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Developing a More Loving Mind

Melli O'Brien






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Developing a More Loving Mind

This meditation cultivates a more loving and less judgemental mind.

The Dalai Lama once said, "What is love?

Love is the absence of judgment."

so we can all be really prone to viewing

people and the world around us through

a screen of preconceived notions,

judgments, beliefs, and opinions.

When we think we already know someone

or something, it really limits

our capacity to see truly what is.

So maybe you have an opinion

about someone and you put them

in a box, as the saying goes.

She's a hippie.

He's arrogant.

She's smart.

He's weird.

Or maybe you had a challenging

interaction with someone and you

made your mind up about them.

But if we hold on to these mental

labels, thinking that we know someone

through these mental judgments, we never

really get to truly meet them again.

We only ever see them through

the lens of our own viewpoints.

And we've all experienced how our

judgments can often feel negative

feelings towards others towards

ourselves, and even towards life.

But whatever our mental labels

are about things, the truth is, is

that that's all, they really are.

Mental labels about things.

Not reality.

So to meet reality moment by moment

is to put aside our attachment to

these viewpoints and ideas that you

already know something or someone and

adopt the openness, the freshness, and

the kindness of the beginner's mind.

By doing so we naturally become more

loving and compassionate people.

So let's give it a try.

So settling into a meditation

posture, if you haven't already.

Allowing the eyes to lightly close.

And as a way of gathering the fullness

of your awareness to this moment, just

taking three deep, slow, full breaths.

So breathing in.

And breathing out.

And taking two more breaths like

that in your own time, your own way.

And at the end of this next exhale,

just relaxing any control of the breath.

Just letting the breath now settle

back into its own natural rhythm.

But staying in touch with the feeling

of the breath moving in the body.

And as we settle into this

meditation, just beginning to really

be attentive to wherever you're

feeling the breath the most vividly.

It might be the sensation of the

rising and falling of the belly.

It might be the touch of air

at the tip of the nostrils.

Or maybe the gentle expansion

and contraction of the chest.

Or it might be a kind of overall sense

of the breath moving in the body.

Whatever it is, just bring your

attention to the sensation of the

shifting tides of the breathing.

And becoming more and more

intimate with those sensations.

Moving awareness right up close and

feeling the flow of each and every breath.

And remember there's no need to try

to control the breath or change it.

No need to think about the breath,

just simply feeling into it, just

following it with your awareness.

And now begin to expand your focus

out to the sounds around you.

Just taking in the soundscape as it

unfolds moment by moment by moment.

And as you listen to sounds,

seeing if you can do so without

any liking or disliking, without

trying to change or fix anything.

Having a sense of allowing the

sounds to unfold just as they are.

Just taking it in.

Listening to the song of this moment.

Also noticing any tendency to

start getting involved in a mental

commentary about the sounds.

Any judgments.

And seeing if you can just let that go.

And instead, just hearing what's here

to be heard as if for the first time,

as if each sound was totally new to you.

So each time you notice a sound,

see if you can simply experience it

without judgment, without liking or

disliking, just bringing a curiosity

and an openness to the listening.

And this moment of sound

will never be heard again.

It's fleeting.

So let it be heard fully.

A wise man once told me that the

optimum state for meditation is a little

bit like a moment of being in love.

So when you're in love, you give a person

your complete attention and you accept

them and you love them just as they are.

You're completely open to them.

And in that moment, you're

not trying to change them.

You don't judge them.

You don't have an agenda.

You're just fully present and accepting.

So with this in mind, can you get

a sense of listening to sounds

around you with that kind of

unconditional loving awareness?

Just let the song of this moment

be fully heard and experienced.

So just keep noticing sounds with an

open, fresh, and curious awareness

as best you can, without judgment,

without liking or disliking.

Just allowing the dance of

sound to unfold in awareness.

So if the mind wanders away from

listening to sounds and gets

caught in thinking, no problem.

Just notice the thought that

distracted you and then gently

guide the focus back to listening to

sounds unfolding moment by moment.

And in these last moments of meditation,

just bringing the focus back now to

rest attention in the feeling of the

breath gently moving in the body.

Well, we can train ourselves

again and again to bring a less

judgmental mind, a more loving mind,

a beginner's mind into our lives.

We can cultivate it through meditation,

but we can also bring the beginner's mind

into our work, our hearts and our homes.

And by doing so we can experience a new

level of depth and richness in our lives.

And perhaps most importantly, we can bring

it into our relationships with others.

When we put aside our preconceived ideas

about others and meet them as they are in

this moment, we give them a great gift,

the gift of being truly seen and heard.

And that may be the greatest

gift that we can give.

So maybe take a moment to contemplate

how can you bring the beginner's

mind into your life today?

What notions, judgments and

opinions can you lay aside so that

you can see what is more clearly.

And as this practice now draws to a

close, just notice how your mind and

your body are feeling after meditation.

And take a deep breath in.

And as you breathe out, beginning

to wriggle fingers and toes.

And open the eyes.

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