Starting to meditate, I was taught two practices and I am very grateful for both of them. The first was a meditation on the breath. Not something that we can easily control, all we do is watch it coming in and going out. Sounds simple but once we try we realise that it ain’t.
The second practice was a loving kindness practice. Known in Pali as ‘metta’, we offer these thoughts firstly to ourselves (most difficult, I found), to a good friend, then a stranger and finally what is known as ‘the difficult person’.
May you be safe, and free from danger
May you be healthy, and free from pain
May you be happy, and free from distress
May you live in this world with ease and goodwill
WIth my eyes closed I would imagine the good friend, the stranger and the difficult person sat in front of me as I went through the meditation phrases in my mind.
It started off by feeling a little wooden, but after a wee while the feelings began to feel very heartful. HIghly recommended.
For those wishing to practice this in te reo Maori, here are the four lines above:
Kia ora koe, mahorahora i te whakawhara
Kia kauora koe, mahorahora i te mamae
Kia hari koe, mahorahora i te pouri
Kia ngawhari, kia ngakaunui tou oranga ki roto i tenei ao.