Grounding in Loving Kindness
Somehow, I always find myself returning to Pema Chodron.
This passage is from her book The Wisdom of No Escape:
"When people start to meditate..., they often think that somehow they're going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It's a bit like saying, 'If I jog, I'll be a much better person.' 'If I could only get a nicer house, I'd be a better person.' 'If I could meditate and calm down, I'd be a better person.'
Or the scenario may be that they find fault with others; they might say, 'If it weren't for my husband, I'd have a perfect marriage.' 'If it weren't for the fact that my boss and I can't get on, my job would be just great.' And 'If it weren't for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.'
But loving-kindness - maitri - toward ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness.
The point is not to try to change ourselves. Meditation practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That's the ground.
The ground of loving kindness is ourselves."
I invite you in this morning's meditation to practice loving kindness (maitri) toward yourself.
Let where you are right now be the ground of your meditation, rooted in loving kindness.
Loving Kindness Journal Prompts
- In what ways do you feel like you need to improve?
- Off the top of your head make a list of 5 ways you want to improve.
- After writing that list, write another list below it reframing the first list, "My value is not dependent on...."
- For example, if you wrote "I need to improve myself by working out more" in the first list, in the second you'd write, "My value is not dependent on how often I work out."
Quintessential Quads & Happy Hamstrings!
Continuing on grounding through our body with yoga poses, for our Yoga Fix we move from the feet & calves to the powerful stabilizing muscles of the quads and hamstrings.
For most of us these two groups of large muscles tend to be pretty darn tight and need extra love & attention.
The quadriceps are made of 4 muscles: the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius & vastus medialis
While the hamstrings consist of 3 muscles:
the bicep femoris long & short head, semitendinosus, & semimembranosus.
This 25 minute (yes, I did get a little quad happy with this one, & it's a little longer, but your quads will thank you!) yoga fix will be a good start to having quintessential quads & happier hamstrings.