When you live with an open heart, you’re vulnerable…
….and don’t I know it. Not everyone sees the open heart for what it is–or respects it as they should. Usually because they are too busy thinking about themselves. So busy they can’t see others, not really.
Those of us with open hearts feel that pain–and the pain of the world around us — keenly. And maybe, from time to time, we’d like more love in our lives.
If you sometimes feel a little unloved, maybe in particular situation or even in general, I’ve got a little exercise for you, one I’ve done with clients and also for myself. A meditation of sorts, inspired by Sharon Salzburg, meditation guru extraordinaire, and by the wonderful Ram Dass. Meeting him was life-changing and I return to his work again and again. And the work of his amazingly and accomplished colleagues, like Sharon.
So here’s the exercise for more love– it’s very simple:
Circle of Loving Beings
Sit or recline comfortably. Close your eyes and see yourself in a circle of the most loving beings ever. Around you might be people who have inspired you with their love (even if you don’t know them. You’d be surprised at who is in mine.). They can be of this world or not. Maybe mythical. Or maybe you know or have known them. You’re right in the center.
Open your heart further
As you sit in the center, begin to feel the love they offer you. Open your heart even further and feel yourself receiving the love, care and regard of every being that sits around you. In your mind, repeat your heart’s fondest desires. Salzburg uses metta phrases, which I love, such as May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease of heart.
Notice your feelings
Be aware of how you feel as you sit in the center of the circle receiving this kind of love. You can feel just about any emotion: gratitude, resistance, appreciation. Tears may flow. Whatever emotions come up, feel them and continue to repeat your phrases. In my case they are: May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease of heart.
Allow the love to reach you
Be open to the love around you. Imagine warm, loving energy coming in through every cell of your body. Picture yourself receiving this love for no good reason except that you are here. You don’t have to earn it. It’s there for you. No strings attached. It’s metta: loving kindness.
Return the love
Send that loving kindness back to all beings in your circle. And then toward all beings everywhere, regardless of who they are or where. What you have accepted, you give back–that same love and attention and kindness.
Allow it to become part of you
Let that loving kindness become part of you and part of what you express (or return) to the world around you. Bask in the love you are receiving and allow it to boomerang back into the entire world. More love and more love.
And when you are ready, open your eyes, feeling refreshed, and realizing there’s no lack of love in your life. Or even in the world Not at all. And especially not if you are sending it out, too!
This is such a helpful antidote to the world around us, which seems to grow more unkind every day. It’s a grounding meditation that never fails to make me feel happy.
Why not meet with your circle of loving beings every day?
And remember the many loving gifts for those who need a bit of gentle, tangible support… offered in my Etsy shop right here.