Monday, June 8, 2009

Loving kindness

I have this morning off. I woke up feeling gritchy and didn't want to get out of bed. So, I gave myself permission not to. I lay there and did some healing work with myself instead. Sometimes it's hard to face the day without a little compassion for myself. I did a metta practice that I've been doing lately. Metta means loving kindness in pali. I learned this practice from Lloyd Burton at the vippassana meditation retreat I went to in April. Metta directs the energy of loving kindness to yourself and/or others. It is a prayer that comes in many forms. The one I did this morning is one I really like because it's simple and easy to remember.
May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be free
In this body
On this earth
In this moment.

Breath the energy of lovingkindness into your own heart. Repeat as many times as you'd like feeling your sincere desire for lovingkindness. Let yourself receive lovingness with your breath into your heart.
If you'd like to send metta to someone else, imagine that person in your mind's eye.
May you be happy
May you be peaceful
May you be free
In this body
On this earth
In this moment

Imagine the energy of lovingkindness moving from your heart to the other person's heart. Imagine them receiving this energy. Metta is something to do when there is nothing to do. That means when there is someone you want to help but there is nothing you can think of that would actually be helpful to do on the physical. It is also a good way to send loving energy to a loved one or someone who you are challenged by.

Then if you want to you can extend Metta to all beings:
May all beings be happy
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be free
In this body
On this earth
In this moment.
Imagine the energy of loving kindness moving out from your heart to all beings everywhere. It is a wonderful feeling of connection. What a lovely way to feel that lovingkindness connects us all.
I felt much better after practicing metta this morning. Phillip Moffit, in his wonderful book Dancing With Life, suggests doing metta practice for a few minutes before getting out of bed in the morning.I am going to start the practice and I invite you to also. Couldn't you use a little loving kindness?

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