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28-day Meditation Challenge: DAY 27 and loving the kindness

Almost done (ha! "done") with Sharon's 28-day meditation challenge. "Done" doesn't mean much except as a way of marking the calendar, and I have the feeling it's not done with me. 

The last week of the practices outlined in Real Happiness are lovingkindness, or metta, practices. I've been taught various forms of lovingkindness meditation and last year was lucky enough to spend a weekend retreat at the IDP, where Sharon led a two-day teaching on the topic.

Frankly, I don't have much to say about metta practice, but I've had a lot to feel. It's helped me open my heart to myself and to others. It's helped me open my eyes to the inherent lovingkindness and basic goodness of sentient beings.

This morning, on my way to work, I waited for the walk signal on a corner of Madison Avenue, in the brilliant morning light. A young woman bent to the ground, picked up something that sparkled in the sun, and trotted across the crosswalk. She caught up to a woman in a red coat on the opposite corner. She handed her an earring. Then she recrossed the street. 

They didn't know each other. One was that proverbial neutral person, in that section of the metta practice, to the other. The person one does not usually pay attention to. But they did, in the end, pay attention to each other. Kindly.

It made me think about what the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche calls "a culture of kindness." Even on the most spontaneous, mundane, not-so-exalted level, it was kind. It made me spontaneously think:

May all beings be healthy. May all beings be happy. May all beings be safe. May [some] beings help another find a lost earring. May all beings live at ease. 

May all beings never be parted from freedom's true joy!

Thank you for these past 28 days.


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