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Developing a More Loving Mind

This meditation cultivates a more loving and less judgemental mind.

The Dalai Lama once said, "What is love? Love is the absence of judgment." so we can all be really prone to viewing people and the world around us through a screen of preconceived notions, judgments, beliefs, and opinions. When we think we already know someone or something, it really limits our capacity to see truly what is. So maybe you have an opinion about someone and you put them in a box, as the saying goes. She's a hippie. He's arrogant.

She's smart. He's weird. Or maybe you had a challenging interaction with someone and you made your mind up about them. But if we hold on to these mental labels, thinking that we know someone through these mental judgments, we never really get to truly meet them again. We only ever see them through the lens of our own viewpoints.

And we've all experienced how our judgments can often feel negative feelings towards others towards ourselves, and even towards life. But whatever our mental labels are about things, the truth is, is that that's all, they really are. Mental labels about things. Not reality. So to meet reality moment by moment is to put aside our attachment to these viewpoints and ideas that you already know something or someone and adopt the openness, the freshness, and the kindness of the beginner's mind.

By doing so we naturally become more loving and compassionate people. So let's give it a try. So settling into a meditation posture, if you haven't already. Allowing the eyes to lightly close. And as a way of gathering the fullness of your awareness to this moment, just taking three deep, slow, full breaths.

So breathing in. And breathing out. And taking two more breaths like that in your own time, your own way. And at the end of this next exhale, just relaxing any control of the breath. Just letting the breath now settle back into its own natural rhythm.

But staying in touch with the feeling of the breath moving in the body. And as we settle into this meditation, just beginning to really be attentive to wherever you're feeling the breath the most vividly. It might be the sensation of the rising and falling of the belly. It might be the touch of air at the tip of the nostrils. Or maybe the gentle expansion and contraction of the chest.

Or it might be a kind of overall sense of the breath moving in the body. Whatever it is, just bring your attention to the sensation of the shifting tides of the breathing. And becoming more and more intimate with those sensations. Moving awareness right up close and feeling the flow of each and every breath. And remember there's no need to try to control the breath or change it.

No need to think about the breath, just simply feeling into it, just following it with your awareness. And now begin to expand your focus out to the sounds around you. Just taking in the soundscape as it unfolds moment by moment by moment. And as you listen to sounds, seeing if you can do so without any liking or disliking, without trying to change or fix anything. Having a sense of allowing the sounds to unfold just as they are.

Just taking it in. Listening to the song of this moment. Also noticing any tendency to start getting involved in a mental commentary about the sounds. Any judgments. And seeing if you can just let that go.

And instead, just hearing what's here to be heard as if for the first time, as if each sound was totally new to you. So each time you notice a sound, see if you can simply experience it without judgment, without liking or disliking, just bringing a curiosity and an openness to the listening. And this moment of sound will never be heard again. It's fleeting. So let it be heard fully.

A wise man once told me that the optimum state for meditation is a little bit like a moment of being in love. So when you're in love, you give a person your complete attention and you accept them and you love them just as they are. You're completely open to them. And in that moment, you're not trying to change them. You don't judge them.

You don't have an agenda. You're just fully present and accepting. So with this in mind, can you get a sense of listening to sounds around you with that kind of unconditional loving awareness? Just let the song of this moment be fully heard and experienced. So just keep noticing sounds with an open, fresh, and curious awareness as best you can, without judgment, without liking or disliking. Just allowing the dance of sound to unfold in awareness.

So if the mind wanders away from listening to sounds and gets caught in thinking, no problem. Just notice the thought that distracted you and then gently guide the focus back to listening to sounds unfolding moment by moment. And in these last moments of meditation, just bringing the focus back now to rest attention in the feeling of the breath gently moving in the body. Well, we can train ourselves again and again to bring a less judgmental mind, a more loving mind, a beginner's mind into our lives. We can cultivate it through meditation, but we can also bring the beginner's mind into our work, our hearts and our homes.

And by doing so we can experience a new level of depth and richness in our lives. And perhaps most importantly, we can bring it into our relationships with others. When we put aside our preconceived ideas about others and meet them as they are in this moment, we give them a great gift, the gift of being truly seen and heard. And that may be the greatest gift that we can give. So maybe take a moment to contemplate how can you bring the beginner's mind into your life today? What notions, judgments and opinions can you lay aside so that you can see what is more clearly.

And as this practice now draws to a close, just notice how your mind and your body are feeling after meditation. And take a deep breath in. And as you breathe out, beginning to wriggle fingers and toes. And open the eyes.

