Updated: Dec 18, 2021
"By nature the heart contains both love and hate. It contains ill will, rejection, resentment and fear, and also love. But unless we diminish the hate and enlarge the love by doing something about it in our daily life, we have no chance of experiencing that peaceful feeling that lovingkindness generates." – Ayya Khema, “Love Is a Skill”
This past week we worked with our feelings. I have found from my own practice that in order to start accessing more of my own feelings I needed to be able to develop love and kindness. Love and kindness for loved ones and close friends, love and kindness for community, and most importantly for myself. The moment of breakthrough was when I was able to hold myself with the same kindness and love that I could easily feel and express to others. The capacity to drop into my heart and open myself to all that the heart contained was a game changer.
When we cultivate love and kindness, those two win out over all other feelings and there is no room for anxiety, hate, anger, resentment or fear to get a foothold in our moment to moment experience. In fact you can see that love and kindness can hold the unpleasant feelings safely and create the conditions for healing. This is not to say that we do not experience unpleasant emotions, but our capacity to hold them and find new ways to respond to them is cultivated by intentionally generating love and kindness. This coming week we will turn to "metta" love and kindness meditation.
Here is a guided meditation from Tara Brach. This meditation uses RAIN – Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture – guides us in bringing mindfulness and compassion to difficult emotions. With practice, we can find our way home to open-hearted presence in the midst of whatever arises. It can be a valuable tool, check it out.
May you all be healthy and at ease,