How to Change Negative Beliefs with Meditation (Schema Repatterning Meditation)

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  • Post published:December 21, 2021
  • Reading time:3 mins read
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Here we present a step by step guide on how to meditate to change negative beliefs about self and world (Schemas) and related symptoms (Modes). The system is called Schema Repatterning Meditation.

  1. Identify what I want to work on
    1. Schema (if you know it you can work on it directly)
    2. Mode (symptom) (may be easier to see)
  2. Feel into the symptom (Mode) – imagine the symptom
    1. What belief is driving this?
    2. How do I view self / world / others
    3. Take the posture of symptom coherence – see how the symptom is necessary based on the belief (helps to facilitate the de-centration function and see karma / causality)
    4. If you start with the schema you can also investigate the mode
  3. Now that the schema is identified, feel into it (inhabit the view)
  4. When have I felt this before?
    1. When was this conditioning re-enforced?
    2. A real or an amalgamated / composite memory will come up
    3. Semantic memory matters more, episodic memory matters less
  5. Re-experience scene / memory, really take a minute with it.
    1. Do a bit of Gene Gendlin’s Focusing
      1. I.e. feel into everything, see-hear-feel, be present, mindful, soak in to how it is that you learned this.
  6. The Perfect Nurturers enter the scene
    1. They can either confront and protect or soothe and attune first. You choose the order.
    2. They definitely soothe you and attune to you at some point if not at the beginning.  
    3. The scene may or may not benefit by confrontation / protection
  7. They keep soothing and attuning to you. (Take time with this.)
  8. Once you are fully soothed / attuned with they give you the positive opposite of your schema (Credit to Dan Brown).  This disconfirms the schema (this does not in any way invalidate your suffering or that it happened. They show you how there is another way of being rather than the constricted fixed view of the schema). This is what brings about emotional memory reconsolidation (the primary goal of the practice).
  9. Optional: re-do the scene, or re-do other scenes like it. (If you have the time go into the re-patterning as much as you can: seeing your whole past life but you had the perfect nurturers all along, caring for you, protecting you.)
  10. Tong Len (compassion practice) (helps bring about deep maturation):  seeing this same suffering in others and wishing healing for them.
  11. Review insights from an expanded place of broader perspective
  12. See how your insights always buttress your sense of agency.


This draws from Schema Therapy of Jeffrey Young, Coherence Therapy of Bruce Ecker, Laurel Hulley, and Robin Ticic, Ideal Parent Figure Protocol of Dan Brown and David Elliott, Tibetan Buddhism, and the work on Metacognition by DiMaggio, Semerari, Liotti and others.


This listicle is one in a series of short-reads with practical advice on how to improve different areas of your life.

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