Tag Archives: metta

Today Is A Good Day

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It’s his 40th birthday today,
and I pretended
that my whole entire life
hadn’t been torpedoed
almost a year ago.
I had the kids make cards for him.
I took them to REI and
we got a present for him,
a colorful Eno hammock
and strong Atlas strapping
to enjoy peaceful moments
swinging and relaxing
surrounded by color and light.
I texted him and wished him well.
I sat in meditation and prayed for him.
I woke up and mentally sent him
the phrases of metta,
lovingkindness:
May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
I meant it.
I think my spiritual practice
is bearing fruit,
and I’m happy to be released
from my anger and sadness.
Today is a good day.

NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 4: The Need for Lovingkindness

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Last August
I taught my students lovingkindness meditation,
explaining the stages of metta:
offering to self,
then to a loved one,
then to a neutral person,
and then to someone toward whom
you feel aversion.
While we were meditating
I mused that I couldn’t
really find anyone toward whom
I felt aversion.
And then I remembered
a person so ridiculous,
so crass, so pompous,
I thought,
Ah yes! This person will work.
I’ll send metta to them.
I smiled as I sent lovingkindness their way,
feeling safe and secure
in my belief
that there was no way this person
could ever affect me or my life.
And then November came,
and a huge upset,
in the morning I found myself
checking and rechecking
to see if I was hallucinating
or if this was reality,
a reality
that left me reeling, crying,
in misbelief, in mourning.
I still can’t believe it’s real,
that this crass, pompous,
ridiculous person
could actually be where they are,
doing what they are doing.
And now when I meditate,
the aversion is more real,
and therefore so is the need for metta.

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Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt caused me to stretch a bit. I suppose that for many of you, there were be no question about to whom I’m referring–my words will not be so enigmatic because so many feel just as I do. So perhaps this poem is really a shout out to all of my fellow wayfarers to let you know–you are not alone!

This Practice

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As I sat this evening
it suddenly occurred to me
that I was spending
a lot of time mulling
over the decisions
of our current commander in chief.
I have spent time worrying,
feeling frustrated,
feeling angry,
feeling incredulous,
feeling mortified,
feeling cheated,
feeling afraid.
As I sat, I remembered
that sending the thoughts
born of these feelings
into an atmosphere
already charged with fear and negativity
will help no one, including myself.
What to do, I asked myself.
It doesn’t do any good to hate.
Although I completely disagree
with his actions, his rhetoric, his decisions,
his vision,
he is a human being after all,
and like me, he wants happiness,
safety, peace.
Lovingkindness is the antitdote
to hateful feelings.
Ah yes, lovingkindness, or metta
meditation. Here goes.
As I have done many times before,
I pictured the object of my meditation
sitting there in front of me.
There he was, Mr. Trump,
his face in my mind,
and I began repeating the phrases of metta:
May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy,
May you be peaceful and at ease.

I was able to generate genuine
feelings of compassion for him,
and to feel sorry for him,
being the object of so much hatred,
and under so much pressure
to make so many decisions
that will affect so many beings.
May you be safe,
May you be happy,
May you be healthy,
May you be peaceful and at ease.
Given recent events,
I know I have my work cut out for me,
but I commit to this practice
for the benefit of all beings,
this practice that gives me hope,
this practice that brings healing,
this practice that reminds me
of the inherent goodness of all.

There is Hope

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Safe.
Happy.
Healthy.
Peaceful and at ease.
Sending the sincere desire
that all beings
have their needs met,
that all beings find
some space to express
their creative essence.
I like to think
that lovingkindness meditation
is exponentially stronger
than any unkindness
that exists in the world.
I like to think
that my  little effort
has true positive impact
on the world around me.
Take a deep breath.
Send out the sincere desire
that all beings be
safe
happy
healthy
peaceful and at ease.
Feel in your heart
how your little effort
has true positive impact
on the world around you.
Now imagine
millions of us doing this
at any moment
around this world.
You see?
There really is hope.
This world really is good.

Metta

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The Pali word metta
is translated as lovingkindness.
Metta meditation is a wonderful practice
in which we summon and extend
genuine feelings
of care, concern, compassion,
and good will
beginning by directing
these feelings toward ourselves,
and then sending these feelings
to a loved one,
then to a neutral person,
then to a difficult person
and finally to all beings.
We repeat the phrases of lovingkindness
while holding an image of the recipient
in our minds:
May I (you, all beings) be safe,
May I (you, all beings) be happy,
May I (you, all beings) be healthy
May I (you, all beings) be peaceful and at ease.
Imagine what a world this would be
if all beings practiced metta.
There is an opening in the heart,
a softness, a tenderness,
and in this place
there exists no intention to cause harm,
only the intention to help, and to heal.
Yes, imagine what a world this would be
if all beings practiced metta.

More Powerful Than You Could Know

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It’s easy to fall into the trap
of thinking
What can I do to help the world?
I’m just one person.
But if it isn’t you and me,
every single one of us
working individually
to co-create a world and a life
in alignment with our deepest values,
then who will do it for us?
Therefore,
when you practice,
let yourself be inspired.
Even the tiniest bit of effort
may have far reaching effects,
may help beings seen and known
and those that we cannot yet perceive.
And if you don’t have a daily practice,
that’s fine, don’t worry.
Maybe just for today,
you can take a moment to sit and breathe
and wish for all beings to know happiness
and the root of happiness.
The smallest effort on your part
circles out, creates coherence,
adds its energy
to the energy of those wanting to awaken.
Your tiniest awakening
contributes to the world’s awakening.
You are more powerful
and more important than you could know.

Stay Open

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Your heart wants to share itself with the world.
Plan to keep it open.
You don’t have to say or do a thing
that can be measured by science
or quantified by mathematicians–
just keep your heart open.
Let in what needs healing, blessing,
shifting, transforming.
Send out waves of kindness,
of compassion, of sincere wishes
for the well-being of all.
As you pass by others on the street,
mentally send them the thought,
“May you be happy.”
As you drive by others in their cars,
“May you reach your destination safely.”
Think of those who need help,
and mentally send it to them
in whatever form help is needed.
If you don’t know what help is needed,
silently say,
“May you receive the help you need.”
Believe that they will receive the help they need.
Your faith will be infinitely more helpful
than your doubt, so doubt not.
There are millions of ways
to see how your living presence
blesses and heals this world
that needs you.
Don’t over think it.
Just keep your heart open.