Sometimes we find ourselves cut off from our hearts. Perhaps you are feeling unlovable, and therefore also unable to show or share your love with others. Or perhaps you are experiencing a lack of self worth, or are feeling frustrated by the people around you.
This is a Metta Bhavana (‘Loving Kindness’) practise I’ve been sharing for some time now. It opens the heart, letting love both in and out.
Firstly, the following extract from Galway Kinnell’s ‘St. Francis and the Sow’ helps connect with a softer, more ‘yin’ frame of mind, awakening us to our ‘feeling self’:
stands for all things
even those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing it’s loveliness,
to put a hand on the brow
of the flower,
and retell it in words and in touch,
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self blessing
The poem reminds us that there is nobody more deserving of your love than you, and if you can touch the seeds of kindness within yourself, then you can be truly loving towards those around you.
Sit in a comfortable and dignified way with your spine straight. Make sure you will be undisturbed for your time of practice (turn off your phone, etc). Repeat each of the following statements to yourself (you don’t have to say them out loud), and try picturing yourself in each of the states as you do. If you find visualisation difficult, you can try ‘feeling’ yourself as being in each of these states instead:
1. May I be filled with loving kindness
2. May I be well
3. May I be peaceful and at ease
4. May I be happy
Once you feel a sense of heartfeltness towards yourself, you can play with extending these wishes out to those whom you know and love, and then even out to strangers/the wider world.
A good time to practise this meditation is at the end of your yoga practice.
May you touch the seeds of joy within yourself!