The Power of Positivity - Covid 19 Pandemic #6
My Authentic Self: June 15, 2020
The Power of Positive Thoughts
I find that I am in a constant pursuit of trying to balance my triad... my heart, mind and soul. What I am finding out lately is my mind is pretty powerful in leading but sometimes, I need to allow my heart and most importantly my soul to have a chance at leading. The results can be eye opening and healing.
A piece by our guest contributor
by Whitney Reed
Whitney has been teaching mindfulness meditation for 17 years and practicing meditation under the (Mindfulness) Vipassana Theravada lineage for 19 years. Whitney is dharma leadership trained from Spirit Rock Meditation Center and has completed 500hr Prajna Yoga Training. She currently leads Yoga Flow at the Gardens on the weekends and will be leading The Chicks Yoga Flow at the Gardens on Wednesdays at 8am starting June 24. We look forward to seeing you there. Please sign up online through the Summit Community Gardens
The Dalai Lama says...
“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day”
I recently re-visited this quote and it provoked a deeper contemplation inside me around “What exactly is a positive thought and how does it differ from a pleasant idea such as ice cream?” or “What type of positive thoughts can I bring into my morning routine?”
Based on this contemplation I integrated a buddhist meditation called “Metta” into my daily practice this week.
This particular meditation uses words, images, and feelings to evoke a loving-kindness and friendliness toward oneself and others.
I challenge you this week to also integrate this “Metta” practice into your daily routine!
Below is a simple explanation of the "Metta" practice as well as a link to talk by one of my favorite dharma mentors Guy Armstrong.
Let yourself sit in a comfortable fashion.
Let your body rest and be relaxed.
Let your heart be soft.
Let go of any plans and preoccupations.
Begin with yourself.
Breathe gently, and recite inwardly the following traditional phrases directed to your own well-being.
You begin with yourself because without loving yourself it is almost impossible to love others.
May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May I be well in body and mind.
May I be at ease and happy.
As you repeat these phrases, picture yourself as your are now, and hold that image in a heart of lovingkindness. Or perhaps you will find it easier to picture yourself as a young and beloved child. Adjust the words and images in any way you wish. Create the exact phrases that best open your heart of kindness. Repeat these phrases over and over again, letting the feelings permeate your body and mind. Practice this meditation for a number of weeks, until the sense of lovingkindness for yourself grows.
Be aware that this meditation may at times feel mechanical or awkward. It can also bring up feelings contrary to lovingkindness, feelings of irritation and anger. If this happens, it is especially important to be patient and kind toward yourself, allowing whatever arises to be received in a spirit of friendliness and kind affection.
When you feel you have established some stronger sense of lovingkindness for yourself, you can then expand your meditation to include others. After focusing on yourself for five or ten minutes, choose a benefactor, someone in your life who has loved or truly cared for you. Picture this person and carefully recite the same phrases:
May you be filled with lovingkindness.
May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May you be well in body and mind.
May you be at ease and happy.
Let the image and feelings you have for your benefactor support the meditation. Whether the image or feelings are clear or not does not matter. In meditation they will be subject to change. Simply continue to plant the seeds of loving wishes, repeating the phrases gently no matter what arises.
Expressing gratitude to our benefactors is a natural form of love. In fact, some people find lovingkindness for themselves so hard, they begin their practice with a benefactor. This too is fine. The rule in lovingkindness practice is to follow the way that most easily opens your heart.