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.

Sign up with the form below and to the right and check back here often.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Walking with lovingkindness

Another way to practice lovingkindness meditation is to link it with walking meditation. Rather than focusing on the sensations of walking, as you did in Week 2, try silently repeating the lovingkindness phrases as you walk.

Start by directing the lovingkindness toward yourself - may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be free from suffering, may I live with ease. As you pass people on the street and they come into your awareness, or you see a dog or hear a bird or have a memory of someone, include them in your lovingkindness meditation - may you be happy, etc.

Then return to the phrases for yourself until another being enters your consciousness. Include them, and so on. Returning to yourself again and again provides you with a steady object of concentration, just like the breath.

The people or beings who enter your consciousness may be people you love and care about, or they may be beings who challenge you in some way. Still, offer them lovingkindness.

One important thing to note about those people who are difficult for us, especially those with whom we are angry: Offering them lovingkindness doesn't mean letting go of our principles, our values or our sense of right or wrong. But getting caught in anger can sometimes put blinders on us, we can get lost in fixation, lack of options, loss of perspective, destructive and damaging actions and forgetting what we care most about.

Through lovingkindess practice, when we experience the opening of our hearts and the knowledge of our connection to all others through our suffering and our desires for happiness, sometimes the struggle drops away a bit and options open up.

Still, when you practice lovingkindness with difficult people, you may not want to start with the person who has done you the most harm. You may want to start with someone less emotionally challenging as you experiment with this practice.

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