In yoga we learn about awareness; awareness of our body, awareness of our breath, awareness of our emotions, awareness of our thoughts. Yoga is a life-long practice of cultivating awareness in all its forms and it truly begin when we step off the mat, that's when the rubber meets the road.
When the rubber meets the road is the point at which a theory or idea is put to a practical test. It's the moment of truth, it's the reason we practice! It lets us know if we've learned anything or if we've just been going through the motions.
The very essence of yoga is to reconnect to the Divine, within ourselves and others. Yoga teaches us that we are all One; everything, everyone, every experience and every relationship is a pathway to the Divine.
So, how do we cultivate awareness? How do we reconnect with the Divine? How do we connect with others while staying connected to ourselves? Well one way is the practice of Loving-Kindness meditation. Loving-Kindness meditation is likened to the butterfly effect or life ripples in a pond. It starts with ourselves and moves outward.
It is very simple and only takes a few minutes. Loving-Kindness meditation has been part of my daily practice for many years. Choose any contemplative posture, a soft comfortable chair, a meditation cushion, or even lying down, which happens to be my favorite. I do it before getting out of bed in the morning! I hope you give it a try.
Repeat silently or softly.
May I receive loving-kindness, may I be safe and well, may I be happy, free and joyous.
May my family receive loving-kindness, may they be safe and well, may they be happy, free and joyous.
May my friends receive loving-kindness, may they be safe and well, may they be happy, free and joyous.
May all beings receive loving-kindness, may they be safe and well, may they be happy, free and joyous.
It's easy to practice yoga on the mat, yet the true practice happens off the mat. We must offer loving-kindness to everyone! Yes even the so-in-so who cuts you off in traffic...may they be safe, the grumpy co-worker...may they be happy, the addicted person on the street...may they be free. Remember, we are One.
Loving-Kindness meditation will transform your life. As you focus on loving-kindness you will begin to feel more connected; to the Divine, to yourself, and to others. Like the ripples in a pond and the flapping of the butterfly's wings you never know how far your prayers will reach.
May YOU receive loving-kindness, may YOU be safe and well, may YOU be happy, free and joyous!