Someone asked recently about the difference between hypnosis and guided imagery. Many counselors say they use “guided imagery” which they may or may not consider related to hypnosis or hypnotherapy. And if that weren’t confusing enough, sometimes people aren’t sure of the difference between meditation and guided imagery.
So what is hypnosis, what is guided imagery, and what is meditation?
On Election Day, I was doing a practice of mudita, appreciative or empathetic joy. Like in mettapractice, you choose a neutral person, a loved one, and an irritating person. In this case, you look to feel happiness in their happiness, taking joy in their joy. For my irritating person, I chose a politician, not one whose election would bring me joy.
Watching my son sail off into the sunset on his skateboard, I am reminded of not only his first introduction to the art of shredding but also prompted to look deeper at the way in which I approach fear.
As qualities inherent in every human being, compassion and loving-kindness can be developed and cultivated through practice and training. With effort, each and every person can learn to be more compassionate, kinder, and more patient. Transform your relationship to yourself, your family, your community, and your world by learning metta and tonglen, contemplative techniques designed to exercise the heart and open the mind.
When you go on a retreat, there's always a talk near the end about transitioning back to "the real world." You've been in a place where people are mindful and intentional, less stressed by the details of daily life. You're about to re-enter the rat race, and you're not up to speed.
But what if life could be more like retreat? What if people in ordinary life were mindful -- present and attentive and grounded in the situation ... how would life be different?