Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

To LOVE and BE LOVED unconditionally

To be unconditionally loved means to be loved just as you are, without having to be or do anything special.

But how can we be radically accepted?

We need to love and accept ourselves just as we are, to be able to love someone else in such a limitless way and to be open to receive that love without feeling unworthy and inadequate.

Patanjali (whose text I had the honour of studying with Carlos Pomeda this past weekend) and Buddha invite us to cultivate brahmaviharas (the four states of the mind):

1. Metta = lovingkindness
2. Karuna = compassion
3. Mudita = joy
4. Upekkha = disregard for Patanjali and equanimity (ability to feel connection fully, without clinging or possessiveness) for the Buddhists

Swami Satchidananda translates Patanjali's Yoga Sutra 1.33 like this: "By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight for the virtuous and disregard toward the wicked, the mind retains its undisturbed calmness".

As Carlos pointed out, Patanjali is very pragmatical and gives you clear advises on how to protect our mind from fluctuations in order to avoid the root of suffering. Judging those who are misguided upsets the mind and diverts the prana (life force). Besides, Patanjali stands from the viewpoint according to which people hear when they are ready to hear.

The Buddhist yoga tradition offers detailed instructions on the practice of cultivating the brahmaviharas:

~ Sit comfortably
~ Call to mind your own goodness (a good deed, a quality in yourself you enjoy, or simply your innate wish to be happy)
~ Bring your attention to the heart centre and acknowledge how it feels without judging
~ Then repeat this METTA verses:

May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be safe from harm
May I enjoy happiness and the root of happiness
May I experience ease and well-being in body, mind and spirit.

~ If you feel a reaction of anger, fear, sadness, etc., add in these verses of KARUNA:

May I be free from suffering
May I hold myself with softness and care
May I be free from suffering and the root of suffering
May I be free from the suffering caused by greed (or anger, fear, confusion, and so on)
May I experience ease of body, mind and spirit
May I respond to suffering with compassion.

~ Notice your breath and body responses to these words.

~ After you express metta karuna to yourself, direct it to a beloved one. Then to a neutral person. Then to a difficult person. Finally to all beings.

You will feel joy in the awareness that your heart can contain so much love.

Metta karuna can be applied in any daily situation: to the people in the street... and to yourself every time you experience aversion.

Every morning, you can recite this intention to start the day with the right foot:

Waking this morning, I smile,
A brand new day is before me.
I aspire to live each moment mindfully.
And to look upon all beings
With the eyes of kindness and compassion.
May you, and all other beings, be happy and free from suffering.

Frank Jude Boccio, Yoga Journal Article Love in Full Bloom, May 10

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