Every thought leaves a neural trace, what effect will 10 minutes of concentrated loving-kindness and compassion practice every day for a year have on our minds?
This page is in progress, it is primarily for people already somewhat familiar with this practice, if you are not familiar with it, please contact me with questions!
Practice with the phrases for ten minutes a day for a year. Five minutes twice a day, or ten minutes at a time. This phrasing was suggested by a tea her, I have found that the slightly reworded phrases requires a bit more focus and concentration, giving the practice more power, and added training for my mind.
Begin by thinking of a being, or beings, a living person or animal that you care about/love. Not a romantic partner. Visualize him or her, in your mind, Repeat the phrases, silently in your mind, sending the good wishes to him or her.
May you be safe May you be free from physical suffering May you be free from mental suffering May be abide in wellbeing
Notice the energetic/emotional affect, of warmth, expansiveness, lightness, relaxation, whatever it feels like to you, generated by sending good thoughts to someone you care about. Include yourself in these wishes and feelings, Repeat the phrases, using "I". Continue to send the phrases to yourself, and towards the end, include anyone else you would like to include. Notice the effects without judgment, email with any stories or questions:)
May I be safe May I be free from physical suffering May I be free from mental suffering May I abide in well-being
It is most important to send these thoughts to yourself, we cannot think them too much or too often. The practice is an effort towards our intention of being in the world with kindness and compassion. Notice the effect without judgment. When the phrases feel dry and repetitive it is okay, if there is an emotional shift, its a bit more fun, but have some faith and confidence, the practice is always doing its work on us! (Unfortunately habitual negative, worried, judging thoughts are also doing their work on us!)
Our practice is one breath, one thought, one moment at a time. Cumulatively, the effect of many moments of intentional self-kindness and self-compassion is that we spontaneously, effortlessly, joyfully share that kindness with others.