Spring is here. In with the new!
March 13, 2014
A great example of this is watching the farmers at work, sowing seeds, and harvesting the first crops. I’m exciting to see the farmers markets come to life over the next few weeks. It’s been so cold and gray this winter, and I can only eat so many sweet potatoes, beets, beans and lentils. I’m looking forward to cleansing my “temple” with spring’s harvest of arugula, asparagus and artichokes, just a few delicious things that will soon appear in produce shelves and bins. Clean, refreshing greens of the season. So beautiful, flavorful, and tasty, they’re hard to pass up.
I too am looking forward to some beautiful loose-leaf teas. I can’t wait to taste some new delicate brew and share it with friends. The ritual of preparing each fresh cup is perhaps even more of a love affair than actually sipping, though I can never turn down the liquid gold and enjoy at least a daily cup or two.
The spring also brings about change in my meditation practice. During this time of year and into summer, I celebrate life with the Metta meditation, also known as the “loving kindness” meditation—cultivating love from within, allowing any negative energy to dissolve over time, forgiving and moving forward with an open heart, embracing what’s to come and nurturing the good that is already there. I love to share this meditation with as many people as I can and it seems that once the sky clears and turns a bright baby blue, the sun comes out, the birds are back singing, and the trees are budding, people are more likely to relax and be open to this powerful meditation. Colors do matter, and while it’s a bit early still, soon the flowers will share theirs, making it easy to open our hearts and do the “work.”
Winter blues are real, so let me offer the Metta to you. Close your eyes and think good thoughts for yourself and others. Cross your legs and prop yourself up on a pillow. Lengthen your spine, but don’t stiffen. Soften your face, your shoulders, your whole body. Relax…
Take a few minutes to quiet your mind, inhaling and exhaling through the nose a few times. Then either chant slowly and softly or simply quietly in your mind, allowing yourself to pause and contemplate the meaning of each phrase before going on to the next.
“May I be safe and protected”
“May I be peaceful and happy”
“May I be healthy and strong”
“May I have ease of well-being and accept all the conditions of the world”
In the beginning, when you first start practicing this meditation, I recommend offering it only to yourself first. Do this for a few days, then when you are ready offer the Metta to someone who you feel has hurt you in the past with the intention of wishing them well as they move forward in their journey. Do this a few days or as long as necessary, until it sinks in. Then move on and offer the metta to a close friend, a family member and so on, until you offer Metta to the universe, wishing all living beings well and spreading your love. Always start the Metta meditation offering it to yourself first, then moving on and offering it to another person, visualizing them as you do. This will help the process along.
“May you be safe and protected”
“May you be peaceful and happy”
“May you be healthy and strong”
“May you have ease of well-being and accept all the conditions of the world”
A healing meditation, there is no time limit. Practice it for 5 minutes each day, then increasing the time as you start offering it to others. Be consistent in your practice, going through each step and never skipping one.
P.S. Join me at Lake Austin Spa Resort, May 19 and 20 for the Metta Meditation, yoga and mindful cooking workshop.