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hosted by F. Michael Montgomery, LCSW, LMFT

LCS 6184, MFC 15488

Therapy for the heart, mind, body and spirit in a safe and healing setting

This Inner-healing web site is a resource center for the support and promotion of personal growth and healing.

My desire is to support people in their own healing through the compassionate and courageous work of their hearts. 


A Guided Grief Meditation

The following is one of many meditations from Stephen Levine's book that I have found to be very helpful in working with grief. He is a profoundly compassionate teacher and meditator.


A Guided Grief Meditation  by Stephen Levine

(To be read slowly to a friend or silently to oneself.)

Find a comfortable place to sit in a quiet room.

Take a few moments to settle into the quietness.

Gradually bring your attention to the center of the chest.

Let awareness gather at that place of high sensitivity. Notice any ache at the center. Is there a physically painful quality to your mental longing?

With the thumb, press gently into this point of grief and love.

Begin gradually to exert pressure on that point. Feel the sternum, the bone beneath, as though it were the armoring over the opening to the heart. As though it were that which blocked entrance so often to your spacious nature.

Slowly, without force, but with mercy and steadiness, push into that point.

Press in gently but firmly. Let the pain into your heart. Breathe that pain through that point into your heart.

Stop pushing it away. Push into it instead.

Let it in.

Breathe that pain in through the griefpoint.

Let your thumb push steadily, but without force, into that ache, awareness entering deeply that point of sensation at the center of the chest. A merciful awareness, using the pressure on the griefpoint to enter through years of accumulated sediment of unfelt, unexpressed, unexamined feelings. Penetrating the exhaustion of our everyday, ordinary grief compressed hard as rock.

Push into the pain. Past the resistance to life. Past the fear, the self-doubt, the distrust.

Past feelings of being unsafe. Past all that holding around being unloved. Past the ten thousand moments of putting yourself out of your heart. The judgment, the longing, the anger.

Past years of hidden grief. The shame and secret fears, and unrequited loves we have spoken of to no one.

Let the pain in at last.

Have mercy on yourself.

Let it in.

Let life in at last. Breathe that pain into your heart. Past the holdings and armorings of a lifetime. Let it in. Let it in at last.

Let your heart break. All the losses, all the injuries, all the grief of a lifetime dumped there, layer after layer holding you back from your life. Holding you out of your heart.

Push in. Breathe that into your heart.

Let your heart at last experience all those parts of your life you have pushed away.

So little room in our hearts for our pain. Let it in. Receive it with mercy instead of fear or judgment.

Cradle your pain in your heart. Let each breath gently rock that cradle.

All the pain in our heart we have tried so long not to feel, now drawn in with each breath. Fear says stop, but gently continue in mercy for yourself and the deep healing.

Push in gently to the fear. Gently but firmly. Not as punishment but as a willingness to go beyond old protections and devices for escape. Past the old fears. Have mercy on you. Let this pain you have been trying to elude come into the heart of healing.

So much pain.

So much posturing.

So much hiding there.

A lifetime of fear, of anger, of distrust.

Let it in. Let it in.

It is so hard to live with our hearts closed. It is so hard to live armored and frightened. Unavailable to life, to ourselves.

Have mercy.

Let the tender heart receive all those parts of you that say it is self-indulgent to forgive yourself. That cruel, merciless judgmental mind. That cold indifference toward the suffering of others and ourselves. Let these griefs dissolve into the opening heart.

Breathe them into your heart. Let them melt. Let them be healed.

All the pain in this world, all the fear of this world. All the moments we have hated ourselves. All the moments we would have rather been dead, armored right there at the center of the chest, melting.

All the times we couldn't say what we wanted to because we were afraid we wouldn't be loved. All the times we wondered what love really was. All the times we were disappointed, there at the center of the chest.

So much holding. Breathe that pain into your heart. Let it in.

Let it in.

Each breath drawn in through the griefpoint carries the pain right into the center of our heart.

So much room in our heart for our pain when we let go of the armoring and resistance. It is difficult to open to this grief-pain in our tiny body, in our fragile mind, so breathe it into the enormous heart.

The heart of mercy drinks from our pain. Let it in.

All the fear that we are less than good in God's eyes, that we are not the beloved. Breathe it in.

All the fears that we have fallen out of grace, that we are cursed and unlovable held right there in the griefpoint. Breathe it in.

A lifetime of pain. Breathe it in.

Push into that point. Notice how part of our grief comes from trying to keep grief under control. This mercilessness with which we reject ourselves repeatedly. This often unkind mind, this fearful child we carry.

Have mercy on you. Let it in your heart. Let it break your heart at last.

Let it in.

So much of ourselves pushed aside. So much shame and mercilessness. All the places we will not forgive ourselves. All the places we are diminished. The despair, the helplessness, breathe it in.

Breathe it in.

Let the breath take the pain to the center of your heart.

The heart has room for it all. Let it in.

Have mercy on you. Let the pain in past the fear.

All the moments that we weren't loved and weren't loving.

All the parts of ourselves we've coldly disregarded, regarded with mercy at the griefpoint, warmly drawn into the healing heart. All the self-cruelty. All our unwillingness to love ourselves. All our judgment.

Each breath bringing old mind into the heart, melting in the embrace of such kindness and care.

Fear melting.

Doubt melting.

The armoring falling away, exposing the luminescent whorl of the heart center. Our shimmering nature discovered just beyond our pain. The sense of loss flickering in the enormity.

Each breath drawing in gratitude for the moments shared with those we have loved and lost. And gratitude for the mystery of connection.

The fear of a lifetime melting into the heart. Push ever so gently into it. Breathe that healing mercy right into your heart. An enormous energy. Let it in.

Just let that energy into your heart.

Draw the shadows into the light.

The armoring disintegrating.

The griefpoint dissolving into the touchpoint of the heart. Hard-edge sensations softening. Dissolving into loving kindness.

Bringing home the lost child. The heart embracing the mind with the soft breath of mercy and the tender caress of forgiveness.

As the griefpoint becomes the heartpoint, the body begins to hum. Feel the cells like a dry sponge absorbing this mercy and deep kindness.

As the griefpoint surrenders its pain to the heart the pained contents of the mind float in the spaciousness of mercy and awareness. The feelings of separation increasingly become a sense of inseparability from that loved one, from ourselves.

Now let your hand come gently away from the griefpoint, let your hands settle into your lap.

Take the pressure off that point.

And notice that there seems to be an opening where the ache used to be.

You can feel the touchpoint of the heart when you take your hand away.

Breathe in and out of that point. This is the breath of the heart. Let awareness of the flow between the world and your heart be your constant companion.

Let the pain which drew your attention to the heart be an initiation into the healing you took birth for.

May all beings be free of suffering.

May all beings focus the spacious heart on the pained mind.

May all beings know the joy of their great deathless nature.

Stephen Levine

A Guided Grief Meditation

from Guided Meditations, Explorations and Healings


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F. Michael Montgomery, LCSW, LMFT
LCS 6184, MFC 15488
The Inner-healing Web Site
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This web site was created on 3-28-99