Using Loving Kindness with Road Rage

Sending out Loving Kindness while driving……

Today I was driving and encountered some hostility on the road, imagine that……how surprising. (Welcome to L.A.)

I started feeling anger arise and I immediately said to myself.  “This is what anger feels like”  Instead of allowing it to overflow and take over I decided to follow a teachers advice which was…

“Loving Kindness is always a good response, you can never go wrong with sending Loving Kindness”

So I sent Loving Kindness (LK) to myself and then I sent out LK to all the drivers that I encountered on my journey.  Instead of seeing someone with eyes of judgement I saw and sent them LK.  I then realized a few things.

First of all, one cannot send Loving Kindness without it putting a smile on their face.  Try it.  I found myself getting in such a good mood just by the smile that was generated by a simple gesture that took a second to do.

Secondly, I noticed that when I looked at someone without mindfulness, I usually judge and label them. I put them in a box.  i.e. Seeing a homeless person, I would involuntarily label and put them in a box called “Homeless person” and add all of society’s stereotypical labels as well.  I wanted to switch it up abit to see if from a different perspective.  Curiosity took over.

Thirdly, I realized that when I sent someone LK I forgot to judge them.  The proverbial “Ah Ha” moment occurred.  I noticed that I didn’t have enough time to do both.  Once I sent them LK, I moved on to other things and judgement wasn’t one of them.  So it looks like I accidentally changed LK for judgement.  Hmmm, Maybe my studying is finally starting to take hold.

So I started my new practice of sending Loving Kindness to everyone as a default greeting, silently.  I actually learned this a while ago by reading works by Chade Meng-Tan of Google fame.  I guess I just needed a reminder.

Give it a try.  I challenge you to try it next time you walk into a crowded room.  Just look at each individual and say to yourself,  “I wish for you to be happy”  Notice if the energy of the room changes.  Since only you know you are doing it, it’s extremely safe and you won’t get embarrassed.

Remember….It’s Only Stuff

Awakening to Heart practice

My Meditation practice was revived with Buddhist jumper cables.

I was moved deeply during my visit to Esalen over the Christmas holidays.  I was allowed to be genuine without any pretense, just being.

It was very liberating and such a learning experience that has lit a smoldering fire that was needing attention. Well the fire has been stoked and is now in beginner’s mind inquiry mode.

The impact that the Esalen sangha had was intense at times.  The honesty that was demonstrated was liberating, especially with people that I only knew for 7 days.  Some of the connections felt as if they will were always there but hidden from my reality.

I’ve since joined the “Against the Stream” sangha in Los Angeles and I’m enjoying it tremendously.  Looking forward to Noah’s daylong 1/21.

A Prayer for the Children

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A Prayer for the Children

I heard this from a Dharma talk given by Vinny Ferraro.  It struck many chords within myself…..and I don’t even have kids.

 

We pray for children who sneak popsicles after supper
Who erase holes in math workbooks
Who can never find their shoes
And we pray for those who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire
Who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers
Who never counted potatoes
Who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead
Who never go to the circus
Who live in an X rated world
We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions
Who hugs us in a hurry and forget their lunch money
We pray for those who never get desert
Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them
Who watch their parents watch them
Who can’t find any bread to steal
Who don’t have any rooms to clean up
Whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser
Whose monsters are real
We pray for children who spend their allowance before Tuesday
Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food
Who like those stories
Who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub
Who get visits from the tooth fairy
Who don’t like to be kissed in front of the car pool
Who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone
Whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smile can make us cry
And we pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime
Who will eat anything
Who have never seen a dentist
Who aren’t spoiled by anybody
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep
Who live and move but have no being
We pray for children who want to be carried
And for those who must
And for those we never give up on
And for those who don’t get a second chance
And to those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it

Mindful Moments

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Meditation is not about the result. It is about the intention and attitude of mind. Get these right and the result will take care of itself.

Mindful Moments

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Forget about achievement and attainment when you meditate, it is all about developing the right approach. Everything else takes care of itself.