From the Heart: Uncovering Our Wholeness



Let’s do a practice together today that can change the world. If we each spend just 20 minutes in loving-kindness meditation, miracles are possible.

In A Hidden Wholeness, spiritual leader and sacred activist Parker Palmer says, “The divided life is a wounded life, and the soul keeps calling us to heal the wound. Ignore that call, and we find ourselves trying to numb our pain with an anesthetic of choice, be it substance abuse, overwork, consumerism, or mindless media noise.

“Such anesthetics are easy to come by in a society that wants to keep us divided and unaware of our pain — for, the divided life that is pathological for individuals can serve social systems well, especially when it comes to those functions that are morally dubious.”

These words are so relevant today. No matter which side of the divide we are on, or how unaware we are of our pain, our wholeness as a society is indeed hidden at the moment. It will require us coming together as a society to uncover it.

When do you ignore your soul’s call to heal the wound?

How do you numb your pain?

How does your hidden wholeness keep you separate from and at odds with others?

My wholeness hides when I become too entrenched in defending my sense of what is morally right and wrong — when I try to convince others to see what I am seeing and to believe what I believe to be true — instead of just letting them be.

We are all responsible for ourselves. The most important work we can do is to create more love and peace in our own hearts — and to then to find ways to share it with the world. Metta loving-kindness meditation helps us do that.

Whether or not you are familiar with this practice, follow the script below at your own pace and in your own way, or download this audio file of my voice leading you though the meditation. There will be moments of silence to give you a chance to reflect and go deeper.

Kindness-Loving Meditation
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Download M4A • 35.83MB

I invite you now to become comfortable in your chair or cushion, sitting with a relaxed but straight, posture, with your shoulders relaxed. Letting go of any worries ... of the businesses of the day.

Allow your hands to rest comfortably in your lap. Gently close your eyes.

Settling into awareness of the body and also the breath. Inhaling loving-kindness, exhaling loving-kindness.

Feeling into our body right now ... noticing what’s here. Open to whatever is to be experienced in the body in this moment.

Connecting to the breath ... noticing the wave-like energy of the belly.

In this practice, we’ll be cultivating loving-kindness. We all have within us, this natural capacity for loving-kindness — for friendship and connection that is unconditional and open ... gentle ... supportive.

Loving-kindness is a natural opening of a compassionate heart ... opening to ourselves ... opening to others without expecting to receive anything in return. It’s a wish that everyone be happy.

We begin with developing loving-kindness toward ourselves ... allowing our hearts to open with tenderness to all the light and shadow that we are. Silently repeat the following words, with the intention of sending loving-kindness to your own heart:

May I be safe

May I be healthy

May I be happy

May I live with ease

Imagine what it would feel like to be safe ... to be healthy ... to be happy ... to live with ease. Let the feeling touch that still quiet place within you as you spend a couple of moments in silence.

*********

Next bring your attention to someone you deeply love. Silently repeat the following words, with the intention of loving-kindness being sent to that person:

May you be safe

May you be healthy

May you be happy

May you live with ease

Imagine how it would feel to know someone you deeply love is safe ... healthy ... happy ... living with ease. Let the feeling create more stillness as you return to the silence.

*********

Next bring your attention to someone to whom you feel neutral — you neither particularly like or dislike this person. Silently repeat the following words, with the intention of loving-kindness being sent to this neutral person:

May you be safe

May you be healthy

May you be happy

May you live with ease

Imagine how it would feel to know that even a stranger might be unsafe ... unhealthy ... unhappy ... not living with ease. Let that feeling remind you of how much you want what’s in their highest and best good. Give yourself some space.

**********

Finally bring your attention to someone with whom you have a lot of conflict, or to someone you do not like. Silently repeat the following, with the intention of loving-kindness being sent to this difficult person:

May you be safe

May you be healthy

May you be happy

May you live with ease

Imagine how it would feel to wish even an enemy well ... to pray for their safety ... their health ... their happiness ... their ease. Let that feeling create a sense of oneness that spreads deep within you ... and then outward ...further ... and further.

**********

Return your attention to your breath. Inhale loving-kindness, and exhale loving-kindness.

Bring your focus back to your body. Wiggle your finger and toes, keeping your eyes gently closed or beginning to slowly open them.

Mindfully notice your thoughts and feelings right now. Try not to judge or change anything. Just observe and let go.

Notice any reactions you may have had directing loving-kindness energy toward a particular person ... maybe even yourself. Accept it that you and everyone else is both human and divine.

As you return your attention to the room and the present moment, remember that loving-kindness meditation is one very powerful way we can answer our soul’s call to heal the wound ... again and again.

My blessing this week is for all of us to be safe ... to be healthy ... to be happy ... to live with ease in our wholeness. Amen.

Love,

G.

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©2020 by Garrett A. Foster

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