I have recently read two books that inspired me to teach you a simple variation of Metta Meditation.
The first book is called How To Love by Thich Nhat Hanh and based on Ancient Buddhist teachings.
This is a very small and lovely book, inspiring, full of wise words and meditations. I was drawn to this book because it has 2 birds, a branch and flowers on the front - Bird Song!
The second book is called Lost Connections and as I know Yoga in
Sanskrit means connection or union, I thought it would be interesting. The Author is Johann Hari.
His book details a lot of research, visiting world renowned scientists and researchers and asking them about their findings. He discovers that medication
is not the answer to depression - Do not stop taking any medication without a Doctors advice! Read and learn - this book was in my local library, discuss what you have learnt with your Doctor.
This is part of his wonderful conclusion. This is what he
wished someone had said to him as a teenager. Instead he was handed his first anti- depressants.
"You aren't a machine with broken parts. You are an animal whose needs are not being met.
You need to have a community.
You need to have meaningful
values, not the junk values you've been pumped full of all your life, telling you happiness comes through money and buying objects.
You need meaningful work.
You need the natural world.
You need to feel you are respected.
a secure future.
You need connections to all these things.
You need to release any shame you might feel for having been mistreated.
Johann leant this meditation from a friend and now practices it regularly.
Find a quiet place to sit every day, make it a ritual, light a candle, place flowers or other favourite objects in the area, burn essential oils.
Or simply sit in your favourite chair.
can help open your heart. Choose some music, sing along if you wish.
Now think of a person or animal that you love.
Feel the emotion if you can. Imagine them close to you. Imagine the connection. Hold hands or cuddle
or stroke. Breathe gently and allow any emotions to come to the surface - tears are recommended!
If that person or animal is no longer living it doesn't matter. You still have a connection to them.
You only need to spend 5 minutes.
Next time imagine another person or animal joining you.
Gradually add all the people and animals that you love.
Now you need to imagine that love directed to yourself.
Look in the mirror smile at yourself and send yourself love.
I love you ------ Say your name and repeat three times. This can be very challenging.
Do this every day.
If you wish you can repeat these words
from the origanal 5th century buddhist text.
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.
May I learn to look
at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish
the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
May I be free from attachment and aversion, and not be indifferent.
Start with your family and think of someone you don't
get along with. Send them happiness, send them your best wishes, notice how difficult this is but anger you feel for another person or jealousy or any negative emotion does not hurt them it only hurts you. If they have hurt you, forgive them. This does not
mean you need to connect with them again face to face. You have learnt from your experience and grown stronger.
Send love out to your work colleagues, your neighbours, people you see every day.
Send love out to animals, trees,
Don't underestimate the power of this meditation. It will change your life.
Another book I highly recommend is
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.