2/25/07 Care for people & things that we love.
Today as I was playing in my visual journal I was listening to Sharon Salberg’s Lovingkindness Meditation. I realized here was my connection between last year and today. I need to develop a daily practice of Metta. Her are Sharon’s words on Metta or Lovingkindness practice
In loving-kindness practice, a practitioner begins with him or herself,
wishing four things: may I be free from danger, may I be happy, may I
be healthy, may I live with ease. The practitioner then moves on to
wish a “benefactor”—someone who has cared for them—the same four
things. Then they make those aspirations for a good friend, then a
neutral person—a person they normally ignore, like the counter person
at the dry cleaner—then a difficult person, and then all beings without
exception. If one were doing a metta retreat, one would do this
practice using the same people over and over again.
“We tend to
associate love or loving-kindness with a feeling or emotion,” Salzberg
says, “but I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s something deeper—it’s
really about being able to connect rather than exclude.”
I love this phrase at the end to connect rather than exclude. Even as adults can we feel the hurt of being excluded. How often I wonder can a person become harsh and judgmental simple because somewhere along their life journey they have been excluded? For today, tomorrow maybe the rest of this week try extra hard to connect with people. The connection may be something simple like look a person directly in the eyes and smile instead of diverting your eyes to look away.
Also start a loving kindness practice toward yourself. Repeat the phrases listed above… you can do this in a traditional seated meditation. You may also try non traditional ways such as while driving, walking or house cleaning. Just start with these four sayings:
may I be free from danger,
may I be happy,
may I live with ease.