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Guardian angel meditation (Day 11)

Lotus, isolated on whiteYou know when you’re sitting on a subway and there’s someone sitting directly opposite? It’s kind of awkward — all that trying not to make eye contact, and those embarrassing moments when we get caught looking at them…

There’s something of this sometimes in the metta bhavana (development of lovingkindness) meditation practice. It’s not so bad with the friend, since you’re used to making eye contact with them, but even there is can feel a bit odd to be mentally “sitting opposite” them for ten minutes or so. It’s just not very natural, is it? It’s rather stilted.

For quite a while now, I’ve been doing the lovingkindness practice in a different way. For one thing I’ve been imagining the other person not as being statically opposite me, but as going about their daily business. I might visualize my friend working on his computer, or practicing the piano, or doing some gardening. The “neutral person” I might see working at their counter in the post office…

It’s not that I have one ongoing movie, by the way. It’s more a series of fragmented images. That seems to be enough.

So that’s step one.

Step two is that I see myself as an invisible presence. I’m that person’s guardian angel, wishing them well.

I sometimes will imagine that I’m laying a hand on them in a loving touch, and sending my love into their body as I say “May you be well; may you be happy; may you be at peace.” Sometimes I’ll imagine that there’s light streaming from my body to theirs as I repeat the phrases. Sometimes I’ll just see the person “doing their thing” and repeat the phrases.

Usually I’ll smile.

I think I got the idea from the Wim Wenders film, Wings of Desire (Himmel Über Berlin) where invisible angels patrol the city of Berlin, touching people and feeling their pain, although in the movie this is rather depressing and you don’t get the impression that they actually alleviate much suffering.

But I like the idea. We all are familiar with the idea of guardian angels, but we usually think in terms of having one. I think it’s even lovelier to think in terms of being one.

PS Feel free to join our Google+ 100 Day Community, where people are reporting-in on their practice, and giving each other support and encouragement.

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About Bodhipaksa

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Bodhipaksa is a Buddhist practitioner and teacher, a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, and a published author. He founded Wildmind in 2001. Bodhipaksa has published many guided meditation CDs and guided meditation MP3s.

He teaches at Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newmarket, New Hampshire. You can follow Bodhipaksa on Twitter, join him on Facebook, or hang out with him on .

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Comments

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Comment from Sandy Currie
Time: April 22, 2013, 2:17 am

Wings of Desire with those angels has been one of my favourite movies of all time! Excellent practice to do on the bus, agreed.

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Comment from Barb
Time: April 22, 2013, 11:36 am

I do this too. We are not alone ever, are we? Thanks for the validation. Namaste!

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Comment from Joy
Time: April 22, 2013, 7:30 pm

I love that movie so very much. Now that you mention it, it’s very metta!

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Comment from Rose – The Center of My Self
Time: April 22, 2013, 7:55 pm

What a lovely, lovely thought! Imagining ourselves as guardian angels to others. Why not? Our energetic bodies could certainly infuse them with our good intentions, feeling the energy of a touch, a light hug, a loving hand atop one’s shoulder. I love this idea!

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Pingback from Breathing with love | Wildmind Buddhist Meditation
Time: April 23, 2013, 10:43 am

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