too!
3 Stay with the mudra, your breath, and your posture for 3 to 5 minutes with the intention to cultivate courage. Then release the mudra and come back to the basic meditation, resting in the bravery that was awakened through your practice. There is so much fear plaguing our world. This meditation is a powerful medicine at any time.