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.