I’m a little tired and out of sorts so thought I’d just give a short update on my progress with lovingkindness chants, etc. Sometimes it feels to me as if lots of people expect practices to serve as magic wands that will sweep you into a permanent state of peace or bliss.
I find it a bit more up and down and back and forth. For me practices are a way to generally hold a calmer space but also the tools for pulling myself back to being calm and centered when life’s bumpy road knocks me to other states of being. Doing practices doesn’t take the bumps out of that road or stop me from having varying moods.
Over all I’ve calmed down quite a bit since I started my lovingkindness practice (metta). I’ve also changed it up. When I began I was doing 10 minutes for me, 10 minutes for Trump and 10 minutes for America. Soon I switched out the last 10 minutes of metta for singing the Gayatri Mantra and/or Om Shanti. Just felt pulled to be doing singing chants too, so I chose two that are used for peace.
I’ve also been working on Deepak and Oprah’s latest 21 day meditation since before the election (I’m behind…). And “just happens” to be the perfect topic for this quest for finding peace in these troubling times. Which of all these practices get done on a given day is variable.
I’m very up and down though. There’s so much angry stuff being spewed, I find myself pulled into the anger. The extreme anxiety and upset stomach initially subsided for maybe half a day each time I chanted but for the first days came back. That has leveled out now and I’m back to spending my days calm with only short moments of losing my center.
My emotions still shift. I’ve cried while chanting or felt waves of nausea. For the first time ever I burst into tears while singing the Gayatri (this chant previously has just opened my heart, not touched into deep issues) and for a few minutes couldn’t stop. The other day Mark Bialczak asked readers to comment on their wishes for Trump. The first and only thought that jumped into my head: “fatal heart attack”…
Apparently I’m going to be chanting for a long, long time… Because that’s not who I want to be and I’m going to chant until I find the connection.