“Love creates a communion with life. Love expands us, connects us, sweetens us, ennobles us. Love springs up in tender concern, it blossoms into caring action. It makes beauty out of all we touch. In any moment we can step beyond our small self and embrace each other as beloved parts of a whole.”
As we move into the last few days of our practice, I invite you to reflect on the practice itself and what you have experienced in your life as a result of taking this time to focus on lovingkindness and compassion. You may have practiced daily or just here and there. You may worked with daily meditation or you may simply have reflected on the quotes or daily reflections. You may have journaled to explore more or not. It’s been your journey; May Is For Metta simply has offered a space to explore!
Regardless of how you have practiced, if you are reading this post, you have committed yourself in some way to deepening your experience of lovingkindness and compassion in yourself, your relationships and our world. That’s something to celebrate! And, by taking some time to reflect, there is an opportunity to see how this exploration has impacted your life, areas where perhaps you might like to give extra attention going forward and how you might like to continue practicing Metta or lovingkindness.
I’ve added some journaling questions after today’s practice to support reflecting on your practice.
Do you foundational practices. As you begin your practice today, take a few moments to reflect on any changes you may have experienced since you began May is for Metta. How has your ability to connect with and generate the qualities of loving-kindness and compassion evolved? Spend some time in your circle of loving beings or imagining a time you were held in unconditional love. Really allow yourself to feel those energies enveloping you. When you feel ready, repeat the phrases for yourself:
- May I be happy.
- May I be peaceful.
- May I be free of suffering.
- May I have ease of well-being.
When you feel ready move onto the other categories as you feel to for today: Benefactor, Beloved, Neutral Being, and Difficult Person. Acknowledge that in practicing for this being, you have benefitted by becoming more open-hearted and loving. As you begin each category, say, “Just as I wish to be peaceful and happy, so does this being wish to have inner peace and joy.” Repeat the phrases for each category you are working with remembering to come back to your own heart center for a few moments between each category:
- May you be happy.
- May you be peaceful.
- May you be free from suffering.
- May you have ease of well-being.
If you become distracted or difficult feelings arise, use the Switchback, returning the practice to yourself until a sense of calm returns. When you feel ready, return the practice to where you left off or move on to the next category. When you are ready move on to the category of All Beings.
When you feel complete, move on to the broader category of All Beings. As we extend out our practice today, let us remember the words of the Dalai Lama, that at the core, all beings wish to be happy. Let us dedicate our practice for the benefit of all beings without exception:
- May All Beings be happy.
- May All Beings be peaceful.
- May All Beings be free of suffering.
- May All Beings have ease of well-being.
To complete your practice, return yourself to your circle of loving beings or envision yourself enveloped in the energy of loving-kindness and compassion. Let every atom and cell of your being be filled with the energy of loving-kindness and compassion. Feel these qualities filling you and surrounding you. Know that you have created a strong foundation of loving-kindness and compassion within yourself and you can now carry that wherever you go. You are a beacon of loving-kindness and compassion. Take a few moments to dedicate the merit of your practice.
Take some time today to reflect on your practice and to explore how you would like to continue as we prepare to move into our last day of practice together.
Daily Journal Reflection:
Take some time to reflect and journal about any experiences, feelings or awareness that arose during your exploration of May Is For Metta 2016:
- How has it felt to give time and attention to cultivating lovingkindness and compassion in your life, your relationships and our world?
- What have you noticed?
- Do you feel any changes in your sense of happiness? peace? feelings of connection?
- How about your body? mind? emotions? spirit? Do you feel a deeper sense of wholeness?
- Did you notice any changes in your relationships or the way you approach them?
- What about your response to life and to other people?
- Have you found having a daily practice beneficial?
- Did you notice areas of resistance or difficult feelings arising in anyway? Be sure to journal about this so you can continue to work with this in other ways!
- What is your #1 takeaway from this exploration?
Wishing you a beautiful and peaceful day!
Tashi Deleh! (I honor the greatness within you!)