Updated: Sep 7
Learning a meditation technique is a great way to combat mental stress. We are under quite a bit of that at the moment, so it would be beneficial to learn what type of practice suits you best. Transcendental Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation, and Zazen Meditation are just a few of the many meditation techniques to try. This post is about Metta Meditation, a daily practice that I had not heard of before but feel has great benefits.
TV pundits of all shapes and sizes have told us that being on lockdown is a great time to learn new things. There has been industrial-scale home bread-baking, humorously upcycled umbrellas, and videos of parents twerking Tik Tok dances. It's cute when the grandparents Tik Tok, but it reeks of desperation when the parents do.
My ambition for my time at home has been a bit more cerebral. Unfortunately for me, lockdown will not last for ten years, so I don't have time to learn Italian. But I have taken up Shakespeare classes and 30 minutes of casual exercise per day. I am polishing off novels I bought years ago and never deemed to read. So that's something.
I have also been taking full advantage of Masterclass.com, signing up for courses that float my boat. Masterclass is an online educational platform where famously successful people share their knowledge in slickly-produced 3-15 minute video lessons.
We all love Rupaul, so I signed up for his Masterclass course, hoping to learn from a man, how to be more feminine. I did pick up some great tips, like how to give myself a facelift with double-sided tape and a bungee cord and how to smooth my eyebrows with Pritt-stick.
But my big takeaway from Rupaul, that sage of sages, is to create a small slice of time per day for quiet meditation. I am certain I have more 'quiet' in my life than Rupaul, but I do agree with his importance of self-love. Time set aside for purposeful mind-wandering can be very helpful when navigating troubled waters. And holding out against the Corona Virus is troubling indeed.
I try to maintain an open mind about all things spiritual and enjoy the study of meditation. I recently came across an article about Metta Meditation, which I had not heard of before. It is a simple method that helps one think of others while expanding their own wellness.
Metta Meditation is a traditional Buddhist loving-kindness meditation. This practice helps develop our capacity for compassion and can be done anywhere that you are entirely comfortable and should last from five to 20 minutes. Try to establish a regular practice and practice at the same time each day. This meditation is not about exercising negative emotions, but more for creating space in your mind for positive experiences.
Here is the basic formula for practicing Metta Meditation:
Begin with yourself. Calm the mind and heart by taking a few deep breaths. Create a mantra such as 'Be Kind', and let that consideration start with yourself. Generate loving feelings and repeat words of goodness toward yourself.
Mentally create a circle around yourself and fill that circle with love.
Expand the circle to your surroundings, including every living being within it. Generate loving feelings to all beings inside that circle
Move on from your immediate surroundings. Expand your circle to the whole neighborhood, province, town, city country continent world. Try to visualize all living beings now within your circle and send them the vibrations of loving-kindness. Send a genuine heartfelt wish that all beings experience deep well-being and total freedom from stress.
Finally, visualize Earth spinning within the vast mysterious universe and end by expanding the sense of your loving-kindness to fill the entire cosmos. End your practice with the mantra, 'May all living being everywhere be fulfilled and experience profound well-being'.
I plan to introduce meditation back into my daily routine. Be it Metta, Transcendental, simply Mindfulness, or in any other form, meditation is a good way to achieve mental peace. Mental peace is something that everyone can use.
And for the brain, I loved Rupaul's Masterclass. I enjoyed the make-up tips sprinkled with home-spun tales and pearls of wisdom. And I was reminded that having introspective self-love and a kind disposition is a healthy and positive way to live. I will strive to be that, in or out of my home. Plus, he made me laugh and that is, after all, the best medicine.
Next up: Jane Goodall's Masterclass: Teaching Conservation (In fairness, I thought the title was Jane Goodall, Teaching Conversation and was fully prepared to learn how to speak with chimpanzees. Oh well.)
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