Meditation: Holistic Sustainability, by Dawn Mauricio
These days, when the word sustainability is used it is usually in reference to the environment, however, the general definition of the word is “the ability to be sustained or supported.” We can all relate to the idea of being supported, whether it’s through giving support, or needing some. When you spend a lot of time outputting energy and not a lot of time “filling the well” you burn out, even when doing something you love like writing, creating art, or taking care of someone.
In both yoga and Buddhism there exists a practice called Loving-Kindness. One of my main and favourite practices, it is essential in sustaining my energy and efforts; hence, it is my holistic sustainability.
The “love” part in the translation of this Pali (metta) and Sanskrit (maitri) word is often misleading; it is not the passionate, fiery, conditional love present in rom-coms and Danielle Steele novels. Instead, it is an all encompassing, unconditional, overall acceptance of who we are as we are. As Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön says, “Practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”
There is an informal and formal way to practice loving-kindness. The way this looks like on the yoga mat is that each pose and breath is an expression of the loving-kindness you have or hope to have. The formal practice of metta entails a repetition of phrases (see below) to a list of recipients, starting with yourself, then moving on to a benefactor, neutral person, difficult person, and finally all beings. At first, the opposite feelings of loving-kindness may come up, however, with persistent practice, the dust will get swept away to reveal your natural tendency towards metta.
Start your loving-kindness practice by silently repeat the following phrases to yourself for a few minutes each day:
May I be happy and healthy May I be free from inner and outer suffering May I be held in compassion May I love and accept myself just as I am
Before you know it, any difficulty on your path will be met with kindness, patience and warmth.
Dawn Mauricio is a yoga and meditation teacher with a playful, dynamic, and centred approach. She is known for her boundless energy and smiling personality that are both contagious and motivating. Drawing from her deep experience in yoga and meditation, she delivers an effective balance of clear, precise instruction and mental reflection. Dawn firmly believes that how we offer ourselves in practice reflects how we offer ourselves in life, inspiring her to find new ways to extend her practice beyond the yoga mat and meditation cushion – and encouraging her students to do the same.
For more information about Dawn, please visit dawnmauricio.com.