Welcome and Namaste 🙂
Today we are exploring one of the skills that arises from a meditation practice which is a deep sense of CARE.
One of my beloved teachers, Jeff Warren categorizes many of the compassion practices under the umbrella term of Care. You may be familiar with some of these practices such as Metta, Loving Kindness, Compassion, Ahimsa, Tonglen, and so many more across so many traditions of meditation.
These types of meditation particularly increase positive feelings and actions toward yourself and others.
For example, Metta (also known as loving-kindness meditation), begins with developing kind thoughts and feelings toward yourself. Through practice, we learn to extend this kindness and forgiveness externally, first to friends, then acquaintances and ultimately 'enemies'.
Twenty-two studies of this form of meditation have demonstrated its ability to increase peoples' compassion toward themselves and others (Trusted Source).
Studies all over the world are finding that the more effort people put into Metta meditation, the more positive feelings and caring attention they experienced.
Another group of studies showed the positive feelings people develop through Metta meditation can improve social anxiety, reduce marriage conflict and help anger management (Trusted Source).
Studies also show that these benefits appear to accumulate over time with the practice of loving-kindness meditation.
What does this tend to look like in our lives?
Sometimes that sense of a caring quality arises naturally when we're in a task that we love that brings us to the present moment, such as cooking, gardening, knitting, walking in nature, making tea, or any other task that we become somewhat absorbed in a sense of a caring quality. Sometimes, this even arises as a state of "flow" as we move through life.
What tends to happen over time and practice is that this caring quality begins to infuse all areas of our lives as we become more and more touched by "the light of awareness" through our days.
When we move more from awareness and less from the unconscious patterns that are already happening, this sense of care that we cultivate in our meditation practice comes more and more into the foreground of every experience in our lives.
This ultimately touches every relationship that we have in our lives to some degree. Eventually leading to more presence, patience, compassion and kindness towards each an every being that we come into contact with.
I think we all strive to be as kind as we can to others, but on some days it seems more challenging than others.
This particular umbrella of practices under the category of care, gift us this ability more and more over time.
I hope that you find today's exploration helpful in your meditation journey. Please let me know in the comments below how this practice made you feel.
I'd love to hear what types of activities you find a sense of "caring attention" that arises naturally!?
Scroll down to join in with your reflection in the comments section!
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Thank you Ally. All I can say is WOW. Alot going on for me in this meditation. Mornings are always a rush for me as I get ready to hit the road for work. Today really slowed me down and think about my self care and care of others I connect with. Green & yellow colour was very prominent in my mind, as well as the aroma of coffee (hee, hee….I love my morning coffee). I was left with a feeling of slowing down and really focusing on putting more care into all my activities for myself and ours I’m connecting with today….I thank you for that.
This is so beautiful Paula, thank you for sharing. This reflection made me smile 🙂
I loved this topic of care, and trying to bring more care into all aspects of my life. I also really loved the prayer at the end. Thank you for this Ally!
Wonderful Reanna! Glad that you liked the quote at the end 🙂 I should post it, I forget who it’s from! I will figure that out! See you tomorrow!
Today was interesting. It took a bit longer to settle in…but when it did it was magical. It seemed when it was time to shed care to my loved ones I was overcome with deep gratitude & devotion. My body was lighter and pain free. As you guided further, it intensifies. I loved the closing. Some really valuable teachings were shared. I love the care you put into these meditations…I certainly feel and accept the love. You are light 🙏 thank you Ally
This is so beautiful Tara, thank you for sharing and taking the time to write this. This reflection made me smile 🙂
Thank you Ally for this morning’s meditation on caring. It really opened up my mind on many levels. I loved the way you tied in all of the senses.We take so much for granted like the ability to smell , and to hear etc ,this truly is a gift .I felt a huge sense of gratitude from this practice. The one thing I do everyday which is caring for my beloved dog gives me so much pleasure in cooking and baking for him ,brushing him ,walking him & hugging him. There are so many
things that fill our hearts up with the gift of caring.
This is so sweet. I love that beloved animals have the ability to take us right to that place of presence and care so effortlessly 🙂 Thank you for sharing Joanne!
Thanks ally it was very relaxing and i worked on my family with the metta part. thankful for life today!
I’m really happy to hear that Gav 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to connect with me here and leave your reflection! I find myself working a lot with my family in the metta practices as well!
It took me longer today to drop into practice. I taught a few yoga classes and therapy groups today and while Care was a theme it was harder to turn it inwards after a busy day. I was however really able to send myself love and appreciation for showing up.
Playing my guitar/piano is one activity that always fills me with ease and is one of my favourite ways to practice self care. Thanks for a beautiful practice Ally Xo
I love when you play the guitar and sing, I think it brings everyone around you joy as well 🙂
I’m glad you could send yourself that love and care today after an extra busy day. You deserve it Love!
Woah! Thank you for that! This meditation touched a very deep part of me, bringing forth some tears.
I appreciate the support in being a day behind – I struggled getting started on Monday.
What I noticed as the practice unfolded, was a quality of lightness that began when we were attending to the sense of sight and perceiving light. The light didn’t seem to be coming from the outside, but from behind my eyes. No colour, just light, I followed it and then the sense of lightness expanded throughout my body.
Thank you for sharing you. Namaste 🙏
Wow Amanda 🙂 This was a beautiful reflection to read for me. Thank you for sharing!! I loved chatting about it in person too. Very cool. And thanks for practicing with me! 🙂
I’m a couple of days behind & my anxiety has been in overdrive so I definitely needed this today! Thank you Ally. I had a hard time settling because my mind is all over the place right now but I found that if I repeated back to myself everything you were saying & really focussed on the words, I was able to make some progress. I agree with you about the plants – I have a lot of indoor plant babies at work & home that I adore.
I’m so glad you could come back to this challenge and community to find some peace Teghan. So important, especially right now. Xo
This day was particularly hard for me to follow. I was completely lost in the sounds of the trees moving in the wind and the the birds chirping. I didn’t realize anything you were saying until about half way through when you mentioned “ air on the face“ and “temperature of the air on your skin” that brought me back for a moment. Soon after I’m afraid I was lost again.
Hey Stephanie, this is a completely normal experience and I have them all the time in guided meditations. Becoming absorbed in the sounds is a beautiful thing. Every day is different 🙂 You are doing great!
Thank you, Ally. I’m a few days behind you in this challenge and I’m so grateful that I came back to it today. I manage a health food store and we’ve been so busy during this pandemic. Myself and my staff need some extra self care these days, thank you for your wise guidance. It was lovely hearing the cardinals singing. Namaste.