Forgiveness through Metta Bhavana (Loving Kindness meditation)
Metta Bhavana could be loosely translated as a feeling of friendship; I mean this is literal translation. It is also known as loving kindness. This is a meditation in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism.
So why do we need Metta Bhavana? Before we begin to feel love and kindness for anyone else, it is wise to feel so for oneself. You experience the world through your body and your mind. You might have a physical address where you receive your utility bills, entertain guests and make babies. But truly you live in your mind. This mind gives rise to your thoughts, controls every emotion and action and affects your body on a moment by moment basis. You body is a mere pathetic bystander of all that your mind creates. Your body is a victim of your mind. Hence you need to feel loving kindness towards yourself: your mind and your body.
Each time we feel something that is less than peace and pure joy, the cells in our muscles, nervous system and bones cringe. They are bombarded by toxins released from the effect of the emotions. This is what causes discomfort, disease, aging and eventual death. Every breath we die and every breath we are reborn. This might seem esoteric but think about it. On a physical plane we create death of our cells and weakness in our immune system and circulatory system. As blood passes through our body and fluids flow through cells, they carry these toxins from one to another.
Just like our hair and nails grow infinitesimally every moment, we do not notice these growth as we stare at our hair and our nails, do we? Similarly these toxins that are born from one emotion pass through our nervous system, our circulatory system and are carried from one cell of our bone to another damaging it infinitesimally. This process over time weakens us and one fine day we feel a pain in our body, we blow our nose, we feel an itch. Nothing happens at that particular moment when we experience this internal bodily sensation. It is the result of accumulated toxins in our body. Therefore it is very important to love our self every minute.
We have work to do, bills to pay, phone calls to make, emails to respond to, people to meet, shopping to do, meetings to attend, drinks to be had, children to tend to, pets to care for and partners to make love with. We do not have time to be mindful, to meditate on Metta Bhavana (loving kindness), to forgive ourselves and to share forgiveness with those who wronged us, those who triggered within us a thought, a desire, restlessness and drowsiness which led to the toxicity within our cells. This is your story and my story.
Think of the price we pay for not practicing loving kindness to our body and mind. We are constantly in a hurry, in a rush towards the next moment that will make us happy, but in effect we are only causing aging and a slow death. The thing we fear the most, we are working towards it. So is it too much to ask to forgive one self and to love and be kind to oneself? The best time to start is here and now. Go, do it NOW! It takes a minute, what are you waiting for?
I shall share how to do this soon, so stay tuned.
Until later, love and peace!