Contemplative Leaders Group

7-Step Mindfulness Meditation

The 7-Step Mindfulness Meditation
(An InterSpiritual & Secular Process)

1. Motivation: “May We Be Happy and Healthy”
2. Gratitude: “May We Be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts”
3. Transformation: “May We Fulfill our Highest Potential”
4. Love & Compassion: “May We Be Loving & Compassionate”
5. Mindfulness: “May We Become Mindful Through Our Breathing”
6. Wisdom: “May We Cultivate Wisdom to Help Others and Ourselves”
7. Service: “May We Be in Service to All”

Overview
This 7-Step Mindfulness Meditation is a universal and holistic process for the cultivation of a mature and sustainable Mindfulness Meditation practice.  It is drawn from decades of study and conversations with leading mediation teachers from diverse secular and spiritual traditions.  It honors and supports the diversity of personal predispositions, gender, race, ethnicity and learning/practice styles.  These seven steps provide a contemplative foundation for community leaders and educators, social and  environmental activists and individual practitioners.  The meditative focus for each step is discerned and personalized by each meditator.

1. Step One – Motivation
“May I (We) Be Healthy and Happy”

In this first step we renew our motivation to cultivate Mindfulness meditation.  We strengthen our determination by recalling our personal reasons to develop our personal meditation practice. We strengthen our resolve by remembering that brain science proves the power of Mindfulness to improve our personal health and happiness. We resolve to begin tending to the garden of our consciousness which is the foundation for our mental and physical wellbeing.

2. Step Two – Gratitude
“May I (We) Be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts”

In this second step we renew our deep gratitude for the natural environment that sustains our lives; for our families, friends, teachers and exemplars; for our own innate capacity for love, wisdom and health; for our personal life challenges that can increase our compassion for others. 

3. Step Three – Transformation
“May I (We) Be Transformed Into My Highest Ideal”

In this third step, we contemplate how imagination is the birthing ground for our future wellbeing. We bring to mind the personal qualities and goals that we fervently wish to actualize.  We imagine the most profound human potential of our precious human life and resolve that this meditation will help us actualize this potential.

4. Step Four – Intention
“May I (We) Be Loving and Compassionate”

In the fourth step we contemplate how love and compassion for others and ourselves are the foundations for happiness and well-being.  We infuse and immerse ourselves in the presence of universal love. We radiate love and compassion to all beings, including ourselves—love that spontaneously wishes happiness for all beings, and the compassion that constantly strives to remove the causes of their suffering. We dedicate this meditation to this loving and compassionate intention.

5. Step Five – Mindfulness
“May I (We) Be Focused and Mindful Through Breathing”

In the fifth step we cultivate calm, steady, and focused breathing that is the foundation for both secular and spiritual techniques of Mindfulness meditation. When we focus on our breath, we become less stressed and distracted; we are able to think more clearly and to focus on the task at hand. Our blood-pressure can normalize, and our anxiety can disappear. Mindful breathing can help balance our energies so that we might observe and purify the innermost causes of our mental and physical suffering. 

6. Step Six – Meditation
“May I Become Wise Through Meditation”

In the sixth step, we begin to experience the wisdom fruit that was cultivated in the preceding five steps. Here, we can draw on our personal affinity with a specific secular or spiritual wisdom tradition. Or we can experience a transcendent insight, deep tranquility, unity, or truth that is personally meaningful. Or we can simply continue with mindful breathing as our primary focus.

7. Step Seven – Dedication
“May I Serve All Beings with Compassion, Peace, and Wisdom”

In the seventh step, we rededicate ourselves to our loving and compassionate intentions. Bringing to mind our family, friends, colleagues, antagonists and beings throughout the world, we vow to help alleviate their suffering and achieve sustainable love, peace and happiness for all.