Am I Good Enough? Meditation on Self-Appreciation

By Tergar Meditation Community • 4 min read

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Feeding the goblin

If you’re like most folks, your fiercest critic lives in the mirror. Low self-esteem is like a hungry goblin, gobbling up your vital energy and gleefully tanking your confidence, complicating your existing difficulties and even creating problems where there weren’t any. And regrettably, modern culture provides an all-you-can-eat buffet for the goblin of self-criticism. But it’s not the only option available to you. In ancient Tibetan Buddhism, the cornerstone practice for this is appreciation. Having appreciation for yourself, your world, and your life are key, because your true nature is basic innate goodness. Continue reading for a self-appreciation meditation.

Humble practice, hidden treasure

When you foster a sense of gratitude, you discover unlimited treasures within. One of the simplest practices in Tibetan Buddhism is known as “the five individual riches.” Basically, it consists of meditation on appreciation of five specific aspects of your life. The “five riches” practice is very simple, and it might not look like anything special — but actually, it’s the humblest practices that are often the most remarkable.

 

The first of the individual riches

Of course, there’s nothing intrinsically bad about being, say, a chicken, or a kangaroo, or a starfish, or even an amoeba. But from a Buddhist perspective, human birth is considered a winning lottery ticket, because it automatically provides the tools and access necessary for discovering your true nature.

 

The second of the riches

Traditionally referred to as “having been born in a central place,” this point of appreciation is that you have been born with certain freedoms — the ability to make spiritual choices in particular. Regardless of where or who you are, your mind and heart are your own. If you have begun to learn to meditate, you know you have this freedom.

 

The third of the riches

You were born with some senses, such as eyes, ears, nose, tongue, a physical self. Regardless of any physical limitations or even severe disabilities you may have, your body is a source of incredible gifts. If you pause to consider all the ways it supports you in every moment, it’s absolutely astonishing how much there is to appreciate.

 

The fourth of the riches

In ancient times, caste and class might determine one’s vocation and fix one’s place in life; but at this time,  most of us have the freedom to choose not to cause direct harm to others. This hasn’t always been the case, so be grateful that creating suffering for other sentient beings is something you can choose to refrain from.

During this lifetime, nothing takes greater advantage of our precious human existence than familiarizing ourselves with our own minds — and essentially meditation is the most effective tool with which to accomplish this.”

– Mingyur Rinpoche –

The fifth of the five riches

Last but certainly not least is your basic innate goodness. Ultimately, you possess love and compassion, wisdom, and awareness. This is your fundamental nature. How wonderful!

 

A sample session of appreciation practice

Take your meditation posture (spine loosely straight; eyes closed or softly open; relax your muscles). Then, appreciate having a body — it’s amazing that you are alive. Have gratitude that you have the wondrous freedom to choose to meditate. Whichever of your senses function, give thanks for them: eyes and ears that can read or hear the teachings; a nose and tongue that let you engage vividly with the world; bodily sensations of every kind. Be grateful that you can choose to do good in the world, that there are great spiritual works created by great sentient beings that you are free to live by. Finally, appreciate that awareness, love and compassion, and wisdom are your fundamental qualities. Then open your eyes and look at the world. It’s an incredible place!

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About the Author

By Tergar Meditation Community Team

Tergar Meditation Community supports individuals, practice groups, and meditation communities around the world in learning to live with awareness, compassion, and wisdom. Grounded in the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of our guiding teacher, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, our online and in-person programs are accessible to people of all cultures and faiths, and support a lifelong path toward the application of these principles in everyday life.

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