Pretty Good Meditation

Matthew Tift

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.

All Episodes

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.

Nov 28

8 min 43 sec

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.

Nov 21

13 min 17 sec

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.

Nov 14

22 min 20 sec

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.

Nov 7

13 min 4 sec

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.

Oct 31

17 min 19 sec

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.

Oct 24

20 min 55 sec

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.

Oct 17

22 min 1 sec

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.

Oct 10

19 min 11 sec

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.

Oct 3

19 min 57 sec

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.

Sep 26

17 min 55 sec

In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we look at the words and concepts we call "self." We meditate on words such as "my name," "my age," "my occupation," and other beliefs about "me."

Sep 18

20 min 7 sec

In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we turn inward to the body.

Sep 12

7 min 59 sec

In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we explore the concept of "home."

Mar 7

14 min 6 sec

In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we practice a well-known meditation technique called the body scan.

Feb 21

16 min 13 sec

Someone requested that I record some meditations that could be used to start a meeting. So in this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, I offer you Meeting Meditation Three. Do you have any requests? Please let me know using the contact form on matthewtift.com.

Feb 13

1 min 59 sec

Someone requested that I record some meditations that could be used to start a meeting. So in this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, I offer you Meeting Meditation Two. Do you have any requests? Please let me know using the contact form on matthewtift.com.

Feb 12

1 min 56 sec

Someone requested that I record some meditations that could be used to start a meeting. So in this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, I offer you Meeting Meditation One. Do you have any requests? Please let me know using the contact form on matthewtift.com.

Feb 11

1 min 26 sec

In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we practice a well-known type of yogic breathing called ujjayi pranayama, or "victorious breath."

Feb 7

9 min 20 sec

In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we practice another common form of meditation: kāyagatāsati, or "mindfulness of the body."

Jan 31

8 min 28 sec

In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we practice the most common form of meditation: ānāpānasati, or "mindfulness of breathing."

Jan 24

8 min 35 sec

In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we explore the metaphor of tending the garden as a meditation technique.

Jan 16

7 min 29 sec

In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we explore the motivation behind your meditation practice. Some people want to become more peaceful or happy. Others want to get rid of anxiety or fear. This episode provides a space to reflect on your reasons for practice.

Jan 9

8 min

During meditation, we frequently use a "meditation object," such as the breath, a mantra, or physical sensations to help cultivate present moment awareness. Rather than let the mind jump around, we give it a task, something to do. There are many kinds of meditation objects, and in this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we use piano music. The musical example, Frederic Chopin's Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9 no. 2, performed by Aya Higuchi, is in the public domain (https://musopen.org/music/108-nocturnes-op-9).

Jan 2

10 min 6 sec

The goal of meditation is not to eliminate all mental and emotional activity. Rather, meditation provides a welcoming space. It provides a container to help redefine our relationship to thoughts and emotions, and to let go of our attachment to our views and opinions. In this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we practice simply welcoming whatever arises.

Dec 2020

5 min 57 sec

Metta, also known as loving-kindness, is a practice of sending benevolent thoughts into the world. It is a selfless wishing of goodwill and happiness to others. When practiced regularly, metta meditation can bring about a wide array of positive changes.

Dec 2020

9 min 7 sec

This episode explores the concept of nature-centered living and tuning in to the ordinary state of how things are right now.

Dec 2020

6 min 44 sec

Between each in breath and out breath, there is a pause. Between each out breath and in breath, there is a pause. We can use these pauses as the focus in our meditation.

Dec 2020

5 min 45 sec

When I first started to get serious about meditation and wanted to establish a daily meditation practice, I literally began with two minute meditations. I found a website called QuietKit.com and began with their two minute guided meditations. So it seemed fitting for this inaugural episode of Pretty Good Meditation to offer a two minute meditation.

Dec 2020

3 min 39 sec