Difficult Emotions, Open Awareness



One of my favourite meditations on the Buddhify app is “Space” by Emily Horn. I love the idea of an acronym to keep you grounded during meditation. Connecting with the power of words as an object of meditation (RAIN by Michele McDonald is perhaps the first and most well-known mindfulness acronym.)

Inspiration for my own mediations come at the most unlikely of times – for this one, it was in the car, listening to Leo Babauta on the Rich Roll podcast, whilst on my way to pick up trophies for my Toastmasters club. When their conversation turned to running, bam! there it was. An idea for a meditation on dealing with difficulty.

Listen or read, whatever you choose. Enjoy xx.

Too often we are the runner. Running away from discomfort. Running away from painful emotions. From people who push our buttons. From things that we fear.

We run away… and we also run towards. Towards distractions like food, phones and Facebook.

And whilst running might be great for our bodies – it’s not that great for our minds.

So in this practice we’re going to try a different kind of training. The training to stay.

So that instead of running from discomfort. We stay, and let it run through us.

Instead of running from our challenges, we sit with them, and let them run their course.

We can run from life, or we can observe it – we don’t need to do all the heavy lifting. All we need to do is get still. Train ourselves to watch. To observe. To be curious.

We don’t need to be the runner. All we need to do is stay.


In this meditation, let’s play with the idea of staying, by using the acronym STAY as our anchor to the present moment.

S – T – A – Y

Sit  –  Tether  –  Allow  –  Yes.

S: Sit – sitting up straight, watching our posture. Letting the energy flow along our spine.

T: Tether – Tethering ourselves to the present moment like a puppy on lead. Watching our thoughts. Being aware. Bringing ourselves back when we realise we’ve wandered off.

A: Allow – giving ourselves permission to be here, allowing ourselves this precious time to sit and get still. That this time of quiet is as worthy, if not more, as crossing things off our never ending to do lists.

Y: Yes – saying yes to all of experience as it unfolds during this time. Yes to the thoughts. Yes to sounds. Yes to the busyness. Yes to the aches and pains. Yes to the anxiety. Yes to gratitude, yes to joy, yes to love.




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