Lovingkindness~ September Subject of the Month

By Laura Rothstein

pemachodron

 

Photo of Pema Chodrun

Loving kindness or Metta along with compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity are the four kinds of love  in traditional Buddhist teachings. These qualities of love reside in the hearts of all beings. Unlocking their potential thru Metta Mediation is a beautiful practice that is easily accessible to individuals seeking to develop boundless love and offerings towards self and others. The practice of Loving Kindness Mediation can support bodhichita, the awakened heart, where love, joy, compassion saturate body, mind and spirit.  If our emotions are shaped by our thoughts, then the practice of Metta may help our overall well being and the well beings of others.  What a beautiful holiday gift we can give ourselves and others!

I offer this practice to you 2 ways.  A seated practice which can take anywhere from 10 minutes or more and the “on the spot” micro practice which can integrate into your daily life.

Seated Metta  Practice-

Find a comfortable seat with your head, neck and trunk in a radiant long line. Place your dominant hand into you less dominant hand with palms face up, tips of thumbs lightly touching.  Softly close your eyes. Drop into your natural rhythm of breath for several minutes

1) Take a moment to feel how you feel without any judgement. Notice what arises.  Just notice.  Offer yourself the following blessing.

  • May I be happy and free
  • May I  have enough to eat and a safe place to sleep
  • May I be free from danger and harm

2) Bring to mind someone you love.  Connect to their energy and their presence. It maybe useful to visualize this individual sitting in front of you.  Again, offer this person the following blessing.

  • May you be happy and free
  • May you have enough to eat and a safe place to sleep
  • May you be free from danger and harm
3)  Next bring to mind someone you see around but have no real relationship .  Someone you  feel neutral about.  Connect to their presence.  It may be helpful to visualize them in a setting  that you might see them in like the grocery store, pick-up at kids school etc… Again offer this person the following blessing.
  • May you be happy and free
  • May you have enough to eat and a safe place to sleep
  • May you be free from danger and harm
4) Next bring to mind someone you have negative feelings about, someone you “don’t like”.  C onnect to their energy and presence.  Again offer this person the following blessing
  • May you be happy and free
  • May you have enough to eat and a safe place to sleep
  • May you be free from danger and harm
5) See all three individuals and yourself receive these blessings  and send blessings out to all sentient beings.  Linger in the stillness and stay in the fullness of your being.  Slowly open you eyes. Hari om  tat sat.  May  it be so.
Micro Metta  Practice- 
One of my greatest lessons I have learned from my teacher Parvathi Nanda Nath is the offering of “micro” or “on the spot” practices.  Integrating  and bringing love into all aspects of my daily life has been one of the most spirtual and rewarding experiences for me .   A secret weapon that brings me back to what is important time and time again. The practice of Metta can be done “on the spot ” by simply bringing your full awareness to a person, animal or situation and sending out a blessing that can be as simple as ” May you be happy and free” or what resonates from the heart at that moment .  Hari om tat sat.  May it be so.

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