What are affirmations and how do they work? Can a daily meditation practice compliment your affirmations?
In this episode of The OneMind Meditation podcast, I explore these questions about meditation and affirmations with Harry Duran. I met Harry on a 10-day silent retreat. He’s a long-time meditator and the host of a popular podcast called Podcast Junkies.
In addition to being an inspired meditation practitioner, Harry has a lot to say about the power and practice of affirmations. (You can download Harry’s free PDF of Daily Affirmations below.)
What Are Affirmations?
So what, exactly, are affirmations? If you’re new to this idea, here is a simple definition from author and success coach Remez Sasson:
Affirmations are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind. The words composing the affirmation, automatically and involuntarily, bring up related mental images into the mind, which could inspire, energize and motivate. Repeating affirmations, and the resultant mental images, affect the subconscious mind, which in turn, influences the behavior, habits, actions and reactions.
Affirmations have been around for a long time. They were a core part of the self-help movement as long as 80 years ago when Napoleon Hill featured them in his classic Think And Grow Rich.
Somewhere along the line, affirmations got a bad name. As the cherished practice of many self-help, wish fulfillment, and manifestation fads, affirmations were often relegated to the spiritual materialism bucket.
I had heard of affirmations before. For 15 years, I trained and studied in a rigorous spiritual community and affirmations always struck me as kind of silly, lightweight, and for spiritual consumers.
In case it’s not obvious, I was also a bit of a spiritual snob. I never really took them too seriously.
Eventually, that changed. I met a number of people whom I respect, that practice daily affirmations. The Dalai Lama, for one.
But what does the research tell us about affirmations? A recent article in Psychology Today chronicles some of the compelling research behind affirmations citing, among other studies, new research out of Carnegie Mellon University that demonstrates some of the positive effects of practicing affirmations.
Meditation And Affirmations
And it’s a mistake to think affirmations are only for the selfish and superficial. Like prayer, meditation, chanting, or mantras, repeating affirmations is a time-honored tradition that can open our hearts and minds.
Like most contemplative arts, it has the power to refine your soul and deepen your connection to the mystery of life. Affirmations can help you expand your perspective beyond the narrow confines of your own life.
I practice them a few times each week. And every time, I feel better for it: more awake, more alive, more fulfilled, and more clear about my purpose here.
Why are meditation and affirmations such a great combo? For one thing, meditation creates excellent conditions for expressing your affirmations. I love to emerge out of the quiet stillness and presence of meditation and speak the affirmations out loud, with a full and contented heart.
If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to try it.
In this episode of the podcast, Harry and I explore the power of meditation and affirmations and:
- Harry’s daily affirmation practice
- Why, when you’re meditating, it should be like a thief coming to an empty house
- How being a DJ in New York City led Harry to meditation
- Harry’s experience of the meditation zone
- Why meditation is like a frictionless state of consciousness
- How certain conversations, when entered into with mindful awareness, are like being in a state of flow
- Why Harry believes that flow states are our natural center of gravity