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!?
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