It’s a year since the loss of my brother and my friend. When loving-kindness practice matures compassion deepens. This article contains some inspiring quotations and a very simple and beautiful loving kindness meditation focused on letting go of attachment through opening the heart.
Attachment, Love and Desire
Attachment is “dö chag” in Tibetan, which literally means “sticky desire”. There is a stickiness, neediness, dependency, and self-centeredness associated with attachment. It’s “I need you to make ME happy”, as opposed to “I want to make YOU happy”, which is actual love.
Attachment is all about me and what I can get from you, and love is all about what I can give or do for you. Attachment weakens us, and we give away the key to our happiness. Love strengthens us, and we stay in charge of our happiness. — Love, attachment and desire
In a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, sit comfortably with an erect spine and simply breathe allowing your body to relax with every exhalation. Just breathe and as you breathe visualize your heart slowly opening petal by petal like a rose blossoming.
“Just as you can concentrate on the tip of your finger, or on a candle or any other material object, you can also concentrate on your heart.
To reach the spiritual heart you have to feel that you do not have a mind, you do not have arms, you do not have legs, you have only the heart.
Then you have to feel you do not have the heart, but that you are the heart. When you can feel that you are the heart and nothing else, then easily you will be able to reach your spiritual heart during your meditation.”
1. Feel love radiating from your heart center like a sun, sending out a warm, caring, nurturing light to all it touches.
2. Think of someone in your life to whom you would like to radiate love. Imagine that you can sense the light in this person’s heart center.
3. Let your affection pour through you from your heart center outwards as you focus on the other person. Sense the other person becoming more joyful in the presence of your warmth.
4. Send out your heart’s serenity and peace. Let this energy permeate your relationship. Picture yourself peaceful and calm with this person.
5. Breathe in; become patience. Breathe out and imbue the other person with your patience.
6. Allow your heart to expand your sense of freedom. Radiate this quality to the relationship. Feel how freedom expands the potential of your connection.
7. See the other person through heart’s eyes of tender affection. Focus on the strengths of this person acknowledging his or her goodness, beauty, and light.
8. Release your need for this person to change or grow. Love and accept this person for whom he or she is right now.
9. Finish by radiating unconditional love to this person. Let it flow out from you—a gentle, nurturing, forgiving, compassionate loving kindness. Enjoy the feeling that comes from the loving tenderness flowing from your heart center.
The simplest way of describing Non-Attachment is as the process of letting go. We gradually learn to let go of our attachments and aversions, systematically moving through subtler and subtler layers of attachments in the mind. However, Non-Attachment goes beyond this; it is not just a practice of letting go, but is a practice of not taking on in the first place. Non-Attachment is not a process of suppression or repression of wants, wishes, desires, thoughts, or emotions. It comes by the ongoing practice of awareness of the existence of attachments and gradually letting these weaken.
All human relationships are opportunities to practice compassion, loving-kindness, generosity and mutual support. A long-term relationship is an opportunity to go deeper and cultivate these qualities. When we have our defenses down and allow ourselves to be vulnerable to another person, we have the opportunity to explore deeply the nature of our own egos, desires, and expectations. We can challenge ourselves to aspire toward an enlightened relationship — one which is marked by a pure, unselfish, and unconditional love. — Love, sex, and non-attachment