For this week's blog activity we are practicing loving-kindness as instructed by Dacher (2006) through a guided meditation activity. I tried to devote 15 minutes each morning to practice and a journal of my experiences can be found below.
Day 1 (Thursday): I was disappointed with my loving-kindness practice today. Typically I do very well with guided meditations, but for some reason I just was not connecting with this one and found the background music to be distracting. All in all it was unsuccessful and I felt quite frustrated at the end.
Day 2 (Friday): Today I decided to try the loving-kindness activity solo (without the recording). I started out imagining someone who I feel a deep love for (so happened to be my baby) and just let myself get lost in those wonderful feelings. Then I directed my focus to a close friend who is going through a difficult time. I intermittently tried to take in her pain while directing my loving-kindness toward her. I became very overwhelmed with emotion during this process and was not able to take the activity any further.
Day 3 (Saturday): I tried the loving-kindness activity on my own again today. I did feel I was able to focus and connect more so this way than by following the guided recording. I find I am able to focus well when I am thinking of someone close to me, but it is when I try to divert my attention to larger populations and those I do not know that I start having difficulty with the process. This is something that will certainly take time and practice to develop.
Day 4 (Sunday): Today I did not partake in a meditation, but I did spend a great deal of time processing my thoughts on loving-kindness and my previous experiences this past week. Not being able to fully embrace the concept of the loving-kindness exercise has been frustrating for me. A conclusion I have come to is that I would much rather spend my time and energy on showing loving-kindness in little ways throughout my day as opposed to just thinking about loving-kindness during meditation. This is not to say I will give up on the meditations, but just that I will approach them in my own way and place more value on my actions.
Day 5 (Monday): I thought I would give the loving-kindness practice (with the recording) another chance this morning. I was still unable to find a real connection with the activity and once again found the background noise of the waves and pipes to be distracting rather than soothing. Even though the exercise did not work for me it is not to say I would not recommend it to others. We all have our own unique responses to various meditation practices so they might find it much more enjoyable or successful than I.
Dacher, E. (2006). Integral health: The path to human flourishing. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.