I just finished my third show in a series on Lessons in Joyful Living. Another fun one to be sure!
As promised, here’s a recap of the meditation on love and compassion we touched on during the show.
As always, take a moment to settle into a good meditation posture. For a detailed explanation of this, click here.
Once you’ve relaxed into the present moment visualize three people in the space in front of you:
A friend, a neutral person, and someone you don’t like.
Begin with the friend. Call to mind how she experiences happiness and suffering. Does she want comfort, good food, health, material abundance, pleasurable experiences, satisfaction in work, relationships, and family life?
How about suffering? Does she want to avoid illness, physical and mental pain, loss of life and possessions, sorrow, conflict, hunger, thirst, and all the other things that bring us suffering in life?
Of course she does.
Think of as many situations as you can where these things are so.
Now, cultivate a feeling of empathy towards your friend. Doesn’t she want happiness and to avoid suffering just like you? Are the two of you really all that different?
Continue to contemplate these questions and situations until you can generate the strong wish that your friend be happy and free from suffering.
If you like, you can visualize pure white light surrounding and protecting your friend. Think to yourself how good it feels to be able to love and care for her like that.
Repeat this mental exercise with the next two kinds of people, the neutral person and the enemy.
Both of these will pose their own challenges but work on them until you come to the conclusion that even difficult people and those you don’t know are still the same: They want nothing more than their own happiness and to avoid suffering.
The main benefit of meditations like this is that we can transform and improve our minds. When it comes to changing long held habits and beliefs, this can take some time and effort.
So give this meditation a try for at least a week. Let the realizations sink in until they become new habits and new ways of seeing the world.
Then, just maybe, you’ll see how big your heart really is.