There is nothing more attractive than a person who loves himself or herself so deeply that their positve energy and love spill over to others and to the world ” Vishen Lakhiani
Why write about the 6 Phase Mediation?
From the get-go, I was very sceptical towards meditation.
Coming from a scientific background, I did not hold meditation and homoeopathic medicine in the highest regards. I used to believe in behaviour psychology, cause and effect, and that everything had a rational explanation.
I thought it was a lot of woo wuuu.
I was never much into religion either, spirituality for me was also a foreign word. But, the more I studied human behaviour, the more I believed that we humans are spiritual creatures who need meaning, purpose, and spirituality just as much as water, food, and oxygen.
I started to study existentialism and in particular, logotherapy to find out just how much humans need spirituality and purpose.
One book above all helped me to grasp the importance of spirituality for the human psyche: Viktor Frankl’s Mans search for meaning. Click here to read my book review.
As a hardcore student of human behaviour, I believe in the difference between success and failure, and being a happy or a depressed person lies in the habits we have.
Our behavioural patterns and/or mental habits determine ultimately who we are and if we can overcome the hardships of life and thrive despite our circumstances or perish in the face of problems.
I was unhappy for a long time, and I realised that the way I did things was responsible for my emotional results. So at one point, I started to look for different ways to do things, for new habits, and new perspectives on life. I realised that the sum of my behaviour was giving me shitty results. So, I asked myself what would happen if I did the opposite?
To find out what the opposite of unhappy and unsuccessful was, I needed to find a group who did things radically different, a group that was thriving and who were happy. So I started to look at high achievers and compared their behaviour to my own.
To do so, I studied the habits, routines, and tactics of world-class performers, icons, and millionaires. I devoured every book and every interview I could find that was dealing with this topic. A gold nugget I found was Tim Ferris’ new book, “Tools of Titans“.
This book is based on his interviews with more than 250 world-class performers, including celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Branson, or Jamie Fox. For me, a treasure trove of case studies after which I could model my behaviour. Click here to check out his podcast.
I listened to every interview he made and wrote down the mental patterns, habits, and books his guest, and Tim Ferris himself, recommended.
I listened to over 500 hours (yes, I am a weirdo who has no life, please move on x) of interviews, and I wrote down everything that was radically different from my behaviour and from my way of thinking.
Ferris says that more than 80% of the world-class performers he interviews were using some form of meditative practice.
As a habit thief, this was precisely what I was looking for. After a little research on meditation, it turned out that I, with my belief that meditation was pseudo bullshit, was totally wrong, and that meditation was a necessity to be happy.
After learning about the benefits of meditation (and that is was free), I thought, “f*** me! This sounds great, count me in”!
But where do I start? At the time, I was reading a book called the “Code of the Extraordinary Mind” by Vizshen Lakhiani, still to this day one of my favourite books.
I was so in love with the book that I began to research the author.
And, I discovered that the author was simultaneously the founder of one of the biggest online meditations platforms: Mind Valley.
They specialise in online courses, and they have an app similar to HeadSpace and calm: Omvana. They mostly focus on guided meditations. For me, this was a good starting point. Basically, all I had to do was to sit on my behind, plug my headphones in, and listen for 20 mins with closed eyes. Hundreds of scientifically proven benefits for sitting lazily for 20 mins with closed eyes. Now that is what I call an excellent return!
So what is the 6 Phase Meditation…
What Are The 6 Meditation Phases?
The 6 Phase Meditation is a distillation of hundreds of books on personal growth and is designed to create the best transformation in your state of being in the shortest amount of time.
Basically, the 6 Phase Guided Meditation is like a Pizza Quattro Stagioni. A best-of album, like the greatest hits of meditative practices.
It identifies the six most essential parts of different meditative practices and forms it into one fantastic compilation. One of my core beliefs is that I do not believe in the separation of disciplines. I believe one does best by picking the best areas of theory and creates a new integrated approach that unites all of the positive and neglects all the negative facets.
Phase 1: Love And Compassion
This phase is about feeling positively connected to other people and creating a sense of compassion towards them.
