Everyone is talking about meditation this, meditation that, but you don’t have the time, let alone the ability to sit cross legged and still for 20 minutes and let your mind go completely clear. People are calling, there’s so much to get done and that sounds like torture. Does this sound like you? At one time, this was me too, but I found a way through. I’m happy to share with you, if you would like.
The thing is, I really wanted to be still and calm and clear. I saw the transformations in my friends that had regular meditation practices, and they seemed happier, and oddly, able to get more done than me, despite taking extra time out in their day to sit quietly and do nothing. I had heard Marianne Williamson ask someone if they had time to feel like crap when they said they didn’t have time to meditate. I was tired of feeling like crap, so instead of starting slowly, I took drastic measures and applied for a ten day silent meditation retreat to get my practice going. I got in, and it was hard. Really hard. I shared about my experience in The Huffington Post a few years ago.
It turned out, meditation on a silent retreat with a bunch of other people who were really good at it, didn’t help get better any quicker. I still struggled, until a legendary teacher named Jack Kornfield made me feel better about my humanness. It’s not about getting better faster. It’s about just closing your eyes and noticing what’s there.
Loving kindness meditation, or metta as it’s also known, is what got me through. This is a very basic thing anybody can do, and I guarantee you will feel better after. Sit down, get comfortable and close your eyes. You can do this in the privacy of your own home, or maybe a place in nature. Take a few deep breaths and say these words to yourself-
May I be filled with loving-kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy
Repeat the phrases over and over, letting them sink into your body. When you feel ready, you can expand the focus of your metta practice to include others, maybe your friends and family. Eventually, all beings everywhere.
Once you are ready to move deeper into your practice, I recommend reading A Path With Heart, by Jack Kornfield. Let me know how it goes!
(Photo by Alexander Shustov)