My sister just returned from a meditation retreat at Spirit Rock in Northern California. We spoke last night for a good long while about her experiences, and what she had to share excited me. So I was up bright and early this morning reading about Metta Meditation.
Metta is all about loving kindness, to yourself, to others, and to the world. In the meditation you repeat four phrases which express that loving kindness.
May I be safe and protected.
May I be peaceful and happy.
May I be healthy and strong.
May I have well-being.
What may seem on the surface to be an easy approach to meditation (Yeah, I get to say words instead of just focusing on my breath!) isn’t easy. But you knew that. I, on the other hand, had to experience it for myself.
When I meditate, I usually don’t sit, because it hurts my hips. However, this morning, I was absolutely drawn to sitting. Was it uncomfortable? Yes, but not overwhelmingly so. I noticed the discomfort, adjusted as necessary, and continued.
However, as I have discussed before, my mind is a very busy place. Even repeating 4 simple phrases was difficult. Sometimes I couldn’t even remember what I was supposed to say. (Can you tell I am really new at this?)
However, with all the physical discomfort and mental hula I was doing, there came a sense of aliveness. When I was complete, I got up and returned to the experiences of the day. But what I noticed was that my body was tingly, as if excited by the practice. (My hip still grumbled, but it tends to be a bit cranky at times). That tingly sensation lasted for about 20 minutes. It was cool.
My sister explained a little about reaching “bliss” or “rapture”. She said that it was “weird, but cool”, “strange, but good”. Being in an altered state can affect you that way.
I didn’t reach bliss, but I did reach a realization that sitting in a place of quiet and stillness is very good for me, and my spirit needs that peace and quiet.
I am grateful to learn new ways of being. I am excited about what my life holds for me.