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 I’m working on my computer, I’ll be cultivating lovingkindness. Sometimes I repeat the lovingkindness phrases — things like “May you be well; may you be happy” — and sometimes all I have to do is to bring my awareness to the heart and remember to be loving. Often that’s all it takes.
There are times I forget, but that’s OK. If I forget to connect with lovingkindness while I’m walking to the post office, but remember on the way back, then at least some of my time has been spent cultivating lovingkindness. Any effort is better than none. I am setting up some “mindfulness triggers” to help me remember to connect with lovingkindness. Walking now triggers this action more often than not, as does driving. I find it a little harder to remember when I’m working, but that’s becoming easier as well. Often when I’m working I’m writing to someone or writing for a particular audience, and I find it enjoyable to connect with lovingkindness for those I’m communicating with.