It's time for loving-kindness
With the sadness and heaviness that many of us have been feeling with the recent events of the presidential candidate election that took place in what is for me my southern neighbor. All the anger, hate and fear that has been shared through out social media, news outlets and for some it's even more personal as in concerns for their own personal safety. The unknown of which way this pendulum could fall is scary which in turn can create more fear and then the cycle continues. As a yogi these are difficult feelings to embrace. The ideals and beliefs of spreading light and love can feel dimmed. Feelings of embracing the darkness we are currently feeling yet eager to own our brightness again to help shine a light for others.
During times of change and unknown our desires to feel grounded and connected to something run deep. For myself that calling takes me to my mat and yoga practice. My safe place to sit, think without guards, re-connect and breathe. With all my feelings of unrest, fear of the what the future holds and concern for others I took to my mat and enjoyed a wonderful yoga session combined with a Buddhist Loving-Kindness Meditation.
Loving- Kindness is a meditation practice taught by the Buddha to develop the mental habit of selfless or altruistic love. a way of healing the troubled mind to free it from its pain and confusion. In the belief that "Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness."
In this practice you begin with developing a loving acceptance of yourself. Then moving forward we bring our intention towards:
A Spiritual Leader or someone you admire
A Close family member or friend
A Neutral person, someone you know but only in passing; you may not even know their name (example the person at the coffee shop)
The tough one a person who you are experiencing Conflict with
The biggest most expansive one for last, the entire GLOBE, all sentient beings, nature bring it all in!
This is a wonderful meditation to complete in partnership with Sun Salutations
Standing in mountain pose and creating your visual of who you are thinking of, inhaling reach hands overhead, exhaling into forward fold.
Inhale to half lift wishing them well, exhale out into your plank pose.
Inhale to cobra or upward dog wishing them happiness, exhale to down-dog
Inhale/Exhale for three times in down-dog thinking of them receiving blessings and peace.
Inhale to forward fold, exhale release and then inhale to standing pose. Repeat!
For when you are really ready to play this can be a wonderful practice to take on the road. As a family member pops into your head, take that pause to think of them and wish them well. After receiving wonderful service at your local coffee shop take a pause to think of that individual with happiness and light. The true challenge when you are dealing with that difficult person in your life whether it's a co-worker, family member, 'that' neighbor or perhaps its your frenemy. Pausing, taking in that deep inhale wishing peace and happiness into their lives and exhaling all the bullshit out! Give it a try it works amazingly well!