This resourcing practice meditation was offered by Dr. Chris Germer during his recent workshop on ‘The Antidote to Shame’.   It is designed to help us experience the innocence of our shame – that it comes from a universal wish to be seen and loved.


  • “Please sit or lie down in a way that you feel comfortable and at ease.”
  • “Take a few deep breaths, especially allowing for long, relaxing exhalations.”
  • “Now, please bring an event to mind that made you feel embarrassed or somewhat ashamed. (A “2” or “3” on an intensity scale from 1-10.)  Also, let it be a past event that is over and done. For example, perhaps”
  • you said something foolish at an important meeting at work?
  • you felt nervous were nauseous on a special date
  • you were disrespected because of your gender, your age, or your ability
  • you disrespected someone else’s identity
  • you overreacted to something – anger, fear, grief – in a very public way”
  • “Now, please reflect for a moment on what you were afraid others might have thought about you at the time. Can you give it a name? (pause) Perhaps you were afraid other people would consider you “stupid,” “insensitive,” “unkind,”” “weird,” or “defective”?” (pause)   

“This is already a sign that you wanted the people around you to consider you positively in their minds.”

  • “Now let’s drop more deeply into your own experience – into your motivation. Why was this event was so distressing to you?  In particular, what did you want from the people around you?  Did you want their respect or appreciation?  Did you want to be valued, to belong, to be included… even loved?  (pause) What’s the best word for what you needed and wanted?” 
  • “We can go even deeper, if it feels right to you.  If not, please allow yourself to disengage a bit from this exercise.” 
  • “If you want to deeper, see if you can visualize yourself as a newborn – an innocent baby who just took their first breath of air. (pause) Let yourself feel the tenderness, the messiness, the innocence, the need to be loved, as all children need to be loved (pause) Consider for a moment that this child continues to live within you, even now.” 
  • “Lingering with that feeling, now please recollect your shame experience. (pause) And now drop beneath the shame and see if you can connect with the same motivation—to be loved, or appreciated, or to belong, just as you did as a child? (pause) Can you allow yourself to see this eternal wish within you, as it is within all of us?” 
  • “Finally, let’s release this exercise and the images and the feelings, and just linger for a moment in our felt experience. (pause) What did you notice?  What did you learn? Allowing your experience to have been just as it was.  And allowing yourself to be, right now, in this moment, just as you are.” 
  • “And when you’re ready, gently opening your eyes.”