Date: March 11
Lectionary Link: https://www.lectionarypage.net/WeekdaysOfLent/FridayFirstWeek.html
Contributor: Mary Pendergrass
I have practiced yoga for around 30 years, sometimes more intensively than others, and have
done some meditation as part of my practice from time to time. More recently, over the last
couple of years, in the classes I take we have begun each session with guided meditation. At
first it was only a practice of clearing the mind by concentrating on my breath. Now there are
more specific goals.
And most recently the practice has expanded to the idea of breathing out thoughts of loving
kindness to an infinitely increasing circle of people beginning with an individual and eventually
expanding to larger and larger categories of persons - from those I have a closeness to to those
I feel no affinity with. This wasn’t easy at first, but I found that I could do it. Then my teacher
threw out a new challenge and switched to something I find very difficult. We were asked to
think first about some individual we feel very close to and breath out loving kindness directed to that person. Then we were supposed to consider someone who is not a person we really know but who may play some part in our lives and that we think of kindly such as our mail carrier, and we breathe out loving kindness for that person. From there we moved on to a larger group that we are involved with and like such as members of our church or some other group, perhaps a book club. Again, we breathe out loving kindness. Then we moved to a group that is not really a part of our life, or that we may actively dislike and do the same act of breathing loving kindness.
Then came the part I find so difficult, breathing out loving kindness for an individual I actively
dislike or even loathe. So I think this should be part of my daily Lenten practice this year. With
daily practice and God’s help I hope to do this.
O god of Second Chances
And New Beginnings,
Here I am again.