Having found a posture that is stable and comfortable. Again with your eyes either gently closed, or relaxed and slightly open, but not looking around.
Begin to pay attention to your body.
Allowing it to relax.
And noticing the sensations that are here — as you pay attention.
If you notice any obvious areas of tightness you can soften them.
Let the eyes and ears be soft.
The shoulders drop.
The hands rest easily.
Let the belly be soft and the breath natural.
Let yourself just rest for a moment. being aware of what you notice here.
As you feel your body, as you rest on the earth.
As you sit quietly, you’ll notice that there are different thoughts, feelings, and sounds that arise and pass — including these words.
Let the sounds and thoughts arise and pass easily. Like waves in the ocean. And let your mind and heart be soft, and open, and at peace.
Notice the waves as they come and go.
And simply be present with the feelings and the experiences that pass each moment as you sit.
In this space of a kind and relaxed attention:
Now let yourself become aware of the fact of your breathing.
In the midst of the thoughts, sounds, and feelings that come and go.
You can sense your life breath.
You can sense the feeling or the sensation of this rhythm of breath.
It might be coolness in the nose, tingling in the back of the throat.
Or you might feel the breath as a movement of the chest or the rise and fall of the belly.
Let the breath have its natural rhythm. And as you feel it — rest your attention in the breathing.
Sense the breath carefully.
Focusing on the breath is our beginning. It is our way of connecting the mind, heart, and body together in the present.
If it’s helpful to you you can take 1 or 2 deeper breaths — and feel what place in the body the breath is most apparent to you.
And even if the breath is quite soft, see if you can let your attention become careful and notice the coolness, the tingling, the movement or vibration, the expansion of the belly.
Notice whatever you can of the breath and rest your attention in it.
As you feel each breath, let there be a sense of relaxation.
Both a presence or alertness, and at the same time an ease — relaxing in the sensation of breath.
After several breathes, you will probably notice that your mind wanders.
After several breaths, often a wave of thought, or feeling, or sound will come and carry you.
As soon as you notice this wave, you can acknowledge it very simply, “theres’ been thinking” “imagining” or “sound”…and release it — let it go when you notice it.
Coming back gently and directly to feel the breath again.
Begin by listening.
There are soft sounds in the room. Distant sounds.
Let yourself sit quietly and at ease.
Allow your body to be relaxed and open, your breath natural, your heart easy.
Begin the practice of gratitude by feeling how year after year you have cared for your own life.
Now let yourself begin to acknowledge all that has supported you in this care:
With gratitude I remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day.
With gratitude I remember the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me.
I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the blessing of this earth I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given.
Just as we are grateful for our blessings, so we can be grateful for the blessings of others.
Continue to breathe gently.
Bring to mind someone you care about, someone it is easy to rejoice for.
Picture them and feel the natural joy you have for their well-being, for their happiness and success.
With each breath, offer them your grateful, heartfelt wishes:
May you be joyful.
May your happiness increase.
May you not be separated from great happiness.
May your good fortune and the causes for your joy and happiness increase.
Sense the sympathetic joy and caring in each phrase.
When you feel some degree of natural gratitude for the happiness of this loved one, extend this practice to another person you care about.
Recite the same simple phrases that express your heart’s intention.
Then gradually open the meditation to include neutral people, difficult people, and even enemies- until you extend sympathetic joy to all beings everywhere, young and old, near and far.
This excerpt is taken from the book, “The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace“