Daily meditation, which I often recommend for making a positive difference in physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual well-being, can be taken another step in an effort to make a difference in the larger “energy field” we all live in….as well as even more positive energy for you and some of the relationships you struggle with.
Most teachers of meditation suggest, and demonstrate in their own demeanors, that loving kindness meditation can boost your compassion — and consequently perhaps your understanding of all those people with whom you have conflict and disagreement and perhaps even some contempt…. It can also make you a happier person. There’s a great deal of research that suggests meditation in general can move your “emotional set point” in a positive direction!
Years ago in a workshop of other professional psychologists, I asked for some help with a conflict I simply felt stuck in — no resolution. One participant, also a num, suggested that while meditating, I visualize sending a beam of love from my heart to the individual I was struggling with. My first reaction was something like…”You must be kidding me!” In other words, I experienced a BIT of resistance to a “spiritual approach” to such a “practical matter.” But being in the workshop to learn, I gave it my best shot over the course of the next couple of days…. Outcome? It shifted my attitude, my feelings….softened my resistance and eventually lead to a solution when back at work…..so, I’m a believer. AND depending on any new situations I encounter I’m ready to acknowledge my resistance and try anyway. (You might look for my post on RESISTANCE)
If my experience makes you even a little bit open to a meditation effort, and want to consider giving loving kindness a try, here’s the suggestion in more detail. The basic approach to loving kindness meditation has variations which you’ll find if you do a little research. The specific sentences below come from Jack Kornfield in the The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace.
May I be filled with lovingkindness
May I be safe from inner and outer dangers
May I be well in body and mind
May I be at ease and happy
After repeating those sentences and meditating on them, shift the focus to others…simply by changing it to May YOU be filled with lovingkindness….and on through all the sentences.
First direct the meditation to someone you truly love who is in your life today
Next to an individual alive or dead who holds you/held you in high regard and love
Finally to an individual you are struggling with…in conflict with.
You can add other people as well…. and again, if you research lovingkindness you will find additional suggestions.
If you experiment for a few days, see if you experience some softening of the tension, the resistance. Primarily see if you might just feel a little better. You do deserve that!