I am starting the year by wishing everyone something lovely… for themselves and for everyone else. So tomorrow, on Wednesday, January 8th I shall be doing the Metta (loving kindness) Meditation for an inspired group at The Cornerstone Centre in Hove. It’s a Buddhist practice, and after extensive use in the West has been adapted and adopted as one of the most powerful guided meditations going.
The power of it lies in the structure, which begins with the meditator being guided to direct loving kindness towards him or herself… a process that should be encouraged and developed as much as possible. After awarding oneself love, the meditator is directed to project loving kindness to friends, neighbours, strangers, people one is having difficulty with, and then, more tangibly, the people beside one in the room, and ultimately the world itself. It is a very life-affirming and powerful process.
The power of this contemplation technique lies in the ability of the guide to enable meditators to gain the spiritual power of loving kindness. We have to place a value on ourselves – you and I – it is essential for a harmonious life. The Metta meditation empowers us to make loving judgements built on rational self-value, and that value applies equally to our views of ourselves, our world and our decision-making.
It’s quite weird, but at the beginning of the New Year we always go through a massive process of self-doubt. I most certainly do, and many of my friends make the same noises. We look at ourselves and declare that we are turning into a blob, and something must be done about it. We question everything – our work, our lives, our wardrobe, everything – well, this is a bit of generalisation, but in general I like a generalisation or five.
So this year, it seems like a nice thing to just empower as many people as possible with self-esteem, real confidence, and loving kindness, so that they get a dose of Metta, and go out and give it to everybody else… Happy New Year!