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Buddhist Traditions, Mindfulness, Yoga Cultural History, Yoga Philosophy

A Time For Yoga 2012 Meditation

This was originally posted on Type A Yoga’s blog Oct. 2012.

The following is a copy of our meditation from our 2012 Time for Yoga community event. For more information on the sources of text, check out my post, “On Meditation and Metta.”

Passage from Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

There is a difference between being aware of a thought and thinking a thought. That difference is very subtle. It is primarily a matter of feeling or texture. [. . .] The difference between being aware of the thought and thinking the thought is very real. But it is extremely subtle and difficult to see. Concentration is one of the tools needed to be able to see this difference. [. . .] Deep concentration has the effect of slowing down the thought process and speeding up the awareness viewing it. The result is the enhanced ability to examine the thought process. [. . .] We use breath as our focus. It serves as that vital reference point from which the mind wanders and is drawn back. Distraction cannot be seen as distraction unless there is some central focus to be distracted from. That is the frame of reference against which we can view the incessant changes and interruptions that go on all the time as a part of normal thinking.

When you first begin this procedure, expect to face some difficulties. Your mind will wander off constantly, darting around like a drunken bumblebee and zooming off on wild tangents. Try not to worry. The monkey-minded phenomenon is well known. It is something that every advanced meditator has had to deal with. They have pushed through it one way or another, and so can you. When it happens, just not the fact that you have been thinking, day-dreaming, worrying, or whatever. Gently, but firmly, without getting upset or judging yourself for straying, simply return to the simple physical sensation of the breath. Then do it again the next time, and again, and again, and again.

Somewhere in this process, you will come face-to-face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of control and hopeless. No problem. You are not crazier than you were yesterday. It has always been this way, and you just never noticed. You are also no crazier than everybody else around you.

A Meditation

For any way that I have caused harm to myself,
Knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed,
For any wounds or suffering caused out of fear, anger, confusion, or being unskillful,
I offer forgiveness, as much as I am able to offer in this moment
For any way that I have caused harm to another
Knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed,
For any wounds or suffering caused out of fear, anger, confusion, or being unskillful,
I offer forgiveness, as much as I am able to offer in this moment
For any way that I have been harmed by another,
Knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed,
For any wounds or suffering caused out of fear, anger, confusion, or being unskillful,
I offer forgiveness, as much as I am able to offer in this moment
May I cultivate forgiveness and compassion for myself and others and may I radiate this feeling of lovingkindness. May I be happy and peaceful.
May I always find delight in the essential well-being of others regardless of time or circumstance. May I cultivate sympathetic joy.
May I have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life. May I be undisturbed by the comings and goings of events. May I cultivate equanimity.
May my friends, family, and loved ones cultivate forgiveness and compassion for themselves and others and may they radiate lovingkindness. May they be happy and peaceful.
May they always find delight in the essential well-being of others regardless of time or circumstance. May they cultivate sympathetic joy.
May they have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life. May they be undisturbed by the comings and goings of events. May they cultivate equanimity.
May my acquaintances and people I have met cultivate forgiveness and compassion for themselves and others and may they radiate lovingkindness. May they be happy and peaceful.
May they always find delight in the essential well-being of others regardless of time or circumstance. May they cultivate sympathetic joy.
May they have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life. May they be undisturbed by the comings and goings of events. May they cultivate equanimity.
May those who are strangers and unknown to me cultivate forgiveness and compassion for themselves and others and may they radiate lovingkindness. May they be happy and peaceful.
May they always find delight in the essential well-being of others regardless of time or circumstance. May they cultivate sympathetic joy.
May they have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life. May they be undisturbed by the comings and goings of events. May they cultivate equanimity.
May our enemies cultivate forgiveness and compassion for themselves and others and may they radiate lovingkindness. May they be happy and peaceful.
May they always find delight in the essential well-being of others regardless of time or circumstance. May they cultivate sympathetic joy.
May they have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life. May they be undisturbed by the comings and goings of events. May they cultivate equanimity.
May all living beings cultivate forgiveness and compassion for ourselves and others and may we radiate lovingkindness. May we be happy and peaceful.
May we always find delight in the essential well-being of others regardless of time or circumstance. May we cultivate sympathetic joy.
May we have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems, and failures in life. May we be undisturbed by the comings and goings of events. May we cultivate equanimity.
May we all cultivate lovingkindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. May our hearts be sheltered in the abodes of light and warmth so that the dark and cold cannot find a home. May we live in peace and contentment with all beings.
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