Meditation on Metta

Doesn’t yoga make your mind feel like melted butter? I can easily play a game in shavasana where I make myself soft and melt slowly into the floor. It is a nice little meditation exercise. You just lie very still and like butter in the pan let the edges get fuzzy and runny. Eventually you get to the core, where the middle of you might be resistant, it eventually becomes flat and wide, reaching for the corners of the room. My teacher Martin Aylward frequently reminds us to feel expansion during meditation, to focus on growing rather than shrinking. If I have been sitting at a desk for a very long time I feel like my mind is drying up and turning into a raisin. Try to do the opposite, try to sit and get thin, transparent and vaporous. This exercise is similar to the meditation of Metta mental purification, otherwise known as loving kindness meditation. This meditation was recorded 2,500 years back by the Buddha’s followers in the Pali Canon and entails spending 5 – 10 minutes on each of 5 aspects of loving kindness starting in the center, the I – the ego, and moving outwards towards the universe. The effects of this type of meditation is an opening and purifying of the mind, it works on forgiveness and acceptance, first of oneself, and then of others. 5-10 minutes spent focusing love on: oneself a good friend a “neutral” person a difficult person all four of the above equally and then gradually the entire universe.

Katherine Walker - Yoga Gent, Oudenaarde and Deurlel.

Op January 31, 2015