Loving-kindness Part 1

Warburton

‘Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.’

Henry James

 

May I be happy

May I be healthy

May I be peaceful

May I live with ease.

 

These simple words of the metta, or loving-kindness meditation, have much to offer us. When we first hear them, we might find them a bit obvious, or a voice in our head might say, ‘that’s all very well and good, but…’ There may be any number of reasons why it might be difficult for us to imagine a life of happiness, health and peace, but this doesn’t mean we cannot wish for it. Continue reading “Loving-kindness Part 1” »

Our internal balance sheet

Sherbrooke forest

‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

George Orwell, Animal Farm

We all know people who bestride the world with an exaggerated sense of entitlement, as if they’re somehow special and the world owes them something. Others seem to be apologetic for their very existence, anxiously striving to ‘make up’ for the fact they were born and are still around. Whether we have a positive balance sheet (the world owes me, and I’m simply calling in the remuneration I’m entitled to) or a negative one (I guess it’s okay I’m here, as long as I’m conscientious about continually ‘paying off’ my original debt) depends on a complex interaction between the societal values we grew up with, our family environment, our life experiences and personality. Continue reading “Our internal balance sheet” »

Precious moments

red berriesAccording to the thirteenth century Zen master Dogen, there are 6,440,099,180 moments in each day. If we multiply this by the 342 days remaining of this year, we still have 2,202,513,919,560 moments ahead of us before we get to 2015. Of course, in reality it’s impossible to calculate the ephemeral nature of moments, but in mindfulness every moment is an opportunity to become more present, and Dogen’s calculation, give or take a few moments, clearly presents us with numerous opportunities to be mindful each day. Continue reading “Precious moments” »