Lovingkindness Meditation: LYS Edition!

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This month’s Yoga Swatch is a little
different. Instead of moving with me, you’ll be working with a meditation. If
you’ve never done a meditation before, don’t worry. Just listen and follow along.
This is a lovingkindness and compassion meditation, and its focus is sending
goodwill to yourself and others in a systematic way. I designed this
meditation to focus specifically on local yarn stores. This might be one
store full of people you know well, or you might have several yarn stores in
mind within one meditation. You could also focus on a different yarn store
each time you work with the meditation because you can repeat it as often as
you like. There are no rules. Just enjoy sending kindness and compassion to these
humans who helped us so much. Come to a comfortable position. You can be seated
or lying down, or you could even be walking. You want your spine long and
supported and your body and mind relaxed. Let’s begin. We’ll start the meditation
by focusing on you. Just like with oxygen masks in an airplane, you want to take
care of yourself first and help you feel peaceful, cared for, and more at ease so
that you can then direct your care towards others. Notice where you most
feel your breath in your body. This might be your nostrils or your throat, maybe
the rise and fall of your chest, the expansion and contraction of your ribs,
or maybe even your belly. Once you’ve noticed where this place is
today, allow your focus to rest here for several breaths. First you’ll direct loving-kindness and
self compassion to yourself. Repeat these phrases silently and gently.
May I be safe. May I be peaceful. May I be kind to myself. May I accept myself as I
am. And then we’ll move to a teacher or
someone who has been a mentor or a guide for you
within your local yarn store. Bring this person to mind and see details as
clearly as you can. Hold this teacher in your thoughts and wish compassion and
loving kindness in this person’s direction now. May you be safe. May you be
peaceful. May you be kind to yourself. May you
accept yourself as you are. Next, we’ll shift to your all-time
favorite person in your local yarn store. You know, that person you hope will be
working when you stop in. Maybe they’re always supportive – even when you take a
long time to choose your yarn or your patterns. Maybe they’re patient with your
questions. Maybe they’re always cheerful or excited about your projects. Bring
this person to mind and send them the same good thoughts. May you be safe. May you be peaceful. May you be kind to yourself. May you accept yourself as you are. Next, we’ll direct compassion and loving
kindness towards a person who works at your local shop but whom you haven’t had
much interaction with. You don’t necessarily have positive or negative
thoughts about this person. Choose someone for whom you feel neutrally and
bring that person to mind, directing your thoughts to this person. Repeat the good
wishes. May you be safe. May you be peaceful. May you be kind to yourself. May you accept yourself as you are. Next, think about the most frustrating
experience you’ve ever had at a local yarn store. Maybe you felt ignored or
unheard or dissatisfied in some way. Call up a really negative experience in your
memory and then find the person who is most associated with this memory. This
person might have pushed your buttons or dismissed you. Think of this person and
this memory and notice what you feel in your body. See if you can hold this person in your
awareness now without judgment – just as a human being who might have been having a
bad day – and wish towards this person: may you be safe. May you be peaceful. May you be kind to yourself. May you accept yourself as you are. Then we’ll shift away from singular
people and broaden our perspective to include a whole shop. This might be your
favorite shop that you visit frequently or maybe a shop you’ve only been to once
on vacation. Think of everyone who works in that shop
or is associated with that shop and wish them: may you be safe. May you be peaceful. May you be kind to yourself. May you accept yourself as you are. Finally, we’ll shift to include all local
yarn stores that exist. Every single person who works in some way to keep
them going in today’s internet-driven world so that we can benefit from warm,
inviting, human populated spaces full of the delight that is a yarn store. May you
be safe. May you be peaceful. May you be kind to yourselves. May you
accept yourselves as you are. And then let the meditation go. Find that
place again in your body where you most feel your breath. Let your focus rest
there, and breathe. When you feel ready to return to your daily routines and
patterns, feel free to add small movements if you were still, open your
eyes if they were closed, and come back to your day. Your body, your local yarn
store, and I thank you for practicing. See you next time.

 

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