Loving-kindness: It’s Not As Easy As It Sounds

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As Take Your Metta To Work Week comes to an end, I was planning to add an additional post giving an overview of the benefits of taking your practice to work.  I have decided to hold off on that post for now to share a bit more of my personal experience with this practice.

As someone who has been practicing meditation for over 30 years and focusing on living from a deep heart centered place for more than decade, I still find that there are times when doing all the “right” things is difficult.  It’s almost three months since I began the Heart of Awakening.  During that time, I made a decision to really step forward in working with organizations in addition to individuals.  This is something I have done in various ways over the years and now has become something I feel truly passionate about doing.

This desire to bring awareness, authenticity and a heart-centered approach to organizations and the workplace was one of my motivations in adding Take Your Metta To Work Week to this year’s May is for Metta program.  Today’s post really focused on what can arise inwardly as we practice.  And, it is this material, the voices, thoughts, and limiting beliefs, which we are more able to access during meditation or loving-kindness practice, that can really keep us stuck.

Although outwardly it may seem as if I have been very active this week posting daily on May is for Metta and elsewhere, inwardly I have been experiencing a strong feeling of being stuck.  As I have been working with the Metta practice and moving forward with my work, many negative thoughts and beliefs have been coming to the surface.  Some of these include feeling not good enough, worthy enough, and capable enough to do all I am setting out to do, even though what I am doing is really just a shift in the focus of my work.   It is easy for my friends and colleagues who support me to see that these feelings and beliefs are not really true, and yet, when I am experiencing them, I can feel hopeless, powerless and incredibly stuck.

I am sharing this part of my experience because this is something that can emerge whether you are a brand new practitioner to Metta and meditation or whether you are an experienced practitioner.  When we create stillness in our lives and enter into the heart space, stuff comes up.  We face what’s inside ourselves and if we are able to continue our practice, we begin to change.  But, it’s not always easy.

I tend to find that work is a place where I set such high standards for myself that I am destined to feel like a failure even when I am incredibly successful.  This is a pattern that has become more evident to me during this month’s practice and it is also one that has had the power to keep me from moving forward in the past.  It has not been easy to face this aspect of myself.  Even while doing the daily practice and actively bringing Metta into my daily life, I have found it extremely difficult to be consistently gentle and loving with myself over the past week.  I feel like I have touched on a pattern that goes so deeply into my core.  And although I have felt challenged in many ways, I know that when these types of feelings and struggles are at the surface, they are closer to being transformed.

Life is a process and through our practice, we learn where our inner work lies.  I am continually amazed at how powerful our conditioned mind and habitual patterns remain even when we do so much to change them.  This is one of the reasons why daily practice and building a strong foundation of loving-kindness is so important.  It’s important to stick with it even when it feels like things are falling apart or we feel like we are stuck.  It is often in these moments when we are about to have a paradigm shift; we just don’t know it yet.

I am thankful for everyone who has shared in the journey of May is for Metta so far.  I am excited to see what emerges in our final week of online practice.

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About Beth Terrence

Beth Terrence is a Shaman, Facilitator, Holistic Practitioner, Speaker and Writer. With over seventeen years of experience in field of transformation and holistic health, she is a leader in providing Integrative Transformational Healing Programs For Individuals, Groups & Organization. The focus of Beth's work is to facilitate deep transformational healing, assisting her clients in living a more heart-centered, balanced and joyful life through discovering the healer within. Beth offers online transformational resources through her blog, The Heart of Awakening: Searching for a New Paradigm. She is also an author and facilitator for Heal My Voice, an international organization that helps women to heal, grow and step into greater leadership through writing and sharing their stories. To learn more about sessions, programs, teleseminars and other news, visit http://www.bethterrence.com.

4 responses »

  1. Beautiful post, Beth. I dislike separating parts, that is, body, mind, soul, spirit, but it does seem that certain of those pieces tend to revert to old patterns, when we are unconscious about them as well as when we are striving to maintain consciousness around them. It feels to me that when I’m trying to bring greater awareness to the various aspects of my being and behavior that I am much better able to foster a sense of compassion and lovingkindness toward myself when I am outdoors, when I see the Green People around me. They remind me of the importance of just being in the moment. The challenge, of course, is to be able to maintain that sense when I go indoors (physically inside a building) as well as inside myself…to be all at once the observer, the observed, and the one acting. I know you will keep working on these kinds of things and I’m eager to hear your discoveries!
    All the kindest!
    Leigh

    • Hi, Leigh. Thanks for your note. I also find that being outdoors helps to create that sense of spaciousness. When I am working, particularly with deadlines, I can forget to give myself that spaciousness. What comes up for me in addition to the idea of observer, the observed and one acting, particularly when speaking about loving-kindness is idea of being love, lover and beloved. Perhaps the categories can be viewed as aspects of ourselves as well as others in an archetypal kind of way. Thanks for your supportive words and inspiration to explore more.

  2. Pingback: Metta Meditation Journal - Blog - William Berry, MS, CAP

    • Seems like there’s lot of sharing about how we can have difficulty practicing. Again, this is a personal journey and will vary at different times in our lives and may vary from day to day. As I shared in my post, my experience was more about my difficulties in practicing loving-kindness toward myself. I just read William Berry’s Metta Meditation Journal where he shares about his experiences today which were more about negativity toward others. He also shares how his practice can vary from day to day. Although sharing on different aspects of difficulty in practice, it feels like our intention was in alignment. As he concludes, “I guess I am writing this to again demonstrate to new comers and experienced practitioners alike that difficulties arise. It is okay, and just keep practicing. I’ll be back to it tomorrow.”

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