At Some Point in Metta Practice…

From the Metta (loving kindness) journal of Rita Naomi (april 2015):

At some point in this practice, a type of subtle realization occurs: we start to become aware that the response we have to people in our life represents a reaction within ourselves, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant…An understanding starts to unfold where the reaction you have with them has nothing to do with them and more to do with your own needs and wants.

There is a famous phrase in the meditation community by Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Choosing a practice such as the metta practice gives us not only the pause to watch our response, but the tools to step back and recognize that very often there is one thing we all want, love. When we can recognize that the vast majority of us are working toward the same goals: of love, of safety for our children, of shelter, water and food, we come to a common meeting ground. When we can recognize within our own selves a type of love that we can give to our own selves that is independent of anyone and ground ourselves there, we further the possibility of being able to connect without conflict. Our interactions become less about how others agree and match us and more about how we can stay connected for the common good of humanity.
May in your day you find that space of kindness and love for you to dwell, may you offer it to yourself fully and to those around you with equanimity. -Rita Naomi


Photo with Natasha Martinez at Kripalu 2016