I am working on myself… are you? Actually I am more working on allowing my true self to come thru, which seems to be a lot of work, albeit the best kind of work. And, now that I am fully into the third quarter of this life I have been playing long enough to know what “practice” tends to work to help my performance of living and loving well every time: The practice of loving kindness.
Are you open and ready to take your “life game” to the next level of being? Do you play better when you know that research backs your practice effort? Are you open to re-opening your daily playbook and adding an audible to up-level your performance? Perfect, as today and everyday is the big game and by taking the one seat you will score daily wins and healing for your mind, body, spirit and for our world.
The Loving Kindness meditation has multiple centuries of deep roots of empowerment in the Buddhist tradition and today scientists are still cultivating more and more ways that its practice can heal physically and emotionally. Studies show it can increase happiness, fight inflammation and possibly extend life and our living-ness.
The four cornerstones of the Loving Kindness mediation practice are “built” to support the experience and circulation of love in these ways: Friendliness, compassion, joy and equanimity. It is through the daily practice that we are encouraged to bring these into our being, and to develop feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards ourselves and towards everyone. Love game on!
For some of us getting into the game is the hardest part. Discomfort, lack of experience and just being too busy to sit can all be scary and easy reasons we can use to not get our “kindness on.” You will love and I love that we can all be successful with this practice as science says that the health and healing benefits from performing the Loving Kindness Meditation are immediate, cumulative, effective in small doses and produce long-term positive impact. With this practice and with all meditation the “secret” is to allow, to release, receive ease and grace. Aligning with your unconditional loving inner coach makes the practice sweet.
We know that it is all about being on purpose and not on outcome, but what about the end game? The scoreboard reads: Decrease in chronic pain, PTSD, migraines, self criticism, and systemic inflammation and increases in positivity, brain gray matter volume, empathy, compassion, social connection, self love, success, productivity and the length of your telomeres.
If “wins” with any or all of these experiences feeds your head and your heart then you can nourish your soul and expand your Spirit thru practicing and playing the position of love and kindness-score!
For instructions on Loving Kindness (tonglen) meditation, please see this video by Pema Chodron.