Since the election I have noticed an increase in fear, hatred and judgment in and around me. In order to refocus myself on peace and prepare for the struggle ahead I am committing to a loving kindness meditation practice with Donald Trump.
Loving kindness meditation, or metta bhavana, is a practice of wishing well to yourself and to others. It comes from the Buddhist tradition but can be adapted for all traditions and seems especially well suited to Christianity. In research, loving kindness meditation has been shown to reduce angry rumination and increase compassion in those who practice regularly.
Loving kindness practice is not a petition to God to change someone or influence them. It is not intended to substitute for resisting anyone’s harmful behavior. The practice focuses instead on our inner experience, helping us move away from hate and judgment which are painful and impede our clarity, and into acceptance of our own or someone else’s humanity. Even when a person’s actions require us to resist and no matter what our relationship is to him or her, we acknowledge that person as having needs for safety, peace and well-being. Loving kindness is about our own inner peace no matter what.
Many people begin this practice with a focus on wishing well to themselves, followed by wishing well to someone they already admire. It is only after such practice that we can attempt to use loving kindness practice with someone we find ourselves hating or consider an enemy.
To practice loving kindness set aside about twenty minutes and go to a place where you will not be disturbed. You can do this practice sitting or lying down, eyes open or closed. Begin with a few minutes of abdominal breathing, relaxing your mind and body. Bring your attention to your solar plexus and continue to breathe, relax and tune in to yourself. When you are ready begin, you will recite to yourself phrases such as those I have provided below. You can memorize them or read them, saying them aloud or silently. Continue for as long as you can be fully present to each phrase, usually about three to five times. When you are finished allow yourself a few moments to acknowledge and accept how you feel before returning to your daily activities. Plan to practice as daily for at least one week, then use the practice as needed, perhaps at the end of your regular mindfulness practice or on a mindfulness walk.
May Donald be free from danger and be safe.
May Donald be happy.
May Donald be free from mental and physical pain.
May Donald go through life with ease.
May Donald find peace in his heart.
Wish me luck.