“Look in the mirror for a moment. The most important person is the one in front of you. The most important thing to do is to care. If this is true, care for yourself first. Love yourself first. Appreciate yourself first. Value your own human life. Then you are not alone. Stop expecting too much from you. Say this is good enough. I am happy to be here. I am kind to myself. I not looking for anything more.”
~ Dr. Piyal Walpola
Today, is another day to strengthen our foundation. It’s time to return our practice to ourselves in a bigger way and to reflect on how practicing lovingkindness and compassion for these past two weeks has impacted us.
We have moved through many of the Metta categories – Self, Benefactor, Beloved and Neutral beings. Soon, we will move on to the category of difficult being, and then the vaster category of All Beings. Returning to center and to our foundation of lovingkindness is at the heart of Metta practice. I invite you to expand your time offering Metta to yourself today and to do some journaling about what you have noticed.
I’ve reversed the order just for today to suggest that doing some reflection and writing at this time may be beneficial before you move into your practice of strengthening your foundation, but it’s your practice! Work with it as you feel to today and always.
If you do feel strongly called to work with other categories, you can return to one of the previous posts or simple tune in to your heart center allowing it to be your guide for today.
- What shifts or changes have you felt while practicing Metta so far?
- Do you feel any resistance to offering lovingkindness to yourself as the foundation of your practice?
- How strong does your foundation feel?
- Are you more easily able to connect with the energies of lovingkindness and compassion?
- How might you deepen this?
- Are there feelings, patterns or beliefs about yourself that are arising that you can support with Metta today?
- As you practice, ask you heart what it wants you to know today?
Do your foundational practice. Come to your place of practice, move into your meditation posture, work with your breath, begin to connect with the heart center and connect with your circle of loving beings or personal connection to unconditional love. Spend as much time to as you feel to generating the energy of loving-kindness – remember this is the heart of the practice. By now you will most likely have a way of connecting with and accessing your foundation; if not take some time today to find what works best for you.
When you feel ready begin to work the phrases. Let the meaning of the phrase gently wash over you. You are affirming to yourself and to the universe that you desire to be safe, happy and peaceful. If at any point you feel disconnected from the energy of loving-kindness, you can always go back to your heart center and your circle of loving beings. This is the foundation of your practice; the phrases symbolize Metta but generating the essence of loving-kindness is the true practice.
- May I be happy.
- May I be at peace.
- May I live with ease.
- May I be free from suffering.
When you finish with the phrases, you may wish to reconnect with your circle of loving beings or metta generator for a moment. Then, in whatever way you feel to give thanks or gratitude for your practice.
Spend as much as time as you can today on strengthening your foundation. Try to come back to it several times during the day; and definitely when you find you are having difficult feelings or struggling in some way.
This poem featured is this video has been one of the most controversial that I’ve shared on HOA. Not because of the poem itself but due to the uncertainty of it’s author. I had come across it cited as being written by Charlie Chaplin as it is in many places. Others attribute it to a book by Kim & Alison McMillen. I read that book and still don’t feel sure, but regardless the words are powerful and I feel speak to the benefits that come when we strengthen our foundation in loving ourselves. If you like to read the words, the are posted in As I Began To Love Myself: Reflections On A Self-Love Poem By Charlie Chaplin.
Wishing you a most beautiful day!
Tashi Deleh! (I honor the greatness within you!)