For the past several years in February at Georgetown, we have gathered to practice the “sweet, heart-opening, sometimes challenging but always nourishing” lovingkindness meditation. In preparing for this year’s gathering and writing this blog post, I reread what I wrote last year on this meditation. The words still ring true and deep. I invite you to read that post for a glimpse into what lovingkindness meditation is. Today, I want to extend an invitation.
Throughout history, mystics have talked of this balance between rest and work, contemplation and action.
Take a moment and right now, notice yourself taking a breath. We breathe in, we breathe out. We can’t have one without the other and still be living! One impacts the other. A full, complete exhale brings forth a deep inhale. Just like the wave of the breath, deep rest fuels focused work. Quiet contemplation inspires clear action.
In our culture, we all know – we all can feel within us – how there is an imbalance here. And it’s not on the side of too much contemplation or too much rest! We push and push ourselves. We check our work email when we “should” be with our families or taking a walk (or sleeping). We stay busy.
And as a result, our actions can often be REACTIONS. We snap at the people we love. We have road rage. And our minds can be scattered as we trudge through the busyness of the day. The word “focus” is becoming somewhat of a fixation in many industries. How do we stay focused amid constant text alerts, late-night emails, and coffee running through our veins instead of feeling the crisp air in our lungs on a long, winter walk?
Meditation. Yep. Sitting down, stilling the body, and resting.
Before you say, “oh that’s too hard” or “I’ve never been able to meditate”… try lovingkindness meditation.
This month at our Mind-Body Connections gathering (Wednesday, February 11, 2015), I’ll be encouraging participants to try this meditation for 29 days (February is a short month!).
Morning and evening.
Two minutes or twenty – doesn’t matter.
What matters is sitting our behinds down and doing it. Every day.
And instead of me convincing anyone with my words and describing the clarity, focus, and compassionate action that arises from formal meditation, let’s see what we all say when we meet in March. Let’s hear what impact this time of rest and contemplation, of sending and receiving lovingkindness, had on our focus, on our sense of clarity, and our actions.
I’ll be doing this 29 Day Meditation Challenge along with you. Morning and evening.
You can register for Mind-Body Connection’s February 11th workshop, Compassion in Action, by clicking the button below.
This post was written by Lisa A. McCrohan, MA, LICSW, RYT, Wellness Workshop Facilitator, Psychotherapist, Compassion Coach and Soulful Writer at Barefoot Barn.