I think this rough road image is surprisingly apt for metta practice (lovingkindness meditation). It isn't always easy to turn our hearts in a friendly direction. We might set an intention to be kind, but disappointments, anger, judgment, sadness can distract us from our compassionate course. The mind is a bumpy road, no doubt about it. Meditation offers an opportunity to see each tire pattern (tired pattern?), each stone and puddle with clarity. Metta practice gently guides us as we navigate the trenches and ridges on our way to befriending ourselves and all beings.
Sylvia Boorstein is offering a Lovingkindness e-course through Spirituality and Practice starting today. There were still some openings this morning. If you are interested, click on the S&P link above. I feel so blessed to be able to learn from a gifted teacher such as Sylvia in this way. I need the support and structure of a class but can’t get out to a local one these days and this is an excellent opportunity to study with a master teacher. I will be sharing some of what unfolds for me here on my blog over the next four weeks.
I was surprised this morning when I did my first sit with these four seemingly innocuous and typically uplifting phrases.
May I feel safe
May I feel happy
May I feel strong
May I live with ease
I am not new to metta...but today as I repeated this mantra tears started to well up and fall from the corners of my eyes. And that is new for me during metta. I thought about what those tears might mean for quite a while, and then I decided that for now I will simply "be" with the tears or heart smile or whatever shows up and not analyze too much. It will certainly be interesting to watch what happens this evening when I sit again after I post this.
That's what I mean about the rutted road photo being more appropriate for metta than one might first imagine.