Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Lovingkindness Blessing

Lovingkindness (metta) is an ancient practice, though it's as valuable today as ever. More love in your own life, and the lives of others, will always have positive effects. Not only will you benefit from this practice, so will all recipients of the blessing, and yes, even the world. 

Lovingkindness Blessing by Karen Casey-Smith

The Lovingkindness Blessing presented here is only one version of this beautiful traditional blessing. It's to be said with feeling, from your heart, and very importantly, without expectation. It has to come from a sincere desire for the well-being and happiness of others.

Begin to practice lovingkindness, and directly experience the benefits. Observe how things shift in positive ways with this powerful practice. They cannot help but shift. As you offer peace, love, and good wishes, your feeling toward others changes. Without your doing anything other than offering blessings, those around you will also change in how they relate to you. Don’t attempt to send a blessing in order to get someone to change though. That won't work. The blessing must come from your heart, with no expectations, only a sincere wish for their happiness.

Peace on the outside begins with peace on the inside. This is why it's important that you begin your practice by saying this blessing for yourself. As the Dalai Lama says, We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. 

You can’t do blessings for yourself, and not have your life change for the better, and you cannot send a blessing to another being and maintain any unkind feeling toward them, or about them. As you are filled with a deep peace, and love that asks nothing in return, you begin to notice that everyone around you is more comfortable, and happier. How you are is that important. 

Next, you can send blessings for those close to you. After that you can begin to send them for neutral people, which would be someone you’re often in contact with, but you don’t have strong feelings about. When you're comfortable with this, you can move on to difficult people, blessing all of the above equally. Now you’re ready to send blessings to the entire universe.

It wouldn't be unusual to find yourself resistant to sending blessings to difficult people. Give yourself time. Remember, you aren't blessing their behavior, or their actions. These blessings are not about being deserving. All beings wish to be happy, healed, and free from pain. Don't you imagine these difficult people would have very different actions if they were at peace, had open hearts, had realized the beauty of their true nature, were healed, and a source of healing? In time, I believe, this is something you could sincerely wish for everyone.


Lovingkindness Blessing 

May my heart remain open.

May I realize the beauty of my own true nature.

May I be healed.

May I be a source of healing for this world.
 ~~~~~~~Black heart (cards)~~~~~~~

May you be at peace.

May your heart remain open.

May you realize the beauty of your own true nature.

May you be healed.

May you be a source of healing for this world.

Some benefits of practicing Lovingkindness include: 
  • peace of mind and sense of well-being
  • sleeping easily and waking happily
  • not suffering from bad dreams
  • good health
  • easy concentration
  • radiant complexion
  • antidote to ill will
  • people around you are more comfortable and happy
  • you contribute to a world of love, peace, and happiness
  • dear to humans and non-humans (affection and good will of all)
  • devas protect
  • one dies unperturbed

Long ago appreciated by the ancients, the benefits of this practice are increasingly being recognized by present day researchers.

Using one of my photographs of the sweetest fern “heart,” I’ve designed prints with the Lovingkindness Blessing on them. It's a nice reminder for me to say it each day, and I thought that others might enjoy them too. There’s a 5×7 version, and a 12×9 version. Keep one near as a reminder, or they can be given as gifts.

Best of all, simply offer this blessing from your heart, and know that you too are blessed.

 Black heart (cards) Karen Casey-Smith

I'd like to thank Karen Casey-Smith for sharing her beautiful Lovingkindness Blessing with the Mind Body Spirit Odyssey.  I recently purchased a copy of this beautiful, gentle loving reminder for my studio.  It's definitely something we should all keep in mind.
                                                                                                                     ~ diane

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