Pretty Good Meditation

Guided meditation for all? You betcha

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Meditation can be challenging, whether you are a total beginner or an experienced meditator. Dr. Matthew Tift draws on his experience teaching meditation and yoga to guide you towards peacefulness and clarity. Born from Midwestern sensibility, this meditation podcast does not take itself too seriously. Slow down, settle in, and experience the wholesome effects of guided meditation that is pretty good.


Many of us get so wrapped up in the things around us that we rarely pay attention to the spaces between things. And yet space is always present. In this episode, we pay attention to the space between breaths, between our thoughts, in our physical world, and that surrounds sound. Developing a more spacious view of the world helps to open the mind, dissolve boundaries, and let go of the ego.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/28. To suggest a topic for a future episode or tell me more about yourself and why you are listening, visit matthewtift.com/contact. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.





Some forms of yogic meditation explore three distinct stages of practice: dharana (concentration), dhyana (a blend of will and surrender), and samadhi (surrender). In this meditation, we will investigate these three phases, which we call focus, flow, and let go. This type of practice can induce a sense of calm or relaxation, and, in some cases, bring about deep states of absorption.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/27. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.





Learning to breathe and relax can deepen your capacity to stay present to the events of your life. This meditation can provide space for you to notice as feelings and thoughts arise, shift, and fade away. Rather than push away emotions, this practice allows you to tune in to those emotions and learn how to ride the waves of sensations that we each experience throughout our lives.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/26. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.





The practice of metta, or loving-kindness, meditation provides an opportunity to develop your capacity to love and care for both yourself and others. Metta can create opportunities for you to re-examine your relationship with all beings in the world, and provide an opening for you to replace thoughts of anger and fear with feelings of kindness and compassion. The practice is highly adaptable and the phrases can be altered to reflect whatever is meaningful to you.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/25. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.





Body scanning meditations can be effective in helping you return to a relaxed state. A body scan is a simple process that involves moving your attention through all parts of the body. This method helps to train your mind to be present with both pleasant and unpleasant sensations. This simple practice is associated with a wide variety of physical and mental benefits, such as reduced tension and decreased stress.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/24. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.





Lots of meditation techniques break down our assumptions about the world and help us come to grips with reality. In this meditation practice we examine the body as four elements: the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element. Each element represents the basic qualities of matter: the earth element represents solidity, the water element represents fluidity, the fire element represents temperature, and the air element represents motion. Understanding the body in this way allows us to let go of attachments to judgements about ourselves and other people. Rather than desirable or repulsive, too big or too small, we can train the main to understand the body simply as a being consisting of these four elements.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/23. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.





Society places a lot of attention on bodies. Some we label "too big" while others we see as "too small." This body is attractive and that one is not. But on the outside, bodies do not consist of much, and it can be useful to contemplate the body in terms of its visible components, such as head hair, body hair, nails, teeth, and skin. When we break down the body into these elements, we become less attached to it. We realize that these parts are impermanent and ownerless. This practice allows us to shift our attention from appearance to more important matters. For more on this technique, see the Digha Nikaya 22.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/22. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.





Mindfulness acts as the gatekeeper for the mind, and in this episode we develop our mindfulness practice by using the idea of a gatekeeper who guards the single gate of a city surrounded by walls. The wise and competent gatekeeper, like a mindfulness practice, keeps out strangers and welcomes in friends. This practice helps to build trust in the gatekeeper and awareness of the present moment.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/21. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.





We live complex lives in which we race around from one activity to the next. Let this practice slow the mind, and slow down time. Train the attention to this moment. In this meditation, we practice responding to thoughts rather than reacting to them.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/20. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.





Metta meditation (also called loving-kindness meditation) helps develop a propensity for kindness. In this meditation we practice and cultivate universal love for all living beings.

To leave a comment about this episode, visit matthewtift.com/prettygood/19. The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0.