You imagine a golden light in your head, and you let it grow until your positive energy covers the whole world. As a student of human behaviour, I think one of the biggest problems of modern society is our separation from each other. Loneliness kills.
This phase emphasises that we are all one big organism and that we are not alone and must function together and love and connect positively with each other.
In a time where it has become standard in western systems for people to live isolated in sterile apartments, this phase encourages you to reconnect with your tribe and understand that humans need other humans to live, be happy, and thrive.
Phase 2: Gratitude
Here you are instructed to think of positive events that have happened to you in the last 24 hours.
This phase builds Gratitude, and it is incredibly powerful. In my opinion, one of the biggest causes of depression and unhappiness is a wrongly shifted perspective. People who are unhappy and suffer from chronic pain and depression are more prone to seeing the negative in the world. Countless studies prove this. I think we are not born as positive creatures, but that we are hard-wired to look for danger and things we should avoid to make absolutely sure that we survive and avoid discomfort.
In modern society, where everybody survives this mechanism, is causing massive problems and is one of the critical drivers of existential crisis.
One of the antidotes to depression is gratitude, in my opinion.
Gratitude is a game-changer. As someone who was not happy for a long time himself, I was always focused on the things that were going wrong for me, with the world that I was living in, and with the people that were around me.
Having gratitude in my daily routine changed me as a person for the better. Happiness is a habit, a skill that is learnable like any other skill, in my opinion.
But to develop this skill, one must practice it daily. I believe that our brain is basically a big grey answering machine. If we ask our brain a question, it cannot help itself but answer it. One of the differences between happy and unhappy people, in my opinion, lies in the different questions they ask themselves.
Unhappy people often ask themselves about the things that are not right in their life, while a happy person tends to have an eye for all of the little things that are great in their life.
Gratitude is really a transforming force. Asking yourself in the morning what is great about today, about your life, about you even, will train your brain to change its perspectives.
Take a moment and stop.
- Think of 3 things that you can be grateful for in your life.
- What are 3 things that are great about you?
- Search for a little thing in your sight that you can be grateful for.
Many patients that I have interviewed when asked said that they have nothing to be grateful for. Where in reality, there is always something to be grateful for.
Did you wake up today? Great! You did not die today. That is awesome, is it not? Is your family still alive? Sweet! How many humans wake up today to a call that they lost someone.
Are all your friend still with you? Amazing!
One of the happiest persons I know is my mother. One of her superpowers is seeing the positive in everything, no matter how small. She is the kind of person who will call you for no reason, but to tell you that she found a beautiful stone and how beautiful nature is.
Happiness is much more about the perception than it is about actual results.
Phase 3: Forgiveness
In this phase, Lakhiani instructs you to visualise someone who has wronged you. Then you apologise to that person, and the other person apologises to you, and then you forgive him and vice versa.
Lakhiani says here, that we are all one, and that any charge against a person is also a charge against yourself.
Each and every individual in this world has different values and personal borders. It is, in my opinion, impossible to not step on anyone’s toes. So hurting people is, to some extent, unavoidable.
We all feel like we got the short end of the stick; sometimes, we feel neglected by our loved ones, and more often than not, people are just straight assholes.
Being hurt is part of the human condition it seems. Staying hurt, however, is, in my opinion, a decision.
Our brain does almost anything to protect us. If a person that we loved wronged and hurt us badly, we want to make sure that this never happens to us again. So we develop trust issues and never let people close to us again.
A total logical conclusion and set of actions. This, however, creates more problems, because we start to prefer safe sweet isolation and shortly find yourself in a spot of loneliness.
Forgiving is the one skill that will solve this problem, and I think there lies a psychological necessity behind forgiveness. People have an enormous capacity to hold grudges for ridiculously long times.
The deeper the pain, the less prone are we to hold on. However, holding onto pain is precisely that, being in pain, hiding it deep in our inner space.
Forgiveness is cleaning your inner space and throwing out outdated stuff. The six-phase meditation is a daily practice to train your forgiveness muscle. You start with the small things and get over the small issues. This will enable you to forgive the big things also, in my opinion.
