Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to Transform Others?

  1. Imagine a friend or loved one who happens to be suffering right now.
  2. Breathe in the person’s pain and suffering with compassion and breathe out love, peace, joy, and healing.
  3. After several minutes, begin to widen the circle of your compassion to include first other people you care about, then those toward whom you feel neutral, and then those you dislike or find difficult. (For more on the order of this progression, see the section “How to Generate Love for Yourself and Others” earlier in this chapter.) Breathe in their suffering and pain and breathe out peace, love, and joy, using any images you find helpful.
  4. Extend your compassion in this way, first to all the people in the world and then to all beings everywhere. Though you won’t be able to visualize them, you can sense their presence as you breathe in and breathe out.
  5. End the meditation by dedicating any virtue you may have accumulated through this practice to the benefit of all beings.
You can do these phases out of order or separately, if you choose, but it’s important to begin the practice each time with yourself.

How to Transform Your Situation?

  1. Recall a recent situation in which you acted badly or inappropriately. Perhaps you blame yourself or feel guilty or remorseful, or maybe you’ve been resisting these feelings. Recollect the situation as vividly as possible.
  2. Notice how your actions affected the other people involved.
  3. Take full responsibility for your actions. Notice that I said responsibility, not blame. You blew it, and you wholeheartedly acknowledge that you blew it, without beating yourself up about it, but also without denying or justifying what you did.
  4. Breathe in the responsibility as well as any blame, pain, or other negative emotions involved and breathe out forgiveness, understanding, reconciliation, and harmony.
  5. Continue in this way for several minutes. If another situation comes to mind, set it aside and do this practice with it at another time.

How to Transform Yourself?

  1. Imagine yourself in front of you and become aware of your own stress, suffering, and dissatisfaction.You may find, for example, that you’re angry with your boss or afraid of an upcoming challenge or still hurt or bitter about some mistreatment you received as a child.
  2. Allow yourself to feel compassion for yourself and your own suffering.
  3. As you inhale, breathe in to the sphere of light in your heart whatever suffering you find and breathe out a soothing, caring, compassionate energy that envelops and fills the “you” in front of you. If you find it helpful to use a particular image for this energy, such as fresh flowers or a cool breeze, go right ahead. Or you can use the image of white light suggested in the previous phase.
  4. Continue taking in and giving forth in this way for five minutes or longer.