Metta Monday October 7, 2019
All meditations have their shadow side, the compassion practice of Metta is not absolved. Recently as I was going through the loving kindness meditation, I was aware of deep discomfort. I generated the feeling of Metta, and the attendant feelings that come with imagining being loved and loving others. Somewhere in there I heard a cry, a type of crying, and realized that in my discipline and diligence, I was distracting from what actually needed to be heard and held. I was trying to drown the cry with love, like distracting a child with a hug and a piece of candy.
This is where we start to become separate, in childhood, when we over protect and over hover around the child, not letting them experience their emotional bodies fully. We think we are protecting them, but often we are protecting ourselves from experiencing their discomfort. There are few safer places to do this than in the energetic field of the parent, when the parent is conscious, and we must be diligent in our parenting to ourselves and our progeny to let them have their experience, at the same time keeping them safe and giving them tools for self regulation. Often this means that we must pay attention to what arises within our own selves and be able to sit with this.
That’s the thing you know…sometimes we get into our spiritual practices and they become a band-aid and a type of avoidance rather than a gateway. We are designed to feel what arises, good or bad. The compassion and Metta practices help us to hardwire our brain for a state of equanimity AND happiness. Often we can forget this and cling to the practice to keep a feeling state of bliss. We can feel better with the practices, but it does not mean we will feel. We can generate oxytocin, but not have equanimity. Which will keep a person spinning in the practice for many a year. A “phony holy”, says Ram Das. The truth of the matter is, that with meditation and metta, we feel MORE not less!
The practice of Metta is a practice that establishes lasting healthy brain changes. However it does so by not only cultivating the feeling of benelovence, but in allowing for all of what is here. For today, consider 2 aspects:
To feel WHATEVER arises. To allow it. And let it be.
Put your hand on your chest over your heart as a token of kindness so that your body has the felt sense of kindness even as you experience the day or your meditation.
Remember ultimately you are not those feelings, just like the ripples of water, they will pass. And if you are going through an intense transition, only you can decide what that is, it is OKAY to have a community, a therapist, a trusted teacher to help you.
Namaste my friends…