This Holiday Season… Choose Love.

I have already heard stories of uncomfortable holiday meals and my guess is that there will be more to come. I’ve never seen our country so divided.  I would wager that none us have. It’s painful.  Despite what we may think, the reason it’s so painful isn’t because one of us is “right” and the other is “wrong”.  It’s painful because it actually physically hurts in our hearts when we carry hatred and contempt for our fellow man, families and friends.  But beneath the layers of red and blue, urban and rural, black and white, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Atheist, we are all human beings who want just to be happy and free from suffering, even if our beliefs on how to go about it are radically different.

I don’t have any silver bullet advice for bridging the cultural, moral, or political divides in our country.  That’s way above my pay-grade.  What I do know for sure is that love is more important than anything else… even being right or trying to convince someone else to see things from my point of view.   So I would encourage you to practice love over this holiday season.  If nothing else, practice love.    This has been a very powerful practice for me as I too have some people in my life that I love dearly, but disagree with.

Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It is the universal solvent which cuts through all hate, all fears, all obstacles, all difficulties. Where difficult, problematic relationships exist, it is due to the absence of love energy between you and the other individual(s). Practicing loving kindness rebuilds the love energy bridges between you and other(s). This dissolves away the problems between you like magic – without you trying to change the other person!

Sending Loving Kindness to the most difficult people in our lives is an incredibly powerful practice.  So I would invite you to try this in preparation for those upcoming family gatherings:

LOVING KINDNESS PRACTICE:

Easy Person
Bring someone into your mind who you really love.  This could be a friend, child, teacher, mentor, pet.  Try to pick a relationship that isn’t too complicated.  It should be someone who it’s really easy to have loving feelings towards.  Picture their face in your mind.  You can imagine them smiling at you.  Send them these wishes in your mind:

May you be safe and protected.
May you be happy and peaceful.
May you be healthy and strong.
May you live your life with ease.

Difficult Person
This could be a family member, a friend, a coworker. This should be someone with whom you are experiencing negative communication.  Knowing that all beings just want to be happy and free from suffering, send them the same wishes:

May you be safe and protected.
May you be happy and peaceful.
May you be healthy and strong.
May you live your life with ease.

Four Types of Persons to develop loving-kindness towards:

  • Yourself (May I be safe…)
  • A respected or dearly beloved person – such as a spiritual teacher, mentor, close family member or friend.
  • A neutral person – somebody you know, but have no special feelings towards, e.g.: a person who serves you in a shop.
  • A difficult person – someone you are currently having difficulty with or difficult feelings towards.

I would encourage you to try them all during your meditation practice.  It can be quite trans-formative.

Sending you all love!

 

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2 Comments

  1. Mary Ging   •  

    A really good one, Stacy. I’m going to try it for both those I love and those I’d like to throttle!

  2. Lisa Curtis   •  

    This is exactly what I needed right now. How kind of you to share this practice with us at this very moment in time. I agree, practicing love is so important right now. Happy Holiday’s to you! Lisa (from Lineage Performing Arts)

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