During the month of February, challenge yourself to participate in MMC’s 28-day meditation program. It’s simple: Commit to meditating each day and connect online to share experiences – pleasant, difficult or otherwise. We will follow the meditation program outlined in Sharon Salzberg’s book, “Real Happiness.” This blog will be your guide, including links to helpful Web sites and guided meditations. Meditation can help with overall wellness, pain, stress, anxiety, sleep and concentration. This is your opportunity to start a new practice to enhance your wellbeing or to continue your practice in the company of your fellow Griffins.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


It's only Wednesday - Wednesday morning at that. It's cold. And it's snowing - again. The 68th Street subway station is crowded, as usual. Some lady with three large bags on her shoulders shoves me from behind in the crush to the stairs. As if being obnoxious will get her out of the station faster. Really?

I'm not feelin' the love.

But this is the week for practicing lovingkindness in our Real Happiness challenge, I say to myself as I get out to the street. Sooo, what do I notice my experience is in this moment?

As soon as I emerge from the subway station, I am looking for her. I'm priming for a fight (not that I'm bold enough to confront anyone). But I can feel it. My chest is tight, my mind is focused and the add-on thoughts are flowing: How much of an advantage did she get by shoving me? What's her problem? Why are people so rude? They're so focused on themselves that they can't be courteous. What's wrong with people?

OK, try to direct lovingkindness to her.


OK, try again.

Wow, this is really hard. I don't want to let go of my self-righteousness and my feeling of being wronged. I'm justified!

Fortunately, just at that moment I pass two really cute dogs. Big, shaggy, goofy. I smile in spite of myself.

OK, try again. Just a little. OK, I'm softening my chest. I'm breathing. Still, I can't get the phrases to form. OK, try again. May she be happy, may she be healthy, may she be free from suffering. OK, do it again. May she be happy, may she be healthy, may she be free from suffering. My chest is softening. Again. I don't really care as much about it. Again. Hey, this doesn't have to affect my day.

I remember what Salzberg writes about offering lovingkindess to people who are difficult. I don't have to condone her behavior. I also don't have to get stuck in my rigid tunnel vision thinking.

She writes:

Sending lovingkindness to a difficult person is a process of relaxing the heart and freeing yourself from fear and corrosive resentment - a profound, challenging, and liberating process, and one that takes the time it takes. 

May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be free from suffering.  

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