Friday, June 8, 2012

Metta for Good Health



In my society at this moment in time, it's very cool to be cynical, sarcastic, caustic. Maybe that was always cool, who knows?

I try to avoid those states of mind/heart. In fact I avoid them like the plague because I believe they are emotionally diseased ways of thinking and can lead to serious physical health problems. When I catch myself being cynical, what I notice is that my root - I mean my sense of connection to this beautiful planet, my fellow beings and the divine - shrivels, dries up and becomes so brittle it feels like it could shatter into a million sharp bits. When I can't feel my connections to the living world, I quickly become exhausted, lonely, and fearful. In my heart of hearts - believe me there is no scientific evidence to support my theory - I believe high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, congestive heart disease and many diseases of the lungs are in some way related to anger and its awful offspring, cynicism and sarcasm.

When I experience fellow humans who are proud of and intent on being cynical and sarcastic, I'm taken aback by the sharpness of their energy fields. It feels like if I try to connect to their energy, I'll be cut to ribbons. I used to harden when around cynics - it was protective but very uncomfortable. These days I try either to avoid these people or let the angry cynicism move right past me. Everyone should be allowed his/her own journey through life. What do I know? Maybe cynicism works for some.

One practice that helps me tremendously is metta prayer. Metta means lovingkindness. In the prayer we are not so much demanding results but rather wishing for good things for ourselves and other beings. If you google "metta prayer" you will find a million wonderful resources for learning more about this simple kindness. Below is a form of the prayer I was taught many years ago and practice every day. By practicing metta, I remember my place in the family of things, as Mary Oliver puts it. It's nice to be reminded that Buddhists all over the earth are wishing me well every day.

May your connection with planet earth and all the beings with whom we share this beautiful world be sturdy, nutritious and joyful. May it be so.

Metta Prayer

Sit comfortably. Relax your jaw and take a few deep cleansing breaths. Let your eyes gently close. Imagine you can breathe in and out of your heart, bringing fresh, beautiful loving energy to the center of human soul.

Ask silently for yourself and only yourself:

May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be healthy
May I be filled with love.

Open your heart now to the faces of those you love most dearly. You don't have to be thorough, just let a few faces pop up in your mind. Wish for them:

May they be happy
May they be peaceful
May they be healthy
May they be filled with love.

Open your heart now to someone neutral, like the guy behind the counter at the corner store, for instance. Ask for him/her:

May they be happy
May they be peaceful
May they be healthy
May they be filled with love.

Open your heart further to include someone with whom you're having trouble. Don't pick the person you're having the most trouble with. The practice is supposed to be easy and easeful. Wish for them:

May they be happy
May they be peaceful
May they be healthy
May they be filled with love.

Open your heart now to all beings on planet earth. Wish for them:

May all beings be happy
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be healthy
May all beings be filled with love.

And now take a deep breath, let go of all beings, the neutral people, the people you're having trouble with and even your nearest and dearests. Breathe your heart clean. Wish for yourself and only for yourself:

May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be healthy
May I be filled with love.

Breathe in and out of your heart. Open your eyes and have a lovely day!

...................

Shalom.


On days when I'm really feeling it, I wish for lovingkindness for all members of Congress and their staff people. I can't make myself do it some days - I'm only human!

7 comments:

Kerry said...

How beautiful, Reya. I think this is really helpful and healing.

It's hard not to be cynical sometimes, but cynicism and sarcasm are the easy ways out. Much better to be open and thoughtful.

Reya Mellicker said...

It's not easy in any way to be cynical for me. Takes tons of energy and makes me queasy. Gives me a headache. Yuck!

Reya Mellicker said...

To be open requires healthy boundaries - something we Americans are in short supply of.

Infinite Possibilities said...

LOVE the practise of metta!

Val said...

thank you!! this is beautiful and a great idea; i will practice! cynicism and sarcasm are seriously depleting.
thank you for both your blogs Reya - i am an avid follower x

Reya Mellicker said...

Val! Thank you.

Jo said...

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