This week is our last week in the Real Happiness Challenge. We focus now on Lovingkindness (Metta) and Compassion. It’s no secret that this is one of my favorite practices. This week we have a little variety with the practice and I will be sharing this in my classes so be sure to join me.
Lovingkindness can also be considered loving-friendliness because in fact we are connecting to everyone in the world through our practice in that spirit of friendship. That is, we are all one. For me, I have found it a profound and powerful practice and did so in-depth for several months with my mentor. We actually used Sharon’s book Lovingkindness as the foundation of the practice. It truly made me more open-hearted, particularly towards myself. That was something I needed to do.
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” – Jack Kornfield (sometimes you see it attributed to the Buddha)
After a life filled with trauma and tragedy, I needed this Lovingkindness practice for compassion towards myself, my own heart. It radiated lovingkindness throughout my being and I feel it truly changed my life more than meditation for many decades had.
Today in our practice we are “Seeing the Good.” I know for years I had focused on the negativity in my life, what I did wrong, choices I made, and many things I would have wished I had done differently. Here, we are not dismissing those items we may need to rectify in our lives, but rather we are seeing beyond the mud in ourselves and others to the lotus blooming above the water. I’ve always loved the fact that lotuses are grown this way, in the mud in a pond and rise above all the muck in their full glory.
As Sharon has said, “Looking for the good in ourselves also helps us to see the good in others.”
You can practice this meditation below.
Let me know how this week goes for you with each practice that I post. You can join me in my mindfulness classes or if you would you like personal meditation instruction, I am happy to assist you through these practices. Contact me.
Recommended reading for Week Three of the Challenge is pages 152 – 160 and pages 177 – 183 in the second edition of the book, “Real Happiness”.