Take Your Metta To Work Week
An Exploration in Bringing Loving-kindness Practice to the World of Work
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion. – H.H. Dalai Lama
One of the things that can affect our ability to focus and stay present at work is when things going on outside of work distract us. Perhaps one of our children is sick, another one of our family members is struggling with financial difficulties or a good friend is getting divorced. It can be difficult to stay present in the moment when our thoughts are with someone else. We wish we could be there for that person but we need to be at work. Even if we don’t need to be there for them in that moment, our thoughts can move towards them throughout the day often bringing difficult feelings. Metta practice offers a vehicle to work with our distractions and to offer loving-kindness to this person whom we wish to help.
Today, we will continue our practice of Metta adding the category of Beloved Being, a family member or close friend. We can choose someone we know who is struggling in some way or someone who pops into our mind throughout our day and brings feelings of concern or worry that takes us from our center. We can also include in this part of our practice a coworker who is struggling in some way.
Daily Practice: Do your foundational practices. Find a comfortable position. Imagine yourself in the center of a circle of loving beings or enveloped in the feeling of loving-kindness. Connect with your own heart center and begin your practice by offering the Metta phrases for yourself:
- May I be happy.
- May I be peaceful.
- May I be free of suffering.
- May I have ease of well-being.
Even if you did your practice at home, take a few moments as you arrive at work to center yourself in the heart and repeat a round of two or phrases for yourself. Also, remember to do your foundational practices several times throughout the day, especially when you are experiencing stress or difficult emotions.
Whenever you are ready to practice for your organization, just take a moment to center yourself in your heart, imagine being in your circle of loving beings and offer a round of phrases for yourself. You might like to include this part of the practice as you arrive at work or when you notice there is tension or stress within your organization, your department or team. When you feel connected to the energy of loving-kindness, begin to offer Metta for your whole organization or whatever groups you have chosen. Say to yourself, “Just as I wish to be happy and peaceful, so do all beings within my organization.” Begin to offer the phrases remembering that you, too, are a part of this organization:
- May we be happy.
- May we be peaceful.
- May we be free of suffering.
- May we have ease of well-being.
Practice for as long as you feel to or as long as you have time. Even a few moments are beneficial. Again, it can be something you do a few times throughout your day or as the need arises.
At some point in your day, explore practicing for a Beloved person. Remember, this is someone whom you care about, a good friend, family member or coworker. Do your foundational practices and say, “Just as I wish to be happy and peaceful, so does this being wish to have peace and happiness”. Begin to offer phrases for your Beloved Being:
- May you be happy.
- May you be peaceful.
- May you be free of suffering.
- May you have ease of well-being.
Practice for as long as you feel to or as long time allows. As part of our exploration with Metta at work, you might explore working with several Beloveds, practicing as the need arises. This is a way to help you to continue to cultivate loving-kindness and compassion in yourself and others. It also helps you to stay present with what is arising within yourself rather than putting your feelings aside.
As always, if at any time you have difficulty staying present or are struggling with difficult feelings, you can return your practice to yourself. This includes when you are doing the practice or in general when you notice you are struggling in some way and are unable to stay present. Taking a moment to offer Metta for yourself brings you back into the present moment. Explore this as you go about your day. Also, although we did not include it today, you can always practice for a Difficult person as the need arises or you might like to continue practicing for one Difficult person for a period of time to see what’s possible.
At some point in the day or evening, consider all of the beings you have practiced for today and ask that this practice benefit them as well as all beings. Ask that our organizations benefit from this practice and become more heart centered. Do this in a way that feels appropriate for you. It can be incorporated into your own practice of meditation, prayer or reflection.
Journal Notes: How does it feel to offer Metta for a Beloved who is struggling? How does it feel to do Metta for your organization? Did you take some time to return to your heart center and offer Metta to yourself today? How is your experience of bringing your Metta practice to work going? Are you noticing any difficult feelings arising? Are you uncovering any negative or limiting beliefs you may be holding?
May you have a beautiful and loving day.