Saturday, July 31, 2010

Opening the love gates

The following steps are a meditation for connecting with your soft spot and initiating the flow of unconditional love, also known as lovingkindness. (To distinguish this kind of love from conditional love, imagine the love of a good mother for her baby. She gives her love freely and unconditionally, without expecting anything in return except her baby’s happiness and well-being.) As with all the meditations presented in this chapter, you may want to begin with five or ten minutes of a mindfulness practice like counting or following your breaths in order to deepen and stabilize your concentration. Once you get the knack, though, the cultivation of lovingkindness itself can be an excellent way to develop concentration.
  1. Begin by closing your eyes, taking a few deep breaths, and relaxing your body a little with each exhalation.
  2. Imagine the face of someone who loved you very much as a child and whose love moved you deeply.
  3. Remember a time when this person showed his or her love for you and you really took it in.
  4. Notice the gratitude and love this memory evokes in your heart.n Allow these feelings to well up and fill your heart.
  5. Gently extend these feelings to this loved one. You may even experience a circulation of love between the two of you as you give and receive love freely.
  6. Allow these loving feelings to overflow and gradually suffuse your whole being. Allow yourself to be filled with love.

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