“We resonate with one another’s sorrows because we are interconnected. Being whole and simultaneously a part of a larger whole, we can change the world simply by changing ourselves. If I become a center of love and kindness in this moment, than in a perhaps small but hardly insignificant way, the world now has a nucleus of love and kindness it lacked before. This benefits me and this benefits others.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn, excerpt from Wherever You Go There You Are
This is my favorite time of the year on The Heart Of Awakening Blog. In looking for a quote, I really felt that Jon Kabat-Zinn’s words spoke of the essence of our community and May Is For Metta. I am excited to be preparing and sharing about our upcoming virtual gathering of May Is For Metta 2013: 31 Days Of Loving-kindess Exploration. Our practice will begin on May 1st and end on May 31st with explorations and guided practices each day during the month of May here on The Heart Of Awakening Blog and via our Facebook page.
2013 marks the third incarnation of May Is For Metta. Previously this event has happened via a Facebook group and through daily posts on The Heart Of Awakening Blog. May Is For Metta is a gathering of a virtual sangha (community) with participants from all over the world energetically coming together on May 1st through May 31st with the intention of cultivating greater loving-kindness and compassion for ourselves, others and the world. Our vehicle for practice is Metta Meditation.
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 version:
May I be happy.
May I be peaceful.
May I be free of suffering.
May I have ease of well-being.
For those who are new to Metta and/or a daily meditation practice, this time offers you the opportunity to build a practice and to create a space for stillness and peace. This is one of the most loving acts we can do for ourselves. And, so how wonderful to begin with the practice of Metta – cultivating loving-kindness and compassion for ourselves, others and the world.
For those who currently have a daily meditation practice and/or have worked with Metta practice before, this is a time for you to go deeper. One of the greatest lessons I have learned in life is to always come to a teaching or practice with a beginners mind. From this place of openness and unknowing lies a great opportunity for developing our understanding and can allow us to become more present to each moment.
In a gradual way, each day will offer simple guidance on how to begin and stay present with a daily practice. It is up to you how much time to commit and how deep you will choose to go. A part of the journey is uncovering where we resist, get stuck and withhold from ourselves by not creating the time and space we need to be centered and whole. So in essence, this 31 Days is really an exercise in Loving Ourselves enough to commit some time and space to be more present; the vehicle for creating that time and space is the practice of Metta and daily meditation.
To receive updates and posts this year, “JOIN” The Heart Of Awakening Blog community through the sign up box on the top right of this page and/or “LIKE” The Heart Of Awakening Facebook page.
I will be sharing daily posts, updates and other inspirations at both locations during the month of May.
Also, if anyone who has participated before would like to drop a note to share or reflect on their experiences, I’d love to hear form you and I am sure folks who are interested would, too. Also, if you have any suggestions for this year’s gathering, please feel free to drop me a note. I am planning to do some teleclass gathering as well as a few live events in the MD/DC area, so stay tuned.
I look forward to sharing this sacred journey with all of you who feel called to come together for May Is For Metta 2013.
Love & light,