“there is one essential ingredient in spiritual life without which all other forms of practice fall short. That ingredient is the cultivation of our ability to love – not just to love God, or the Divine, or our True Nature but also our fellow human beings. Cultivating that love is, in many ways, the most potent spiritual practice available to us.”- John Welshsons, excerpt from One Soul, One Love, One Heart
The essence of the Heart of Awakening is to support moving into a new paradigm which is based on:
Living from the Heart
Embodying Awareness, Authenticity and Purpose
Integrating a Holistic Approach to Being
Embracing the Interconnectedness of All Things
Honoring and Respecting the Sacredness of Life
In May of 2010, I led a Metta meditation practice group on Facebook which offered 31 Days of exploration and guided practice in cultivating Loving-kindness and Compassion. It’s been two years since that first May is for Metta group; at the current time, it feels even more important to deepen our foundation in loving-kindness and compassion. For those who wish to participate, this May will offer a time to come together energetically, wherever in the world we may be, to begin to cultivate greater loving-kindness and compassion for others, the world and ourselves.
Metta, or Loving-kindness meditation, is a Buddhist practice that involves the repetition of phrases, similar to mantra, that help to generate the energy of loving-kindness and in a sense offer blessings to ourselves, to others and to the world. Although we work with the phrases as the anchor of the practice, the essence of it is the generation of the energy of loving-kindness and compassion. There are variations on the phrases which focus on cultivating happiness, safety, and ease of well-being. Here is one of the simplest versions:
May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.
Once you’ve offered the blessings to yourself, you offer them to others and finally to all beings, saying, “May you…” and “May all beings…” with each phrase. As part of our practice, we will explore all of the categories of Metta meditation.
The Buddha offered 11 benefits of Metta meditation, which included peaceful sleep, a serene mind and protection from outside influences. The greatest benefit of Metta meditation seems to be that it tends to increase our happiness. Through the exploration of Metta meditation and other heart centered practices, we will plant seeds of loving-kindness as well take time to develop or deepen our daily meditation practices.
The first lesson in Loving-kindness is that we must cultivate this for ourselves to create a foundation, which can then be shared with others. This can be an obstacle for many of us who were taught to love others first and ourselves last. This is an opportunity to shift our paradigm. I hope you will take this time to create your own foundation of Loving-kindness and Compassion so that you may become a conduit for the energy of Love to flow more deeply in our world.
Ways to participate:
1. Join in the daily reading and practice, which will post on here on the Heart of Awakening each morning from May 1st to May 31st. I have created a page that has an overview of May is for Metta to learn more.
2. Join the Facebook event that will have updates on May is for Metta 2012 daily practices, explorations and events. I will post a link from this blog post daily. https://www.facebook.com/events/220157348094892/
3. Explore Metta meditation and cultivating Loving-kindness and Compassion on your own, with your family, at work and in the world. Resources will be posted here and on Facebook to support your exploration.
4. Attend a May is for Metta event live in the MD/DC area or by teleconference. Details TBA.
5. Invite others to participate in May is for Metta 2012.
Whether you choose to join us here or not, I hope you will take some time to cultivate Loving-kindness and Compassion as your heart guides you to.
May you be happy.
May you be peaceful.
May you be free of suffering.
May you have ease of well-being.
Love and light,