My sixth week was a little shaky but my teacher, Fran, tells me this was to be expected. She explains that, like a marriage, the honeymoon period is now over, the sparkle of the wedding day is a long distant memory and, although you’re still very much in love with your meditation, the novelty has worn off.
I’ve begun to experience one or two of the benefits of meditation and now I’ve become a little complacent. Fran says it’s OK to feel this way. This is the hard part, this is where I need to knuckle down and not miss a day of meditation. Luckily for me, and my fellow meditators, Victor Davich, author of our guidebook “8 Minute Meditation”, gives us a completely different technique for week seven to keep us interested and to test our abilities further. It’s called Loving Kindness Meditation. And it’s beautiful.
First you recall an event in your life where you showed someone kindness. Let the memory envelop your whole being, feel once more the emotions an act of kindness imbues in your inner being, then let that feeling manifest within your heart. Holding that feeling dear and close, you repeat a mantra in your mind:
“May I be happy, May I have ease of being.
May all beings be happy, May all beings have ease of being.”
There’s a beautiful philosophy that goes with this mantra: to be able to show true compassion to others, you must first be able to show it to yourself – there is no one in this world more worthy of loving kindness than you. So, with my newfound meditation sparkle back, I embark into week seven, but before I go let me leave you with a little story about my marriage this week and how the benefits of regular meditation are allowing me to live in a calmer, more peaceful place.
Ever had one of those days where your plans are just scuppered? I’m sure you have. In a past life, not so long ago, a dent in my plans would have left me frustrated (not to mention a little cross) and certainly looking for someone to apportion blame to. We were talking about marriage – yes, my darling husband.
I kissed him goodbye to set off for a morning of Pilates and yoga, joined the highway and realised the tank was on empty. In the red. No fuel. Some of you who read this might not live in Dubai so, to explain, we have a huge number of cars on the road here and the most pointlessly placed, hard to find and scarce fuel stations and taking a detour for fuel can add 30 minutes onto your journey. Needless to say, the fuel station was knee deep in vehicles, I then got stuck in traffic and my morning plans were dashed.
A very sheepish husband then rang me. He’d forgotten to tell me about the fuel situation and he understood completely that I would be cross that he’d unintentionally ruined my plans, and he apologized profusely. Brief pause, maybe a holding of breath waiting for a response from the disgruntled, caught-in-traffic wife, and, nothing. I just laughed, called him a big dope and said I was on my way home. No drama, no frustration, not the least bit cross, just one of those things and it meant I got to spend the morning with him instead.
Here’s to a more peaceful and balanced life! Namaste.
*Photo courtesy of Noura El-Imam – Yogalates Bliss Dubai*