Lately I’ve been thinking.
I was involved in a Metta practice last year and, for those not familiar, it involves sending out positive thoughts and energy to others. Friends or enemies, people you don’t know or never met. I think it’s a good practice for some people. I suspect because it has some basis in the Bon religion in Tibet and that the entire process is geared towards the individual’s growth doing the practice as opposed to benefiting others with thoughts.
Which leads me to my version. I realized that it takes nothing to give people we meet our perspective on what we see is compassionate, kind, and good in them. We act as a mirror and share with them the good that we see and experience.
It can be as simple as telling someone they have a nice smile or engaging personality. Do it from the heart and with genuine intent. People know when you are faking it. What I noticed is that it’s working as a social engagement practice that generates kindness and joy. And, the benefits are massive.
Think about what happens when someone does this to you, points to a quality that adds value. How it lights up something inside of you and shifts your perspective. And, perhaps, you send it along to others. And, the ripple starts to engage the world.
It breaks down the barriers and is effective in proximity. I wasn’t able to connect much in sending out thoughts, but I am connected in a big way actually telling people the positive things I see. And, if you know about projection, we can only give what we recognize and if we recognize it, we have some of it inside.
So, my Metta practice will continue, although altered to fit what works. That’s what the Buddhas have always said, check it out and see what works. Then do it.