The next session of my yoga class is focusing on the The Brahmaviharas, the four sublime attitudes. I have very little experience with and knowledge of these Buddhist virtues, so I am excited to broaden my horizons.
Week One we focused on Maitri — friendliness toward the joyful. As with a lot of our classes, we focused on going inward, to share friendliness and acceptance with our selves. I needed that this week. The postures were a challenge, not because they were physically difficult, but because I had to remember to connect my mind to my body. To think deeper about body placement and intention. It was kind of like a backwards step, but I know that sometimes going back gives you the ability to move forward.
At the end of class we shared a Buddhist meditation called a Metta Meditation, something else I was not familiar with. To ourselves, we repeated the following statements.
May I be happy.
May I be peaceful.
May I be safe from harm.
May I be free from suffering.
May I have the ease and joy of well-being.
After several rounds, we were then encouraged to think of someone in our lives who could benefit from these words, and then, again, to ourselves, we repeated the following:
May you be happy.
May you be peaceful.
May you be safe from harm.
May you be free from suffering.
May you have the ease and joy of well-being.
Powerful stuff, folks! I spent the day with these words rolling around in my head. Simple statements that can bring mighty strength. Quite the learning day!