I did some of it after an inspiration I got during a prayer for freedom from hidden "knots" to our lady undoer of knots. I felt like focusing on others rather than self was the way I should reorient my life's path. I started the meditation and did it with all my loved ones and those I was having trouble forgiving. I also offered up my frustrations with a certain person to Jesus for their salvation. I felt a physical relaxation all over my body, a deep almost "sweet" relaxation all over, and a problem I usually have with muscle pain/discomfort seemed to go away while I became much less irritable. I felt it in my spine (the sweetness) in the middle of my back. I know its not kundalini just because it involves a feeling in my spine!
My thought is more a long the lines of the possibility of ill will or unforgiveness manifesting physically in the form of tension, pain or illness and what a practice like metta can do to free those "knots" by practicing good-will in a deliberate focused fashion. I realize that my feeling of freedom may have just been a direct answer from Jesus whom I had asked to free me, and Mary whom I had asked to free me with her prayers from hidden or unconscious knots. But they may also have answered me by directing me to metta? I stopped doing it after a while out of a little bit of doubt.
Is it ok for a Christian to practice metta? I am talking specifically, not about the good wishes or prayers you wish for the persons or self of course, but more about the method of talking to that person directly or thinking of them and saying "May you be well, may you be happy, may you be free, healthy etc". Or must I only say it to God about them? "May they be well, may they be happy"? Honestly, saying it as if directly to that person via a mind-picture felt profound, or deepened the feeling of good will for them in me, like the more I expressed it, the more conviction I got and the more I meant it. Is this dangerous for a Christian?
Hi St. Rubia. Good to see you back here.
I don't see why this kind of meditative practice should be a problem. If you're willing to communicate good-will and affirmation to a person with your speech, then why not with your thoughts and imagination as well?
As always, prayer has more power and efficacy than our own intentions. Could not this practice be brought into an attitude of prayerful intercession?
Hello, Phil. I've been checking in, I saw your thread about people not posting anymore. I just had decided to restrain my craving for online engagement a bit.
Thank you for the piece of advice. I think what I did was intercession, because I kept offering up the people and my desires for them to God, amidst the heart-felt inner "blessing" I was doing. But I felt like it was more for me, a bit like how you apply medicine to a wound on yourself...like I was trying to be of "of good will" in order to live a life of kindness to others.
I felt like the only way I can be happy is if I lived a life more for love than for achieving. It just occurred to me that only this way can I be happy at this point in my life. I know its self-centered, because ultimately, I'm just trying to be happy, and I've realized that God has located happiness for me (at least at this stage of my life) in a life concerned with love for others. I always knew this intellectually, of course like any Christian, but lately I've realized it like an aha, freeing moment. And metta seemed so appropriate to that new impulse. It actually had immediate PHYSICAL impact! Isn't that amazing? I'm thinking ill will or resentment makes people sick...possibly.
Yes, it's win-win with love, St. Rubia. I wouldn't worry much about mixed motives. They will eventually be tested and purified through various means.
I know this is a couple weeks old, but thought I'd mention it anyway. I go through periods of holding a lot of tension in my heart area, which is felt typically in my back between the shoulder blades. It will start there and then travel up the left side following the Ida nadi and cause a headache on the left part of my head and neck. It's pretty terrible, really. It will go on like that indefinitely, for months or a year, but meditations like you're talking about are very helpful.
In the morning I'll recite a "little crown" prayer, and visualize Mary in front of me, as she is the one to whom the prayer is said. The feelings that are associated with the prayer/meditation are faith in Mary (and Christ within her) to solve my problems, a letting go of worries, and a desire for any grace which is "due" to me to be given to Mary for the benefit of whomever needs it. This exercise will negate the heart tension and will leave me free of pain all day.
Thank you for this.
I also feel a real almost physical discomfort in my chest area, a little to the right...my emotional heart, or what I usually think of or feel to be "my heart". It's not just tension. Its a terribly unpleasant feeling, more like my heart/will is all twisted up into uncomfortable contortions and I want to burst through, but can't. Rather than 'tense', I would describe the feeling as "stifled" and stuck in an unnatural small space in uncomfortable positions.
I, like you, have found that prayer is miraculous. Usually, after trying everything, I remember prayer and just go to God, to the Holy Spirit or Christ, or even sometimes to our Lady and express my helplessness and my dependence on their help, and this always "straightens" things in my heart, relaxing it, and I feel like I am exhaling from my heart.
I have not done metta in a while, but I recall the experience for which I had written this thread, had much the same effect. So much so that I wondered if the heart-contortions, dry pain, was actually ill-will or unforgiveness, probably unconscious? I wondered this because practicing good-will deliberately in a heart-felt way dissolved this discomfiting feelings/tensions. The result was a deep, deep, sweet, almost sinking/heavy feeling all along my spine and chest and all my muscles, and a happy feeling all day.
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