Writing this piece is in itself an achievement since my mind was blown into several pieces – lying here, there and everywhere.
Last month I read the book ‘How to love’ by Thich Nhat Hanh.
We may have lots of notions about what love is and relationships should feel or be like.
Reading this book has left me wiping that board clean.
I usually include some snippets and mix them up with my thoughts for the book excerpts/reviews, but for this one, I felt like that just wasn’t enough. It took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do.
Over the course of the next thirty five days I’ll share some snippets which I just cannot resist sharing.
There couldn’t be a better start to this than a meditation guide and some introspective questions.
Love meditation/Metta meditation
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 the 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, but not be indifferent.
To begin, sit still and calm your body and your breathing. Sitting still, you aren’t too preoccupied with other matters.
Begin practicing this love meditation on yourself (“May I be peaceful…”). Until you are able to love and take care of yourself, you can’t be of much help to others. After that, practice on others (“May he/she/you/they be peaceful…”) – first on someone you like, then on someone neutral to you, then on someone you love, and finally on someone the mere thought of whom makes you suffer. After practicing Metta Meditation, you may find you can think of them with genuine compassion.
Questions you may want to ask yourself in any relationship:
Do I want to connect/reconnect/stay connected with this person?
Do we have the time for each other, to build and maintain a relationship?
Do I know how to handle the suffering in myself?
Am I able to help handle the suffering in him/her?
Do I understand the roots of my own suffering?
Do I have the time to listen to myself and my deepest desire?
Am I able to understand the suffering in him/her?
Do I have the time and capacity to help him/her suffer less?
Have I learned how to calm down my painful feelings and emotions?
Am I capable of creating a feeling of joy for myself?
Am I capable of helping him/her to create a feeling of joy?
Do I have a clear spiritual path?
Do I feel peace and contentment within myself?
Do I know how to nourish my love every day?
These might not be exact typed excerpts, and definitely do not make up the entire book. Please buy a copy if you like the snippets I’ll be sharing and if you want to read more.
Everything mentioned here and in the upcoming posts in the category ’35 days of love’ is completely credited to Thich Nhat Hanh, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Featured photo credit: dominicliam