May I be happy.
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
Loving Kindness Meditation
I love this meditation which ripples out from the self to those I love and to the world. There are many minor adaptations and I have adapted it to a personal prayer:
May I be safe
Healthy and happy
May I be peaceful
May I live at ease
May I dwell in the Beloved
The Beloved is my own addition: state of loving peacefulness surrounding me, from whence to interact with others. And also to pray for them, though am slightly cagy about prayer as it can so often be imposing our solutions on others.
Larry Dossey found in experiments that tomatoes grew best when he prayed for their best interests without specifying what he thought they were. When he made prayer requests, say for tall tomatoes, they outgrew their strength, so I do tomato prayers for my family and friends. Not even words, more just holding them in loving light.
Caroline Reynolds writes about the power of words in affirmations. How saying “I am strong” is much more effective than “may I be strong”, which immediately implies one is anything but. One is coming from weakness. Loving words as I do, I have long found saying positive words reverberates in my soul. A favourite meditation is quiet, deep breathing – and on each out breath saying a word: love, peace, grace, joy, truth. When I have exhausted my store of one syllable words, then I go to two; beauty, wisdom, kindness; followed by three: hopefulness; four: serenity, As the words become longer, so my breathing slows. It is a wonderful, peaceful meditation. Each word feels different in the body, powerful.
So, following Caroline's example, I tried using my prayer as an affirmation – and, wow, it makes a difference, going from uncertain and hopeful, powerless and needing help to standing clear and firm within, a strong core from which to live. From “May I be safe”, to “I am safe!” The beginning of stopping living as an apology to owning my space.
The final step is an addition from Ian Gawler, an Australian who attributes his cancer cure to spiritual work and meditation. He points out that many affirmations can't work, because inside you aren't convinced. Of course, you aren't; if you were, you wouldn't need the affirmation. He says to make a memory of yourself in the state you are affirming. Suppose you are trying to improve your skiing confidence and affirm:”I am a good, fast skier.” Your mind looks inside for confirmation and only finds memories of you head down in a snowdrift. It doesn't take. However, if you imagine yourself skiing superbly, the wind in your hair, the movement in your body and really feel it, then when your mind checks your memory, there it is: you, the skier.
This builds on neurolinguistic programming, which teaches recalling a time when you did well at something, remembering not only how it felt, but how you moved, breathed – how you were when confident. Then walk into that job interview! So I practice feeling safe, loved, peaceful, healthy and happy – walking, standing, being.
So, the full affirmation, at the start of each day, is to say: “I am safe (and feel the security of my home around me), I am healthy (shoulders back and deep breaths) and happy (warm feeling like being in a sunlit garden), I live easily (remember being 'in the flow', not stuck in a traffic jam) and I dwell in the Beloved. And by then I can feel the love surrounding me and the love I have to give. I try to create a bubble of the Beloved to enclose both me and each person I interact with through the day. That is being truly blessed.
Spiritual Fitness by Caroline Reynolds