One of the main struggles of psychology is the art of letting go. The most extreme case of this is abuse, in my opinion. Who with a righteous mind might apply forgiveness to extreme situations such as abuse?
Realising that forgiving a person who hurt you is not about them, but about your own harmony, helped me to let go of some most deep-seated grudges I held.
And, this has resulted in me making peace with my past.
Phase 4: Future Visualisation
Here you are asked to imagine your dream life in the next three years.
What would happen to you if failure was not an option? How would your life look? Your love life? Your health? Your career/business?
This part, for me, was also a gold nugget.
One of the biggest causes of depression, in my opinion, is the lack of a compelling future. The most depressive people I have met were the ones who were in the mindset that the pain would never stop. That the future has nothing to offer for them but pain and failure.
People who forsake the perspective that things might just turn around are prone to suicide and despair, in my opinion. Because you internalise that, the only way to protect yourself from the pain in the now and the future is to end it all. To kill yourself.
For years I lived a crazy and excessive life because I never thought that a compelling future was a reality for me. I grew up with two amazing but physically sick parents. Since they had a deadline on their lives, I kind of subconsciously thought that I also had one, although we all have a deadline, I do not believe that for me, the mindset of living today like it is your last is a life strategy that results in happiness and fulfilment or even harmony.
Living like today is your last day would result in people just doing tons of cocaine and ordering hookers for lunch. Or, maybe that is just me.
Enjoying every day like it was your last is something different. I think that people need to have at least a perception of a safe, compelling future to thrive and to be happy.
This phase forces you to dream and to dream daily. Maybe you dream of girls and riches, perhaps you want to become a millionaire, or perhaps you want to get that PhD to stick it to everybody.
Having wild, compelling dreams really can help you to push through the hardships of life because you realise that although today was maybe shit, your life is not and that it is going to get better.
And until now, this phase is a daily reminder of what is possible for me.
Phase 5: Your Perfect Day
You have formed a compelling vision of your future, now what steps do you need to take to let that future become a reality?
Great you have a dream, now its planning time. Every dream needs a strategic plan. Asking yourself every day, what can I do TODAY to become one big step closer to my dream.
Designing your days actively towards your dreams, desires, and true wants to transform your mindset fast, in my opinion. From now on, it is only a question of how many days in a row you need to work until you reach that precious milestone that you are shooting for.
Asking yourself daily, what can I do? What help can I get? Who can help me today to get closer to my dream? What resources can I mobilise today to make my dream come true?
This will result in daily progress and with it, fulfilment. One thing that I did not think would happen here was that the joy of pursuit might just be comparable to the joy of achievement.
Trying hard to be you has holistic benefits, in my opinion. You show yourself that you care about you, about today, and about your life. This has helped me even to weaken some of my bad habits, such as getting completely shit faced on Fridays.
Because saying yes to getting smashed on Friday was also saying no to working on my dream on Saturday. It became direct sabotage of my progress, and I linked less and less pleasantness to it.
So, whatever task, project, dream, goal, or vision that you have, that you should have started a long time ago go and start it now. It might be more achievable than you think.
Phase 6: The Blessing
Here Lakhiani tells you that you have higher power and that you should connect to the divine. You imagine a white light that hits your skull and fills you with life and incredible energy.
I do not want to go all mystical on your behind, but I believe that spirituality is a necessity for humans.
This phase gives you the feeling that the entire universe has your back, and that all your dreams will come true. Even if unfounded, the idea that one has momentum is powerful.
Again, emphasising on our oneness, for me, results in a harmonious life strategy. Adding value to others, going through life, and contributing and listening to each other, and encouraging others to believe in themselves will ultimately return in you getting back what you have given.
Call to Action
Although I have tried many meditative practices. I still do the 6 Phase Meditation every morning, and I have had amazing days ever since.
So, my call to Action to you: click here.
And, do the six-phase meditation once! 20 Minutes of your Life, 76 Benefits. This is a pretty badass return if you ask me.