Meditation

4.6

Developing a More Loving Mind

This meditation cultivates a more loving and less judgemental mind.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

The Dalai Lama once said, "What is love? Love is the absence of judgment." so we can all be really prone to viewing people and the world around us through a screen of preconceived notions, judgments, beliefs, and opinions. When we think we already know someone or something, it really limits our capacity to see truly what is. So maybe you have an opinion about someone and you put them in a box, as the saying goes. She's a hippie. He's arrogant.

She's smart. He's weird. Or maybe you had a challenging interaction with someone and you made your mind up about them. But if we hold on to these mental labels, thinking that we know someone through these mental judgments, we never really get to truly meet them again. We only ever see them through the lens of our own viewpoints.

And we've all experienced how our judgments can often feel negative feelings towards others towards ourselves, and even towards life. But whatever our mental labels are about things, the truth is, is that that's all, they really are. Mental labels about things. Not reality. So to meet reality moment by moment is to put aside our attachment to these viewpoints and ideas that you already know something or someone and adopt the openness, the freshness, and the kindness of the beginner's mind.

By doing so we naturally become more loving and compassionate people. So let's give it a try. So settling into a meditation posture, if you haven't already. Allowing the eyes to lightly close. And as a way of gathering the fullness of your awareness to this moment, just taking three deep, slow, full breaths.

So breathing in. And breathing out. And taking two more breaths like that in your own time, your own way. And at the end of this next exhale, just relaxing any control of the breath. Just letting the breath now settle back into its own natural rhythm.

But staying in touch with the feeling of the breath moving in the body. And as we settle into this meditation, just beginning to really be attentive to wherever you're feeling the breath the most vividly. It might be the sensation of the rising and falling of the belly. It might be the touch of air at the tip of the nostrils. Or maybe the gentle expansion and contraction of the chest.

Or it might be a kind of overall sense of the breath moving in the body. Whatever it is, just bring your attention to the sensation of the shifting tides of the breathing. And becoming more and more intimate with those sensations. Moving awareness right up close and feeling the flow of each and every breath. And remember there's no need to try to control the breath or change it.

No need to think about the breath, just simply feeling into it, just following it with your awareness. And now begin to expand your focus out to the sounds around you. Just taking in the soundscape as it unfolds moment by moment by moment. And as you listen to sounds, seeing if you can do so without any liking or disliking, without trying to change or fix anything. Having a sense of allowing the sounds to unfold just as they are.

Just taking it in. Listening to the song of this moment. Also noticing any tendency to start getting involved in a mental commentary about the sounds. Any judgments. And seeing if you can just let that go.

And instead, just hearing what's here to be heard as if for the first time, as if each sound was totally new to you. So each time you notice a sound, see if you can simply experience it without judgment, without liking or disliking, just bringing a curiosity and an openness to the listening. And this moment of sound will never be heard again. It's fleeting. So let it be heard fully.

A wise man once told me that the optimum state for meditation is a little bit like a moment of being in love. So when you're in love, you give a person your complete attention and you accept them and you love them just as they are. You're completely open to them. And in that moment, you're not trying to change them. You don't judge them.

You don't have an agenda. You're just fully present and accepting. So with this in mind, can you get a sense of listening to sounds around you with that kind of unconditional loving awareness? Just let the song of this moment be fully heard and experienced. So just keep noticing sounds with an open, fresh, and curious awareness as best you can, without judgment, without liking or disliking. Just allowing the dance of sound to unfold in awareness.

So if the mind wanders away from listening to sounds and gets caught in thinking, no problem. Just notice the thought that distracted you and then gently guide the focus back to listening to sounds unfolding moment by moment. And in these last moments of meditation, just bringing the focus back now to rest attention in the feeling of the breath gently moving in the body. Well, we can train ourselves again and again to bring a less judgmental mind, a more loving mind, a beginner's mind into our lives. We can cultivate it through meditation, but we can also bring the beginner's mind into our work, our hearts and our homes.

And by doing so we can experience a new level of depth and richness in our lives. And perhaps most importantly, we can bring it into our relationships with others. When we put aside our preconceived ideas about others and meet them as they are in this moment, we give them a great gift, the gift of being truly seen and heard. And that may be the greatest gift that we can give. So maybe take a moment to contemplate how can you bring the beginner's mind into your life today? What notions, judgments and opinions can you lay aside so that you can see what is more clearly.

And as this practice now draws to a close, just notice how your mind and your body are feeling after meditation. And take a deep breath in. And as you breathe out, beginning to wriggle fingers and toes. And open the eyes.

Meditation

4.6

Duration

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