This afternoon while I was spacing out waiting for the Q train I watched a big fat rat scurry across the the nasty trash filled tracks. Before I knew it I felt the words come through my body ‘May you be happy…’
Holy shit, this practice is powerful.
I’ve been thinking today about the last phrase of the lovingkindness practice: ‘may we live with ease.’ I feel like I often start out strong with ‘May we be happy’ and sort of lose momentum as I go through the next three phases. By the time I get to ‘…live with ease’ I’m not fully summoning the intention, or really clear what it even means.
I remember on the last day of the Vipassana retreat I sat last September when we finally broke 10 days of silence, an old student said to a group of us new students ‘When you go home things will just be easier, you’ll see…’
I actually had the opposite experience. Back in the real world with deep shit still bubbling to the surface I felt like I was drowning.
This month though things have finally started to feel a little easier. Anchoring my schedule with a daily sit helped me create a more productive routine, and helped me exercise compassion when I stray from it. I’ve been able to avert some uncomfortable situations by sending out some preemptive lovingkindess. I’ve felt wrapped in the support of this beautiful sangha and pushed to new depths by my teachers. I’ve sensed change bubbling up, awareness that all the smart, talented, capable people around me are opening to the possibility of being happy, and healthy, and safe, and living with ease…all within this lifetime.
Maybe it was never meant to be a month long challenge. Maybe we’ve just been tricked into starting a lifelong daily meditation practice. Why not? We’ve seen the benefits. We’ve seen that we can make time for it. We’ve created a support structure. Sure we’ll miss days here and there, maybe more. The beauty is we get to come back without judging ourselves, and start again.
May we all be happy and peaceful. May we all be healthy and strong. May we all be safe and protected. May we all live with ease.