“When we practice metta, we open continuously to the truth of our actual experience, changing our relationship to life.”- Sharon Salzberg
We have one more day until the beginning of May Is For Metta 2013 which will happen from May 1st to May 31st. This time offers an invitation to explore changing your relationship to yourself, others and the world through a 31 day practice of meditation and self-reflection. My intention is to create a container for people to explore in a way that is accessible, user-friendly and opens a gateway to transformation on many levels. The mission of The Heart Of Awakening Blog is to support:
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
I have found Metta meditation to be one of the most beneficial practices in supporting this vision on a daily basis both in my own life and in my work with others individually and in groups.. In order to become more conscious and awake, it is vital to find a practice that you can work with on an ongoing basis. Additionally, creating a foundation of living from a heart-centered, open and compassionate space is a key to all transformation and healing. The practice of Metta meditation fulfills both of these foundational needs and as we will learn through our practice, many more.
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.
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. 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 plant seeds of loving-kindness and compassion and to cultivate them in our daily experience. We will begin gradually, building a foundation of loving-kindness and compassion for ourselves and the Metta practice and then extending it out to others and the world. There will be an opportunity to practice as a formal daily practice, to integrate Metta into your life and work experiences and to share with others in community.
Our first lesson in Loving-kindness is that we must cultivate loving-kindness and compassion for ourselves as 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 join us and gift yourself with this time to create your own foundation of loving-kindness and compassion so that you may become a conduit for these energies to flow more deeply in our world. Imagine if each of us does that, and if all beings were to take this time, what our world might be like. Let’s explore what’s possible together this May!
Here are some of the ways to participate:
1. Join in the daily reading and practice, which will posted on here on the Heart of Awakening each morning from May 1st to May 31st. If you sign up to “Join The Heart Of Awakening Blog Community” in the top right column, you will receive email updates of posts, which will be daily during the month of May. Or, you may prefer to bookmark the homepage and just check in for daily posts.
2. I also share posts on Facebook on The Heart Of Awakening Facebook Page. If you “LIKE” the page and also, add to your interested lists, you will get daily posts there or can check that page for updates.
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. Share your experiences, thoughts and reflections on your practice here on The Heart Of Awakening Blog or on our Facebook page. My hope is for us to learn and grow together as we support one another in our expansion of loving-kindness and compassion. Feel free to comment or drop a note as you feel called to. Also, if you have questions or difficulties, feel free to share and ask for support.
4. Attend a May is for Metta event live in the MD/DC area or by teleconference. Details TBA. Currently, I will be offering a May Is For Metta Community Gathering on Tuesday, May 14th at 7 PM at Wellsview Cottage in Annapolis, MD. I will be also adding some tele-gatherings and will include details on the blog and Facebook soon.
5. Consider creating your own gathering or practice group with folks in your area or if you are in a meditation group or sangha consider bringing Metta meditation into your circle this month.
6. Invite others – friends, family, co-workers, community groups – to participate in May is for Metta 2013.
Looking forward to exploring together in the coming month.
May you be happy.
May you be peaceful.
May you be free of suffering.
May you have ease of well-being.
Love and light,