Problem Solving Meditation
Do you want to access a part of you that offers inner guidance? Are you struggling with a problem that requires careful thought and consideration? Hoping to make the right decision?
In this exercise, I will teach you how to conduct a meditation designed to help you arrive at a place of answers. It’s called Journey to the Wisdom of The Heart. The meditation itself has been adapted from the book, Healing and Transformation Through Self-Guided Imagery (Davenport, 2009). You can get a copy of this book on Amazon.
In many ways, this meditation works with another post I wrote that explores how to solve your problems with dreams. The idea is to tap into the deeper part of you, connected to an aspect of the self called psycho-spiritualism. That’s a ten-dollar term used to describe the blending of psychology and spirituality.
Is it woo-woo? I’ll let you decide. All that is really important to conduct this meditation is a desire for answers and an open mind.
Here is how you conduct the meditation in six steps. Allow up to fifteen minutes for this meditation.
1. Reflect on your problem (1 min)
Write down a word or phrase to symbolize the issue you wish to receive inner guidance about from your heart. The shorter, the better.
Example: I’m not sure if I should quit my current job and accept the position at the new company. What should I do?
Jot the word or phrase down on a piece of paper. Turn the piece of paper over and put it to the side, trusting that in just a few minutes, a part of you will tap into a greater wisdom to address your concerns.
2. Take the journey (3 mins)
Find a quiet, comfortable place that you can sit or lie down. Examples include your living room floor, a favorite chair, or even your bed.
Make sure distractions are kept to a minimum. This means checking your smartphone to make sure it is silenced or lowering the sound on your tablet or laptop.
To help clear your mind, focus on your breathing. Notice how your chest rises with each inhalation and falls with each exhalation.
- Each time you breathe in, say to yourself clarity.
- Each time you exhale, say the word peace.
- Feel your body becoming more and more relaxed.
- If your mind wanders, that’s OK because that is what minds do. Simply refocus your attention on your breathing.
Continue these steps for three to five minutes until your body is as relaxed as possible.
3. Access your inner sanctuary (3 mins)
Now that you feel calm and relaxed imagine a place that is even more peaceful – real or imagined. This could be a beach, the woods, a meadow, or even a landscape from another world.
Whatever your mind produces, let it be a place where you can be completely yourself, free from any pressures or expectations. You may be surprised where you find yourself. Don’t judge it. Instead, simply accept what you see.
- The imagery may or may not be familiar to you.
- Wherever you are, it may be a place that is just for today.
- Whether you are indoors or outdoors, find a place in this setting where you can sit down and be relaxed.
- Take in the colors, sounds, scents, and air.
- Recognize this is your safe space that is special and belongs only to you.
What you have accessed is your inner sanctuary. It is a protected place that only you can access.
4. Let your heart solve your problem (3 mins)
As you remain relaxed and calm in this safe space, imagine your piece of paper (the one you wrote something down on) gently floating down from above and landing in front of you.
In your mind’s eye, view your concern again. Feel your distress as it is embraced by the calm energy of your inner sanctuary.
- Reach out and pick up the piece of paper.
- Place it in your palms and hold it upward.
- Trust that in a few moments, you will receive guidance from your heart.
- You may experience a sense of warmth throughout your entire body. This is entirely normal. If you don’t sense this warmth, that is OK, too.
As the paper rests in your palms, notice how it feels. Does it feel light or heavy? Whatever the answer, simply notice it.
5. Receive the heart’s answer (5 mins)
As you relax in your sanctuary, ask your heart for a wise and loving response to your problem. Give yourself permission to tap into this form of spiritual guidance.
Let your heart’s reply appear a few feet in front of you.
- Whatever imagery you see, receive it as an honored guest.
- Take note of its shape, texture, color, figure, and size.
- Feel the qualities that this image embodies.
- What does it want you to know about your concern?
- How do you feel the presence of your heart’s wise advice?
Whatever message you receive, allow yourself to be with it for a moment. Observe the message for what it is, and accept the answer as it comes to you.
6. Thanking your heart (3 mins)
When it feels right, thank your heart for its guidance. Allow the imagery you have observed to fade away, like an electronic picture slowly losing its pixilations, piece by piece.
Just as water can be taken from one room to the next, so too can your heart’s wisdom. Think of this insight as a vessel of your awareness.
Now it is time to return to the here and now.
- Focus on your breathing again.
- Become more aware of your body as you inhale and exhale.
- Allow yourself to acclimate to your physical environment.
- Open your eyes, feeling refreshed and calm, trusting the answer you’ve received from your heart is the right one.
If there is a part of you that wants to continue relaxing, that is completely OK. Get up when it feels right.
You will experience the greatest benefit from this meditation when your heart’s wise advice guides your daily life experience. Over the next few hours or days, allow the wisdom you have received to integrate into your person by finding practical steps that transform insight into action.
Some people find it helpful to write down specific words or phrases that come to mind and then return to them later after a period of reflection. The heart’s answers aren’t always literal. Instead, they appear through metaphor or allegory. Lean into your intuitive senses as part of the dynamic.
Keep in mind that meditation is a combination of skill and art. Allow yourself time to practice this exercise. Pay close attention to the imagery you see and take note of what it is trying to tell you.
Davenport, L. (2009). Healing and transformation through self-guided imagery. Berkley, CA: Celestial Arts.