practicing loving kindness - momgineer

practicing loving kindness

In the meditation chapter of Buddhism for Mothers, the author brings up the topic of Loving Kindness Meditation, which is a common buddhist practice. I think this is a wonderful thing to revisit after becoming a parent, regardless of faith. She explains the meditation as focusing on the following people in this order:
  1. Yourself
  2. Someone close to you that you love
  3. A neutral person
  4. Someone you find difficult to get along with
  5. All beings
Focus on each item, while visualizing happiness, love, freedom from suffering, etc. for each person listed. As a mother, it is sometimes difficult to recognize your own triumphs, needs, and so on, so starting with loving kindness towards yourself helps define the practice. I have been finding this practice so useful with respect to H and F, especially after a tough day.

After loving kindness toward oneself, it seems to go from fairly easy to much more difficult as you come to number 4. Since becoming a parent, I find it so easy to fall into thinking that a particular way of parenting is the right, or better, way, and having judgmental or even bitter thoughts towards other parents whose methods oppose that way of parenting. I know I need to search myself to find more compassion and extend it to those parents, and their children, as well as inwardly. The role of parent is so dynamic and full of new challenges every day, that I think a little compassion goes a long way. I would like to extend that compassion to anyone reading here and ask that you take it within you and be gentle with yourselves as well.

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

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