May 02, 2013
When the rubber hits the road is a great time to practice lovingkindness, and I mean literal rubber and a literal road.
There’s a lot of irritation involved in driving, right up to the extreme of road rage. It can be irritating to be in slow traffic, or busy traffic, or to be cut off, or to be held up by roadworks, or stuck at traffic lights.
We’re emotionally cut off from other drivers because we’re all in our own semi-private metal boxes, and so we don’t have access (usually) to their body language and facial expressions. So we often take things personally that aren’t necessarily personal. As comedian …
Ashley Davis Bush
Apr 28, 2013
What a wonderful feeling – you’re in your favorite meditation pose generating loving-kindness, starting with yourself and gradually turning to the world. A feeling of connection to your loved ones, your sangha, and to all sentient beings fills you with bliss.
The metta bhavana is a powerful meditation. It opens the heart and engenders feelings of love and openness.
But what about when you’re off the cushion . . . like when you’re late for work in that long line for coffee? Or when you’re stuck in traffic and just want to get home? Is the loving-kindness still radiating from within you?
Below are 6 …
Mar 27, 2013
I’m now officially a Google Glass Explorer (or #GlassExplorer)!
You’ve probably heard of Google’s “Project Glass.” It’s the virtual reality display that sits on your face like glasses, and allows you to receive and send messages, or to make video or audio recordings.
Here’s a video, giving you a first person view of “what it’s like.”
I’ve been officially selected to try out Google glass, based on a submission I wrote for their competition.
On Feb 26 I wrote:
#ifihadglass it would be to use it as a mindfulness teaching tool, plucking moments of beauty from ordinary life, creating full-immersion audiovisual haikus to share with the world, showing how
Jan 30, 2013
Emily Schudel of our Google+ Community shares the following account of her progress to date:
The mind wanders into very interesting corners, but I am learning to patiently let it go and return to the breath. I find the practice creeping into my workday as well. I have an app on my computer that also helps (called Stillness Buddy) – pops up on my screen at intervals for a variety of stillness pauses in the day.
One thing I am really trying to be mindful of at work (and in life) now is getting away from multitasking. So many people seem to think doing many things
Jan 27, 2013
Nicki, from Wildmind’s Google Plus Community, offers her take on “how it’s going so far” in the 100 Day Challenge:
The first thing I’ve noticed is a welling-up and outpouring of compassion. In interactions with friends I’ve been almost wholly focussed on them, their lives and interests and how to help them, rather than caught up in some internal dialogue with myself. And the compassion also extends more widely into the world.
Last week I was buying lunch in a takeaway shop, and saw an elderly man sitting slowly cutting and eating a piece of roast chicken (with apologies to vegetarian readers). It was obvious that the movements were difficult
Jan 24, 2013
We’re almost a quarter of the way through the challenge!
One thing I’ve been working on is cultivating more lovingkindness in daily life. I find that if I don’t deliberately do this, then my mind often has a bit of a hard and brittle “edge” to it that can come out in irritability and even in anger.
Lovingkindness meditation helps, but it’s not enough. There are still live, unexploded reserves of anger inside my being, and they need to be defused.
Practicing lovingkindness in daily life is like sending in the bomb squad.
So as I’m driving, or walking, or standing in line in a store, and even often when …
Jan 16, 2013
I encourage my meditation students to set up “mindfulness triggers,” by which I mean reminders to practice mindfulness. One of my mindfulness triggers is walking toward a pedestrian crossing, when I remind myself to have no expectations that the approaching cars will stop. Another is closing my car door and walking to my office, when I remember to walk meditatively in order to arrive at Wildmind’s World Headquarters mindfully and in a state of lovingkindness.
But some of us need mindfulness triggers for our mindfulness triggers, meaning that we read about these kinds of pracices and even plan to set them up, but then in the heat of daily …
Jan 11, 2013
It astonishes me how much time I spend making judgements about people, but the truly surprising thing is that although it makes me feel bad, I keep doing it. And it leads to unfortunate interactions with people which ends up causing them suffering too.
One thing that protects us against this kind of self-imposed suffering is lovingkindness (metta) practice. Lovingkindness is an important complement to mindfulness practice.
To cultivate metta we can do something as simple as repeat to ourselves, “May you be well; may you be happy” as we see others. We can do this while walking or driving, for example.
We can take a more reflective approach …
Jan 06, 2013
This is an excellent phone etiquette idea. People often want to spend more time texting the people they’re not with than paying attention to the people they are with, and in doing so they deprive themselves of the opportunity to make rich emotional connections with others.
We need to develop ways, like this one, of dealing with our addictions to technology and to multitasking. Otherwise we risk becoming road-kill on the information superhighway.
Nov 19, 2012
Recently I received a few questions about the relationship between lovingkindness and “toughness.”
1. When practicing lovingkindness, how do you respond if people around you warm to you, but misconstrue your kindness and friendliness, and then become disappointed that you don’t want a “relationship” with them?
Well, that’s an interesting question. I suppose the short answer is “kindly.”
It’s great if people are noticing you becoming friendlier and are responding. But these things can be complicated, especially when people have strong emotional needs (because they’re lonely, for example) or where friendliness is being interpreted as an overture to romantic involvement.
And sometimes we may need to look at the signals we’re …