Random act of lovingkindess

My heart opens when I watch this simple kindness unfold.

It’s when he goes back and gently places the hat on the man’s head that I see it is like the act of a mother caring for her child. One YouTube comment I came across reads ‘this man is surely going to heaven.’ But I think if we are this open and allow our natural innocence be our first response, this earth is heaven.

(via The Telegraph)

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Breathe gently into your heart

A healing guided meditation by Jack Kornfield to open your heart. Find a quiet place, 24 mins and enjoy:

“As you breathe in the heart area gently… let yourself remember and feel the sorrows you carry from betraying or harming others… from betraying or harming yourself… and from being betrayed and harmed by others.”

Allow the meditation to take your heart from the feeling of sorrow to the peace of forgiveness, and finally to the mind of lovingkindness, for your self, your friends, your enemies and all living beings.

Hearthands

(via ZenFriend)

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Bathe everything with your lovingkindness

We did a variation of this sweet Ajahn Brahm lovingkindness meditation tonight at Just Sit!

Oh, boy! I just love the build up. Brilliant, natural progression:

In order to generate a spontaneous feeling of love and caring, first imagine an easy-to-love being (we used a helpless baby bird). Then gradually, in ever-widening circles, spread that feeling of tenderness to other imagined beings, until eventually you have imagined including all sentient beings. Finally, in a surprise twist ending, give that lovingkindness even to that person who can be the most challenging of all to love and accept: your self.

Go, find yourself a quiet corner, take 36 mins and wash your heart.

water heart

(via ZenFriend)

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May all beings be happy

Ambika Cooper’s beautiful melody has the power to embed the lovingkindness (metta) verses in your heart. It’s in just the right key for me to sing along and I am loving that it’s become an earworm, with the prayerful verses surfacing in the spaces of my day.

Plus, Sharon Salzberg joins in this kirtan-style recording, bringing it to a beautiful close with her spoken word version of the verses.

Digital download, regularly $1.99, is currently available free: vanarasmusic.com

Sample the melody:

Metta-Chant-FINAL

METTA CHANT

May I be happy and peaceful
May I be healthy and strong
May I be safe and protected
May I live with ease

May you be happy and peaceful
May you be healthy and strong
May you be safe and protected
May you live with ease

May we be happy and peaceful
May we be healthy and strong
May we be safe and protected
May we live with ease

May all be happy and peaceful
May all be healthy and strong
May all be safe and protected
May all live with ease

(via Facebook)

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Sitting through March

We’ve added more dates, continuous now through the end of March 2015, for the “Just Sit!” sessions on Tuesday evenings. (Please check back monthly for future dates.) These guided meditations are open to any and every one. All levels of experience and all faith or no faith backgrounds are welcome. Just Sit! is an opportunity to sit with others in contemplation and meditation, whether you are just learning how to meditate or have been at it for years.

For those of you who haven’t come to sit — or haven’t come in a while — we are currently dividing the hour into three meditations, or, one mediation with three sections. However you slice it:

Part 1 — 15 mins on the breath, developing concentration and allowing our mind to settle by counting our exhalations (to 3 sets of 21 exhalations) and then simply sitting without counting for a little longer, deeply experiencing the breath.

Part 2 — 20 mins on allowing, noticing and meeting our direct experience with an embracing mind of love, coming back again and again and again to the direct experience of each moment, allowing, allowing, allowing…

Part 3 — 20 mins on ‘feeling into’ our basic nature: the awake, alert awareness in which direct experience is arising — that which is always already present. We turn our focus from the experiences, the thoughts, feelings, sensations and pay attention instead in each moment to the space in which the experiences are arising.

 

IMG_8370

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Hello body! I’m home!

Thich Nhat Hanh is answering questions from his 1 million+ fans on Facebook. (You can like and receive updates from his FB page here.)

The first question he answered was, “How do I love myself?” Beautifully, he begins with, “Come back into your body and breathe.” Playfully he says, “Hello body! I’m home!”

The further instructions are basically, sit and be with your body, breathe mindfully, watch mindfully. Being with yourself mindfully IS loving yourself.

He goes on to say that when you understand your own suffering — when you can sit patiently, mindfully with yourself — then you will begin to understand the suffering of others. You will understand the suffering of your father, your mother, your ancestors. Implicit in this? You will stop blaming others for your suffering and see that they too suffer. No one is exempt.

Compassion arises naturally from this simple insight. Enjoy!

 

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Sharon Salzberg in Guelph

Renowned meditation teacher and best-selling author Sharon Salzberg will be giving a talk in Guelph. Come along Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 1 p.m. to St. George’s Church. Don’t miss this rare opportunity! Tickets $10, on sale now at the Bookshelf.

Here’s local teacher and bookseller Ken Hood with your personal invitation and some Salzberg book recommendations:

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