Tools I’ve been using lately – Lovingkindness

Tools I’ve been using lately – Lovingkindness
May 2, 2018 T

I’ve been asked about specific things I use or may do to smooth the rough road that change can be sometimes, or at least keep our little boat afloat.  If you’ve been playing along you know a bit about the journey of change that I am on.  At least as of today, I’m feeling pretty good, pretty hopeful, I see progress, and great things on the horizon… and I’ve let go or am letting go of, most of the painful parts. (Hurray for turning corners!) But there are some things I’ve been doing along the way.

I have been devouring books lately, trying to get new ideas beyond the scope of my current understanding. Who I am and what I know got me to this place… if I want to move beyond this I have to know more and become more, it’s really that simple.  Just like lifting weights.  If you do the same exercises, lift the same amounts, the same number of times you will initially see progress. But to grow or get stronger, you have to change at least one of those things to challenge the muscles to become more.  Our brains and our spirits work the exact same way. Blame it on evolution. And yes, this is true of every single one of us. I’ll write more in-depth about some of these books in the future, but for now we’ll just look at what I’ve been doing lately.

One of these is Jack Kornfield’s new book No Time Like the Present: Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy Right Where You Are.  Makes perfect sense, right?  The present is sucking and hurting right now so yeah, finding freedom, love, and joy in the midst of this sounds like a fantastic idea!  I went into it both cynical and hopeful. (Yes, I can do both of those at the same time! I’m talented…) But getting a spiritual take on things or moving in to a spiritual space has long been one of my favorite ways to pull back from overwhelming thoughts and feelings and perhaps get a new perspective… or at the very least, a little room to breathe again.  And as always, Jack did not disappoint.

“With a spacious heart, we can remember the bigger picture. Even when illness strikes, a parent is dying, or any other form of loss is upon us, we can recognize that it’s a part of life’s seasons. What would it feel like to love the whole kit and caboodle – to make our love bigger than our sorrows?”

Now that is a very good question. What would that feel like indeed? I’ve been trying to find out… with various levels of success, depending on the day or the moment.

“…witness it all, let loving awareness make room for everything: boredom and excitement, fear and trust, pleasure and pain, birth and death.”

I’ve been trying to do that as well… again, with various levels of success, depending on the day or the moment.

As I try to move along this path, this book has reminded me of a simple practice or prayer that I have once again found immensely helpful. Focusing on a person or group I simply ask,

May you be filled with loving kindness.

May you be well.

May you be safe.

May you be at peace.

It may be easier for you to move from those close to you, that you care about, to those you are experiencing difficulty or pain with. I tend to jump into the deep end and go straight for the ones that have hurt me. I’ve been doing some form of this for a very long time… but sometimes I still struggle.  When I do, that struggle provides me a wealth of insight into the thoughts and feelings I may be hiding from.  Most importantly, I am doing this for me… to release those feelings of anger, resentment, hurt, betrayal, etc.… it helps to free me from that pain and return to my center of caring and love.

I also may add other requests to this as it feels needed. Lately, that has included,

May you be healed.

May you be loved.

I do this as often, and as long, as I need to calm my spirit, re-center my thoughts and my emotions. But I always end the same way… I ask these things for myself.

Gaining this peace, working at this self-care, and putting positive back out into the world instead of the negative that has been forced upon my consciousness grounds me back to who and how I want to be in the world.  It allows me to remember that no matter how difficult or painful the path of change that I may be on at any given time, it always leads me to a better place.  It reminds me that I can always expand my capacity to love… even when I don’t think I can. Even in ways that I don’t understand, yet.

May you be filled with loving kindness.

May you be well.

May you be safe.

May you be healed.

May you be loved.

May you be at peace.

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