For the last two years, Fall has become a special mindfulness time for me.
Speaking with mindfulness experts, reading new scientific studies on the effectiveness of mindfulness, and revisiting mindfulness materials helps me look at my own life to see were I could improve my own practices.
It also doesn’t hurt to look around at our New England Fall, seeing the leaves change colors and then fall off the trees, leaving the trees bare. Stripped of their “dressings” and back to the ever-living part of the remaining tree.
For me, Metta meditation has become a way for me to open my heart to others. Metta, a practice from the Theravada Buddhist tradition, means, “loving-kindness.”
Especially when someone says something hurtful or at times when I feel angry, I try to use Metta to center myself and see that even in times of difficulty, I can retain my sense of compassion and kindness.
It is a way of cultivating a state of being that simply involves saying these following four phrases to myself:
1. May I be safe.
2. May I be happy.
3. May I be healthy.
4. May I live my life with ease.
And then after offering Metta to myself, I substitute another person’s name for “I” in each of these phrases. Many times, as a result of practicing Metta, my heart opens and my feelings shift.
It’s amazing how good this feels − to be centered in the moment and to be sending out compassion.
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