The days are getting shorter, the summer is coming to an end, it’s time for a shift. So I’m starting a Metta Practice. I’m starting a Loving-kindness Season. I’ve been putting it off. Probably because I need it. The body and mind are always wary of something that could be transformative. But I did it. Sunday night I completed my first metta practice. 35 minutes. Left hand on my chest, right hand over left. Legs folded beneath me. Slight smile.
We can practice metta in a number of different ways. We can direct thoughts of loving kindness toward ourselves, toward our loved ones, toward our enemies, or even to the entirety of the universe.
To start, I focused on directing lovingkindness toward myself. I want to love myself first. I trust the rest will follow. At some level I trust it’s all the same.
Love is an ability.
Just start practicing your ability.
So I started. I started the practice by repeating (silently), “may I be happy, may I be healthy.” When my attention wandered, I came back to the object of focus, the mantra.
“May I be happy, may I be healthy.”
At some point the mantra changed:
“May I love and be loved. May I love in ever widening circles. May I feel loved by the whole of the universe.”
And in fact, for a very tiny moment as I was repeating these phrases, I felt held. Held by the universe; cradled in space; recognized as valid.
Actually. Really. Yes.
And also that was beginner’s luck. Because I’ve practiced two more times since then and…not so much Universe holding me. But I’m going to keep going with this. I want to get to a place where I can wrap my arms around myself and actually feel unconditional love for myself. How beautiful would that be? Other people love me. Apparently the Universe loves me. I should be able to too.
And you should be able to too.