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Soundings, Issue #35
March 25, 2014

News from the Unscripted Self

Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.

Marianne Williamson

on the uss!

I’m running a series on meditation (specifically mindfulness) on the site at the moment. Central to that is loving kindness, which is basically compassion for all beings, including yourself. The latter is the one that, sadly, most people overlook. Think about it this way: if you were minding a five-year-old child and it did something wrong would you yell at it, or call it a moron? Of course not! Yet we do this to ourselves all the time? Why? If we do not treat ourselves with kindness, love and compassion, we are not in a very good way to give these to others. All learning, all change begins with the self.


Compassionate – to suffer with somebody.

How to cultivate Loving Kindness

To develop loving kindness sit in a quiet way. Breathe softly, feel your body, your breath, and the life within you. Be aware of how you guard yourself in the face of your own sorrows (this could be putting up barriers to them, or rebuking yourself). Then, when you’re ready, bring your mind to someone you hold dear, a loved one or close friend. Picture them and a time when they were suffering or in sorrow, feel your heart open to them as you send them love and meet their suffering with compassion. Then silently recite the phrase:

May you be held in compassion.
May you be free from pain and sorrow.
May you be at peace.

Continue this for a few minutes, and then turn your attention to yourself, and to any sorrow or trouble you may be experiencing now, or at a time in the past. Then quietly recite:

May I be held in compassion.
May I be free from pain and sorrow.
May I be at peace.

After a while extend this to others, people you see in your daily life but don’t necessarily know (say the post man), repeating the phrases.

Then, if you’re ready, call to mind someone you have difficulty with, or had in the past, and picture them surrounded by a golden light of love, and repeat the phrases.

Finally, extend it to the whole world and all beings in it.

This exercise was adopted from the original by Jack Kornfield, and was passed on to me by Suzanne Donohoe, who teaches mindfulness here in Dublin, whom I would like to thank.

Try it. It’s very powerful.

Had one of these for Paddy's day!
(traditional Irish coffee) Delish!

This Month’s Reading

10 things to give up permanently I got to thinking about how people give up stuff for lent, and, while I’m more a person to take up something new rather than give up, there are some things we do need to give up, and not just for lent, but for life! See what you think, and let me know what you would add to the list.

Lastly, Meditation – doorway to a new awakening (the first in a mini-series on meditation, as mentioned above.

“Nothing is more attractive that a person who shows up for their life.”

Distant Healing

The missing Malaysian airliner, and all on board. Please remember their families and relatives too who are going through a very distressing time. Let’s hope they get closure soon.

Also keep the people in the Crimea and the surrounding area in mind.

A good time to start practicing the loving-kindness exercise above!

Last word to Ajahn Chah (who was Jack Kornfield’s teacher)

"If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. If you let go completely, you will be free."


Take care,

Talk to you soon.

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