Bringing yourself into the present moment, adopting an alert yet comfortable posture, close your eyes, if this is comfortable, and bring your attention inward. Becoming aware of your body and the surface upon which you are sitting, draw your focus to the spine, each vertebra stacked upon the other from sacrum to skull.
Now, turning your attention to your thoughts and feelings, ask, ‘What thoughts and feelings are around right now? What bodily sensations are present?’. Acknowledge your experience in this moment, even if it is unwanted.
Now, gently direct your awareness to your breathing, following each in breath and each out breath, one after the other, if necessary, saying to yourself, ‘I am breathing in. I am breathing out.’
The breath can function as an anchor to bring you into the present moment since the breath is always with us and available at any time as a focus of attention. Regulating the inbreath with the outbreath can assist in maintaining awareness and stillness.
Now, expanding your awareness to the whole body, imagine that you are breathing with the body as a whole including your posture and facial expression. When you’re ready, open your eyes and return to your day.
This traditional approach is best known for identifying successive stages of meditation during which one progressively cultivates loving-kindness towards:
Noun:Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, esp. in a difficult situation.
By Steven Hickman
The hippo floats in swamp serene,
some emerged, but most unseen.
Seeing all and only blinking,
Who knows what this beast is thinking.
Gliding, and of judgment clear,
Letting go and being here.
Seeing all, both guilt and glory,
Only noting. But that’s MY story.
I sit here hippo-like and breathe,
While inside I storm and seethe.
Would that I were half equanimous
As that placid hippopotamus.
By Mary Oliver from Dream Work
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night
with plans and the simple breath
that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness
as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow
as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness
that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day
to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
Born of seed and sun and water,
Gardener’s unwanted squatter.
Standing tall in turf unwanted,
Spreading mane in wind, undaunted.
Proud, defiant, lion’s tooth,
Silver sphere obscures the truth.
Transient form made most of space,
Delicate as spider’s lace.
Gold rosette to last salute,
Ultimate heavenward pursuit.
Held within its radiant form,
The seeds of birth called to perform.
The earth pulls body to its rest,
But not before it sheds its best.
Letting wind pull what it wants,
It won’t let go just yet, it taunts.
Eternal bond of host and guest,
Ends with a tug for what seems best.
The parent yearns for lost offspring,
As each pod lofts and takes to wing.
Freedom felt on strength of breeze,
Mighty gust or strangled wheeze.
Traveler flies in full retreat,
Or falls forthwith at father’s feet.
Soil wraps in moist embrace,
Transforming with a nuanced grace.
The end of one is now beginning,
Losing life is also winning.
Hold this fierce lion in your hands,
For all the world it still commands.
Death and birth are held in one.
Starting melds with being done.
Embrace the uninvited greenery,
For all it brings to living scenery.
Be careful what you call the weeds,
When cursing where you’ve sown your seeds.