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  • Writer's pictureHannah Marsh


"Metta (Loving-Kindness) then, is this sense of being at home, of allowing, of accepting and being patient with what you don’t like and don’t want, of allowing what you find irritating, disgusting and revolting, whatever. It is a question of learning not to get lost in reactions, but rather to be patient and accepting, to welcome even the dark side of your experience.

"That takes patience, doesn’t it? For me at least it does, because emotionally I am conditioned to trying to push things away, trying to get rid of them. Patient acceptance is also about welcoming the good side, but in a way that does not demand it. When happiness is present, welcome it, allow it to rise. But also allow it to cease. To be able to do this takes attentiveness, takes this ... still point, this sense of pure presence which includes all that ‘is’ right now."

- Attributed to Ajahn Sumedho

The power of mindfulness practice never ceases to move me. Last night, while facilitating the final class of an 8-week MBSR program, I was blown away by the group's kind acceptance of themselves and their internal experience. I witnessed a growing capacity to meet this moment, just as it is - welcoming body sensations with curiosity, allowing thoughts to arise and pass, turning towards difficulty with openness and self-compassion.

I know from my own practice - this isn't easy! One moment, I may hold my experience with a sense of openness and possibility, then in the next moment, I may become tight and reactive, caught up in rumination, worries, or distractions from unpleasantness. It's a lifelong practice, learning to meet the full range of our internal experiences with willingness and an open heart.

So how do we support ourselves in this practice?

Loving-kindness is one possibility. Rather than being hard on ourselves, we can learn to cultivate loving-kindness - or friendliness - towards our experience. We can practice this by offering simple phrases to ourselves and others, such as:

May I be well

May I live with ease

May I accept myself, just as I am

May I be filled with loving-kindness

In our next Mindfulness & Creativity session, we'll explore bringing warmth and loving-kindness into our mindfulness practices. We'll notice what happens when we simply set an intention for friendliness. How does it affect our experience? How might it open doors in our creative practice?

May you be well, happy, and peaceful,


P.S. We have a guided Loving-Kindness practice right here


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