Friday, January 21, 2011

Universal Loving-Kindness Meditation and Integral Assessment

Universal Loving-Kindness Meditation and Integral Assessment

To be honest, I was fine with the mini loving-kindness meditation…close your eyes for a minute and two and rest into the natural ease of my mind and body. No problem! But, how was I supposed to repeat the suggested phrases for 10 minutes if my eyes were closed? Really, I had to open my eyes at this point in order to repeat the phrases. I tried memorizing them, but that was not successful…I kept forgetting words or mixing up the order. Frustrated? Yes, I was…after all, I believe Dacher’s practices require more time in order for one to achieve the goal of taming one’s mind and controlling it. Personally, I have not gained the skill of taming my mind yet; I am still struggling with disruptive thoughts that constantly bombard my mind. Even if I attempt one contemplative practice and can achieve a calm mind; the peace of mind disappears once I resume my activities and the realities of life take over.

That said, the assessment did not reveal anything new about myself of which I was not already aware. I have a clear idea about my strengths and weakness, and it is just a matter of finding what really works as opposed to being a temporary fix. On a good note, my biological life is strong and the main focus of my daily activities. I engage in daily physical activities to work on endurance, flexibility, strength, and agility. In addition, I respect the environment and do not believe in animal cruelty; therefore, my diet reflects a concern for my beliefs as I maintain a sustainable diet of plant based foods; such as legumes, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Likewise, I am working on maintaining a balance in my life with meditation, visualization, and deep breathing exercises to foster a sense of calmness, intentional focus, and awareness.

On the other hand, my psychospiritual life is weak as I have a tendency to keep my feelings to myself and not express myself verbally. I hold my emotions inward, which causes me to be angry and frustrated…mostly toward myself, and I have a tendency take my frustrations out on those close to me. However, I am working on being less reactive and more responsive by recognizing my body’s stress and anger cues, restructuring my thoughts in a positive manner, reducing my expectations of myself and others, and forgiving the past. At the same time, I am engaging in yoga, meditation, and contemplative practices so that I can learn to tame and control my mind of the constant chatter and negative thoughts and achieve stillness, clarity, and inner peace.

This is the one area that I realize requires my focus in order to achieve growth and development; but this too will take time. Besides, I have learned that this area tends to be underdeveloped and is the source of mental suffering and premature disease. Furthermore, it is the one area of my life that will improve other areas of my life so that I may discover inner strengths and qualities of wisdom and compassion to flourish instead of survive. Inasmuch, I am doing this not only for my health and wellness; but to teach others how they can also experience health, happiness, and wholeness. It just requires an intentional choice, patience, determination, and faith.

Be well!



Diana Davis said...

Hi Allana,

First of all thank you for sharing such a wonderful reflective experience. I guess everyone has different prefernces and experiences when it comes to particular exercises. That said, I find your post for this week very meaningful and understanding. I am so sorry you weren't able to receive the same experience I did with the universal loving kindness. Although I didn't close my eyes and just repeated the words over and over again, I still felt an overpowering feeling within myself. I suggest you should try that. I do understand though where you are coming from with the frustration and trying to memorize it but if you just keep yourself in a relaxed state and then repeat the words, I really believe you have a different experience. So don't give up since most of Dacher's exercises are more towards opening the mind and seeking within oneself. It takes time and lots of practice to get the full experience. So I wish you good luck and thank you so much for sharing your reflective experience with us.

Min said...

Hi Allana,
Wow I must say you seem to have alot together. I did find it difficult to sit for that long saying the phrases but it was a good time for me to do it and I wound up liking it. I think that is great that you know exactly what area in your life you need to work on. I have so many areas. Stress is in the lead right now. But I am also young and attempting to do it all at once. I think once my situation calms down then I can really focus on me. Right now it's school, work, kids, husband. That is probably why I was much more sick than anyone else in my house when I finally got sick.

I also think it is amazing how you take care of your body and work out and eat healthy. I wish I new where to begin. I love meat though but I would love to learn how to eat more healthy, and how to make it taste good. Also I have always thought that healthy foods cost more, that could just be my own ignorance of not knowing. I think that what you are doing is great. I think that what you do would work for me at some point in my life but not right now. Great job here. I enjoy reading your blogs.

Hassel said...

Hi Allana,

Thank you for you reflection on your experience with this weeks exercise. I must say that I also find my psycho-spiritual life to be lacking. I am really trying to take the time to sit down and practice the loving kindness exercise (although not my fav) and the subtle mind exercise. I also participate in yoga which is such a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Thanks again for sharing and good luck.