The Rivers Calls: LovingKindness, Practice One

Nearly twelve years ago I started this blog after a visit to the Potomac River, which is about a mile from my home. I had not planned on writing, I just came home and did so, following an inner prompting.

For years I came down to the river regularly. One year, it was almost a daily occurrence, and I sat on a bench during all seasons to do some meditative practices which evolved over time and transformed me in the process. 

Recently, I received a message which I perceived intuitively.

"Go back to the river.
And take up these three practices
once again. You need them!"

And so, I listened. Over the course of the next few entries, I will share these easy practices with you. They are simple practices, but powerful ones.

As I mentioned in my last entry, the purpose of spiritual practices and prayers is to transform ourselves, not others. Although others may change as a result of our own evolution as a spiritual being, that is not the focus here. It is about doing the inner work that is necessary for us to do.

LovingKindness Practice for the Self

There are many variations to this practice, which is also referred to as "metta," which you can look up. But here is the one I default to, time and time again.

It is very simple. You start by saying saying these positive affirmations for yourself. I like to repeat them three times, very slowly, trying to be very mindful of my words:

"May I be filled with Lovingkindness.
May I be well.
May I be at peace and at ease.
May I be happy."

Some days, this is as far as my practice goes. I may repeat it many times. It is a form of self-care, and you will know when this is all you should focus on.

LovingKindness Practice for Loved Ones

Here, you will use the same formula, or another you might like or prefer. Listen to your heart. Your own unique mantra may arise from within. 

Focus on someone who needs your loving attention and energy, and then call this person by name:

"May Juan be filled with Lovingkindness.
May he be well.
May he be at peace and at ease.
May he be happy."

LovingKindness for Ones You Have Difficulty With

You know the formula now. Choose one person and repeat the affirmations:

"May Margaret be filled with Lovingkindness.
May she be well.
May she be at peace and at ease.
May she be happy."

LovingKindness for Those in Need

You may pick an individual, or a category of people. Just follow your intuitions, wherever you are led.

"May refugees everywhere be filled with Lovingkindness.
May they be well.
May they be at peace and ease.
May them be happy."

Listen to your heart. Follow your heart. In time, it will be purified. You will feel lighter. Perhaps more compassionate. More caring. Adapt this in whichever ways feels right to you. There is no right way or wrong way to do this practice.


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